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The Panamanians who stopped the Popemobile twice in four days

2016-03-27

They crossed the Atlantic, from Panama to Rome, and made sure not to forget their scarves, flags and banners to show off their homeland in the Vatican.

These six Panamanians, along with 3,000 other university students, participated in the Univ Forum with the slogan, "The footprint of the family.” 

MEYBIS BARRIOS
"The Congress gives us the opportunity to join other girls around the world and share what we feel and all the values that we have. We can take full advantage of this and hand everything over to God."

Through the Univ Forum, they went to Saint Peter's Square twice: once for a Mass on Sunday and then for Wednesday's Papal Audience. The two days that Francis stopped the Popemobile near them, he made a gesture left to their interpretation. 

MEYBIS BARRIOS
"On Sunday the Pope greeted us, he stood in front of the Panama flag. He read our banner that we made, but we still do not fully understand what the Pope wanted to tell us. Today we saw him and he stood in front of Panama once again. We do not know what it means. Perhaps the Pope will go to Panama next year! We do not know, but we're very happy and very excited. If he comes to Panama, he will be welcomed with open arms. "

Their journey to the heart of the Catholic Church has taken them weeks of work and preparation. As a result, their efforts to get to know the Vatican have been fully repaid.

MEYBIS BARRIOS
"Each week we have been preparing spiritually to know how Rome truly is, and we have also raised funds. We had to seek sponsorship, move and sell things to come. We are very happy for having achieved it."

They have not come alone. They brought their Panamanian joy to Rome with a tamborito, a traditional song and dance they played very loudly in Saint Peter's Square. 

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