“In this land whose history has been marred by exploitation, greed and so many forms of selfishness and sectarianism, now is the time for integration”. On arriving in La Paz, in Bolivia, the second stop on his visit in Latin America, the Pontiff immediately addressed one of his most beloved themes: the search for unity among all peoples, examining – through the lens of Laudato Si' – the preamble of this plurinational State's constitution. Here, indigenous people are in the majority. According to recent statistics they make up 53% of the population: 30 % are Quechua, and Aymara accounts for the remaining 25%.
After the 3-hour flight, the Pope arrived at El Alto Airport. After greeting several children in traditional dress, he held their hands as we walked to the podium while anthems were played and the delegations presented. Responding to President Morales' greeting, the Pope delivered his first address on Bolivian soil. At the end of the ceremony, the Pope imparted a blessing and greeted the people in the local language, “Jallalla Bolivia!”.
St. Peter’s Square
April 26, 2019
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