Panama prepares for WYD

  • EFE

The final details of the preparations for Pope Francis' visit to Panama from January 23 to 27 continue as hundreds of pilgrims enter the country to participate in the XXXIV World Youth Day.

The archbishop of Panama, José Domingo, recently pointed out that for this edition of the religious event, 220,000 people from throughout Central America had completed their registration, but only 100,000 had been made official at the last minute.

The reason for this decline are the "circumstances" that Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are going through, which have prevented many young Central Americans from "realizing that dream" of traveling to Panama to meet with Pope Francis. "To be honest, the reality of Central America, especially in recent months, has affected the number of people participating in WYD”, said the religious.

Meanwhile, the various institutions are preparing for the celebration of the World Youth Day (WYD). Such is the case of the Supreme Court of Panama that announced today that it has decreed the closing of the courts and other judicial dependencies of Panama and San Miguelito. The measure, which exempts the offices of the Accusatory Penal System and Public Defender, entails the suspension of judicial terms on 23, 24 and 25 January 2019, says a statement from the DO.

For its part, the Panama Metro had to overcome the problems that occurred recently. Carlos Cedeño, head of maintenance of the Metro, explained the details to Telemetro, which reports that the "technical problems" are presented at a time when all the equipment is prepared to meet the increase in passenger flows for the next World Youth Day (WYD).

The subway operates with 26 trains, with intervals of 2 and a half minutes between them, thirteen of them with five wagons and a capacity of one thousand passengers each, and other thirteen of three wagons that can carry up to 600 people.

The incident occurred hours before the Panamanian President, Juan Carlos Varela, made the route verification of operation of Line 2 of the Metro that tomorrow will start public operations from the east of the capital to the junction with Line 1, which runs through the city from north to south, which will serve to mobilize a large part of the pilgrims who will arrive for the WYD.

Also, and from today, the Panamanian authorities set up the free "311 Tourism" hotline, which will operate in Spanish and English with the purpose of providing information to visitors during the World Youth Day (WYD). The concerns of the users will be addressed in terms of tourist information, locations of the places of attraction, hotels, shopping centers, security, emergencies and other inquiries of interest.

"This action we are doing with the Citizen Service Center 311 and the Government Innovation Authority (AIG) seeks that the attention will be offered to all visitors, to give the best face of the country", said the administrator of the Tourism Authority of Panama, Gustavo Him.

Him added that in the 17 tourist information centers that will be placed at various points of entry of Panamanian territory, such as airports, bus terminals and cruise ports, tourists will be informed of the activation of the line.

The director of the Citizen Attention Center 311, Edgar Tejada, explained that with the telecommunications operators it was coordinated all and calls could be made from mobile or fixed phones.

The visit of Pope Francis has generated immense interest not only in this country but throughout Central America, since the only pontiff who has traveled to the region was John Paul II, in 1983 and 1996.







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