It is the second day of Pope Francis in “their” land, after he landed in the evening of 15 January at the Airport of Santiago, to start a journey that in two weeks will touch base with two South American countries. “I want to look into your eyes, face to face,” he had said before setting out on his journey. About 15,000 volunteers are at work, offering their talents, time and commitment, to provide a fundamental service in the various events that will be held during the first lap in Chile.
“This experience breaks the limits of a task we are entrusted with: in fact, it is the sincere expression of a commitment which will mark our lives forever,” some of them said. “In contrast with the apathy expressed by some of the media, the youths of Chile offer a note of enthusiasm and emotion for the Pope’s arrival,” well expressed by the song composed by Claudio González Carrasco, of the Focolare community in Temuco (southern Chile).
Welcomed by the outgoing President, Michelle Bachelet, the Pope then proceeded towards the Apostolic Nunciature, where he will stay during this first lap. Among the many fundamental moments of the journey in Chile, will be the meeting with Chilean mapuches populations, who are battling to safeguard their own identity, and the Mass of 17 January for the indigenous populations of the region.