The Pope will be arriving in Ecuador in less than a week and the excitement is almost tangible. It seems like everyone in Ecuador is talking about the visit especially about which days they will have off of work! The Pope will be visiting Ecuador’s largest city of Guayaquil and then spending two days in Quito where he’ll give mass at the old airport, now called Bicentennial Park.
I too am excited to watch the flurry caused by Pope Francisco’s visit although I’ve been told to expect internet outages… Yuck! One phenomenon that has really gripped me has been the onslaught of songs welcoming the Pope to Ecuador. Every night the local news broadcasts a new artist performing another take on what is quickly becoming an old classic, “Bienvenido Papa Francisco.”[youtube https://youtu.be/qLkC8Geb5Rc ]
Another interesting occurrence has been the use of Pope Francisco’s visit by the Ecuadorian government to promote their political agenda. Television advertisements featuring the Pope often appear next to quoted phrases about social equality. One example being used in ads is the phrase “Debe exigirse la redistribución de la riqueza” or “The redistribution of wealth should be required.” This phrase echoes the government’s current political battle in raising taxes on inheritance and real estate sales.
I prefer this government promotion welcoming Pope Fransisco to “the country that loves life!”