Panama had asked its neighbor countries to welcome youth for the pre-papal events. After an initial yes, Nicaragua finds itself too unsafe for young guests
A now traditional lead-up to World Youth Day are the “Days in the Diocese,” where young pilgrims spend time with local host families or parishes before the events of World Youth Day begin.
Panama is set to host World Youth Day in January and had reached out to its neighbors, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, for help with Days in the Diocese.
After an initial yes, Nicaragua has now withdrawn its offer to host pilgrims, as the political unrest and growing number of deaths has made the country too unsafe for Youth Day guests.
Nevertheless, the Archdiocese of Panama assured that both Costa Rica and Panama itself “are preparing to receive and share” with the pilgrims. These preparatory days are a “wealth that mark in a special way the life of a young person.”
Participants in Days in the Diocese will be distributed among 16 dioceses, eight in each country. Eight of the nine Nicaraguan dioceses had originally proposed to receive the faithful as well.
The Days in the Diocese will begin around January 14. Would Youth Day begins January 22, with Pope Francis arriving on the 23rd. The Sovereign Pontiff will close the Days on January 27 with the final Mass.