World Youth Day is Headed to Panama: Here’s what you need to know

World Youth Day is Headed to Panama: Here’s what you need to know

Oct 21, 2018 | Panama Arts/Culture, Panama News

As we reach the month of November (national holidays), Christmas, and then New Year’s, the end of the year marks a festive, busy time for most people in Panama. This year, the celebrations will carry on right into January with the 2019 World Youth Day (WYD), hosted by Panama and the Catholic Church. The World Youth Day, also known as “JMJ” (Jornada Mundial de la Juventud) in Spanish, will be held between January 22nd and January 27th, with the culmination of the celebration being a visit by the Pope. The WYD events will largely take place in Panama City’s historic center, Casco Viejo, with a number of symposiums and talks occurring off site leading up to the event and during the event itself.

World Youth Day Panama


What is the World Youth Day (in their words)?

“In 1984, over 300,000 young people from around the world responded to the invitation of His Holiness John Paul II for an International Jubilee of youth on Palm Sunday in St. Peter’s square. It was at this gathering that the Holy Father entrusted to the youth what is now known as the World Youth Day Cross, to be carried throughout the world as a symbol of the love of Christ for humanity. The following Palm Sunday, coinciding with the United Nation’s International Year of the Youth, Our Holy Father took the opportunity to welcome the youth of the world to Rome again. Later, announcing the institution of World Youth Day on December 20, 1985, and the first official WYD was held in 1986.

The following year brought about a new tradition when the second event and first international WYD took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Every Palm Sunday has since been designated as a World Youth Day, alternately celebrated at the diocesan and international levels. There have been 12 International World Youth Day celebrations, where the youth continue to answer the invitation of the Holy Father in staggering numbers and carry home the message received there to be Christ’s light to the world. While these events are organized by the clergy and laity of the Catholic Church, youth of all faiths are invited to attend and encounter Christ, making this gathering truly universal.”

What to expect if you live in Panama or are visiting Panama during this time?

Nearly a quarter-million Catholic pilgrims, foreign dignitaries, and event staff are expected to visit Panama during the period of the WYD, as well as the month of January as a whole. To facilitate that this runs smoothly, Panama has laid out many preparations. For starters, all of Casco Viejo will be a controlled entry/exit point, with only a few routes open to traffic, and police checkpoints for pedestrians and cars throughout. Outside of Casco Viejo, many roads will be closed during the event, either specifically during active event hours or for the entirety of the 5 days. This will cause immense traffic for those living in the center of Panama, and create restrictions for both motorists and pedestrians in and around the effective area.

Outside of Panama City, there shouldn’t be much negative effect from the WYD as far as travel and movement restrictions. In fact, with so many people coming to Panama cor the congress, there will certainly be boost in domestic tourism from people who decide to stay longer in Panama. As we’re still about three months out, new details are coming in by the week. We’ll keep you updated as we receive them.

International Relocation Firm Staff Writer

International Relocation Firm Staff Writer

As one of the leading Panama Law Firms, and one of the regions most reliable service providers, International Relocation Firm brings a wide range of professional knowledge to our clients needs. Our staff is made up of professional consultants, Panama attorneys and immigration specialists who are experienced in international relocation, and are experts in providing a seamless Panama immigration process.

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