Millions greet Pope Francis in Ecuador visit

More than million Ecuadorians welcome Pope Francis on his first mass of his trip to South America

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Hundreds of thousands Ecuadorians gathered in Ecuador's biggest city, Guayaquil, on Monday to welcome Pope Francis on his first mass of his trip to South America.

Francis arrived in Ecuador on Sunday for the first part of his three-country trip to Latin America.

After Ecuador, the pope will go to Bolivia and Paraguay, two of the region's smallest and poorest countries.

Officials announced that a million visitors travelled to Guayaquil with hopes to see the pope.

Crowds in Guayaquil welcomed the pope, cheering and taking selfies, showing demonstration of affection.

Many others gathered in Quito on Sunday, the Ecuadorian capital, in front of the Vatican Embassy, where Francis spent his night.

Landing in Quito, Pope Francis thanked God for allowing him to return to Latin America.

After being welcomed by Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, Francis made a speech promising he would work on troubles such as poverty and inequality.

"Progress and development must ensure a better future for all,” he said.

Officials estimated half a million people gathered in the streets of Quito to see him.

According to some people in the crowds, the pope said;

"I am going to give you a blessing so that you go home and rest and let the neighbours get some sleep."

Since becoming pontiff in 2013, this is the pope’s second trip to the region.

The pope had visited Brazil for a youth festival in 2013 to substitute for predecessor Benedict after he resigned, unexpectedly.

His visit in 2013 was estimated to have been attended by 3 million people.

Pope Francis is originally from Argentina, being the first leader of the Roman Catholic Church to come from South America.

The pope is expected to travel to Cuba in September, ahead of a trip to the US.


TRTWorld and agencies