There was plenty of excitement to welcome Pope Francis to a gathering with Mexican workers and entrepreneurs in the border city of Ciudad Juarez.
Before giving his own address, the Pope heard the testimonies of a few businessmen and women.
"We want to highlight that along the border, the economic situation and the demands of the jobs we carry out, are becoming more and more challenging. This makes it even harder to spend time with our families and to truly care for our children.”
"One out of every two Mexicans live in poverty. Six out of every ten workers are working with no benefits. Meaning, no social security of medical insurance.”
The Pope reminded the workers and entrepreneurs that their mission is not at odds with those of the youth. He called on them to reach out to younger generations and offer employment. This alone, he said, will help counteract drug trafficking.
"God will hold us accountable for the slaves of our day, and we must do everything to make sure that these situations do not happen again. The flow of capital cannot decide the flow and life of people. What kind of Mexico do you want to leave your children? Do you want to leave them the memory of exploitation, of insufficient pay, of workplace harassment? Or do you want to leave them a culture which recalls dignified work, a proper roof, and land to be worked?”.
When it comes to negotiations, the Pope said things are never easy. But he offered some tips from his own personal experience.
"I remember the words an elderly and very honest worker, once told me. He died with what he had earned, never taking advantage of anyone. He said, 'Everytime I had to sit down and negotiate with someone, I knew I had to lose something in order for everyone to gain something'. What a beautiful philosophy he had. When it's time to negotiate, someone always loses something, but everyone wins.”
The Pope's words and his visit were well received by the crowd. There was plenty of applause and a few cheers along the way.