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World Youth Day preparations in Brazil have begun



(17 July, 2013) As hundreds of thousands of young Catholic pilgrims descend on Brazil for the upcoming World Youth Day, (WYD), coordinators in Rio de Janeiro are putting the finishing touches on preparations for up to 2.5 million people. By July 15, more than 320,000 people had registered for the event scheduled for July 22-29. Media coordinator Carol Castro said many pilgrims will register when they arrive, and many will participate in the events without being registered.
The countries with the greatest numbers of pilgrims registered are Brazil, Argentina and the United States, but young people are coming from as far away as the Philippines and Slovakia. More than 8,400 priests from all over the globe requested credentials for the event. Approximately 5,500 journalists have been given credentials to cover Pope Francis' first international trip. Castro said 55 percent of registered pilgrims are women and 60 percent of those coming are ages 19-34.
About 300,000 beds were made available in family homes, sports centers and schools in Rio. Officials said more than 270 locations are available for catechetical session in 26 languages, including Polish, Latvian, Mandarin and Flemish. They said 60,000 volunteers, of whom 7,000 are foreigners, will be on hand during the week to help and direct pilgrims to the events in Rio. Nearly 800 singers, dancers, actors and musicians will be participating in the main events.




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