People of Juarez anticipate Papal visit

Pope Francis got ready for his 6 day tour of Mexico on February 12 by meeting with the Russian Orthodox church in Cuba for the first time in 900 years.  Like the Mexican people, he seeks progressive change for the developing world. He'll be talking to politicians and even confronting the issues that the struggling country has seen in the past years, such as increased crime rates and involvement with the illegal drug cartel, along with the overall message of world peace.

With the borderland making last minute preparations for Pope Francis' visit on Wednesday, February 17, many students expressed their excitement for his visit and what it means, not only to them, but for the city of Juarez.

Senior Hector Vinalay, a devoted catholic, hopes to be as involved as possible on the holy day.

"I'm very lucky to be able to be so close to the Pope," Vinalay said. "We will be protecting him with a barricade in front of us, and that makes me feel like he trusts me."

The barricade mentioned is a 25 mile long human chain that will run along the El Paso border, and is just one project that the two cities have done in preparation for the holy visit. Freshman Cerise Saucedo plans on attending the Two Cities One Faith event at the Sun Bowl stadium, where many El Pasoans intend to see the Pope on the big screen.

"It will be exciting to see that amount of people in one place," Saucedo said. "We're all celebrating the same passion we have for the church."

Approximately 50,000 people can be seated at the Sun Bowl stadium. The event will consist of six hours of entertainment and a speech from Pope Francis himself.

Saucedo hopes the Pope's visit will inspire the citizens to take the initiative needed to improve the city of Juarez.

"I believe that the city has had so much corruption and one man can't change that," Saucedo said. "The city itself needs to come together to make the changes they wish to see."

Junior Dehrejan Dickerson says that he is confident that this will change the atmosphere in our neighboring city.

"How could this not change the city?" Dickerson said. "The people of Juarez will be so honored that the Pope is coming that it will be like a wake up call to them. I think that they will get back on their feet and definitely seek change."

Pope Francis will be arriving in Juarez around 12:00 p.m. and his speech will be broadcasted on local news stations at 4:00 p.m.