QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Here are the latest developments from Pope Francis’ trip to South America:
Pope Francis has arrived at the residence of the Vatican’s ambassador in Ecuardor, where he will spend his first night during an eight-day visit to South America.
His ride in from Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport took just over an hour. He first road in the back seat of a small Fiat, then switched to an open Popemobile for a drive through the streets of the capital past crowds of well-wishers.
The pope has no public events scheduled for Sunday night.
On Monday morning, he is to fly to the coastal city of Guayaquil to visit the Shrine of the Divine Mercy. He plans to participate in a Mass at the shrine that is expected to draw more than 1 million people.
Pope Francis’ motorcade has reached Quito and the pontiff has switched to the Popemobile for the final leg of his trip into Ecuador’s capital, where he is being cheered by big crowds.
Francis rode in the back seat of a small Fiat for much of the trip into Quito from the airport. He was greeted along the way by thousands of Ecuadoreans clustered in spots along the highway.
Some Ecuadoreans are using the visit by Pope Francis to show their disapproval of socialist President Rafael Correa’s policies.
The papal motorcade has head shouts of “Correa out!” from some people in the crowds scattered along the highway from the airport into the capital.
Security guards in neon vests were stationed all along the route into Quito.
Pope Francis didn’t include Venezuela and Colombia on this South America visit, but they got a telegram from the pontiffs when his chartered Alitalia Airbus A330 flew through their airspace.
Francis sent greetings Sunday to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Moros and assured him of his affection for the Venezuelan people. The pope wrote that he had asked God to help Venezuelans, in his words, “grow each day in solidarity and peaceful coexistence.”
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos got a similar greeting. Francis said he hoped the Colombian people “grow in the human and spiritual values that characterize them, and that prosperity and peaceful coexistence will also grow.”
During his 13-hour flight to South America, Pope Francis took a break to go back in his plane to greet each of the 75 journalists travelling with the papal entourage on the papal visit to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay.
Francis chatted with each one and accepted a few keepsakes that were offered.
One Bolivian journalist handed him a host of goodies, including drawings from Bolivian children and a few chocolates embossed with his image that were made in Sucre, Bolivia.
“I love children’s drawings!” a pleased Francis told her.
Thousands of Ecuadoreans are waving and cheering to Pope Francis as the pontiff’s motorcade drives him into the country’s capital, Quito.
Crowds are gathered at different points along the motorcade’s route, but stretches of the highway are empty of people.
Francis is starting a nine-visit to his native continent and will be visiting three of its poorest nations — Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay.
The welcoming ceremony for Pope Francis has concluded at the airport outside Ecuador’s capital and the pontiff is beginning the drive into Quito, sitting in the back seat of a car.
Thousands of people are lined up on the motorcade route to cheer the pope, who is beginning a nine-day visit to three South American countries.
Pope Francis is standing bareheaded as he listens to President Rafael Correa of Ecuador speak at the airport because his white papal skullcap blew off in the wind after he stepped out of his plan.
Pope Francis has stepped off the papal plane in Quito, Ecuador and has been received by President Rafael Correa. Francis’ white papal skullcap blew off in the wind after he stepped onto the stairs.
Pope Francis has arrived in Ecuador for a nine-day tour of three South American countries.
Thousands are already lining the motorcade route in Quito that Pope Francis will travel to the Vatican ambassador’s residence where he’ll stay for the first leg of the three-nation trip that ends July 13.
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