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Cuba: Hundreds of Cubans Traveling to Panama to see Pope Francis

There are 471 Cubans about to travel to Panama for the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day. Many have been saving for a good while to pay for the reunion with Pope Francisco and ask him to pray for their Island, reports the AFP.

“We had to pay for the trip, which is very difficult because the salaries here are not enough for that,” Ramon Elejalde, a 44-year-old Cuban, who works as a cigar roller in a state factory, told AFP.

Then, “I had to ask for loans,” added Elejalde, who held a vigil together with a hundred young people with a view to World Youth Day at the Church of Santo Ángel Custodio, in Havana.

The cost of the plane ticket, medical insurance, lodging and food add up to US $680. It seems cheap, but it’s the equivalent of 22.6 average montly salaries in Cuba.

“More than 60% of the delegation has self-financed their trip and stay in Panama,” venue of the meeting from January 22 to 27, said the priest Jorge Luis Pérez Soto (37), advisor to the Youth Ministry of the Archdiocese of Havana.

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