Authorities of the Panamanian Catholic Church and representatives of the Organizers of the World Youth Day (WYD), from January 22 to 27, presented today the "Popemobile," designed by national hands to move Pope Francis in the religious events.
The vehicle was unveiled today afternoon at the “Cinta Costera” Photographic Parador, a marine pass located in the center of the Panamanian capital, a place that will gather thousands of pilgrims in two weeks.
It is a Ford Ranger XLT, double cabin, automatic transmission and with all the specifications requested by the Vatican to keep the safety and comfort of the Supreme Pontiff.
"The Popemobile has an escalator, swivel chair to 360 (degrees), red carpet, railings for support and sustainability of the Pope while standing, and a window in the back of the main cabin so that Francisco communicates with the driver," details a press release of the WYD Panama 2019.
This vehicle is a contribution of the local company “Distribuidora David,” who donated the car, and Tri-Star Central America, responsible for the design and confection, whose assembly was done by hands Panamanians
Ana Victoria Taboada and Edwin Chaverra led the team of young people who worked on the design and assembly of this vehicle, who highlighted that they took references from other Papamobiles built for papal visits, redesigning and improving everything about thus meet the requirements.
Pope Francisco will make nearly 23 trips with this vehicle, according to the local press.
The Pope arrives in Panama on January 23, will also use a "Papamobile" made in Colombia and reached Panama last week. The religious leader used this vehicle last year during his visit to that southern country.
WYD, whose last edition was in Krakow (Poland), is one of the most important events of the Catholic Church, which every three years brings together thousands of young people from all over the world with the pope.
Francisco's presence has generated immense interest not only in Panama but throughout Central America, since the last, and only visit of a pontiff to the region, John Paul II in 1983.
The Episcopal Conference of Panama reported in November 226,000 already registered pilgrims and about 5,000 accredited journalists.
The Panamanian government estimates that WYD will generate $ 250 million in revenue and, although it has not officially reported costs, different local media suggest that the event will demand at least $ 47 million.
The WYD spreads the message of Christ, "in an open and convivial environment to share and reflect together on the fundamental issues of existence," according to its organizers.
The largest, multitudinous event the Catholic Church performs in the world is the WYD.
The Archbishop of Panama, Jose Domingo Ulloa; the president Juan Carlos Varela, as well as hundreds of parishioners and citizens attended the Popemobile’s unveiling.