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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis will start a busy trip to three Latin American countries on Sunday

Starting on Sunday, Pope Francis will leave Rome for an eight day whirlwind tour of Latin America. He'll travel by plane seven times and visit five cities in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Paraguay. It's a very personal trip for the Pope.

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI

"He wanted to visit these three countries that aren't considered very important when evaluated with geopolitical criteria.�

The trip will start in Ecuador. The Pope will arrive in Quito in the middle of the afternoon on July 5th. There, he'll meet President Rafael Correa and will visit a senior center.

In Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador, Pope Francis will celebrate a Mass for Latin American families.

On Tuesday, July 8th, he will fly to Bolivia and land at the highest altitude airport in the world. It's located near La Paz, at an elevation of more than 13,000 feet. The Pope will only spend four hours there to avoid altitude sickness.

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI

"He has decided to stop in El Alto and La Paz. He does so with complete calmness of mind, with the conviction to face this effort.�

Afterward, he'll head to Santa Cruz, where a meeting with popular movements will take place. The Pope will also visit a prison in Palmasola.

On Friday the 10th, he heads to Paraguay. He will only visit Asunción, although he will celebrate Mass at the Sanctuary of Caacupé, which is about 25 miles from the city. He will then visit  Bañado Norte, where about 100,000 people live. Before returning to Rome, the Pope will make a final stop at the place where a fire killed almost 400 people in 2004.

JMB/ATO

MG

SV

-PR

Up: RMR