Lander residents attended World Youth Day in Panama

    Submitted by Carol Baron

    Anne, Carol, and Jessica Baron of Lander spent the last two and a half years fundraising and preparing for the long-anticipated sixteenth global gathering called World Youth Day held on January 22-27, 2019.

    Lander has sent groups to this event for over the last twenty years. World Youth Day, is an event where Catholic youth and young adults gather to celebrate their faith.


    World Youth Day was created by Pope John Paul II after large turnouts at the 1984 Jubilee of Young People and the 1985 gathering for the International Year of Youth in Rome. The first World Youth Day was in 1986 in Rome.

    It is celebrated every two to three years with a large international gathering that moves to different continents.

    Attendees spend time visiting the host country, performing community service, visiting dioceses, and participating in festival events.

    There are many chances to attend events with the Pope and to see the Popemobile. Papal Mass is held on the closing Sunday of the event. The turn out for this event was under 700,000 people. Central and South America had a strong presence.


    Young people came from all around the globe including, Australia, South Korea, and Zimbabwe. Panama City was well prepared and organized. There was no concern with bugs nor safety. Meeting and greeting people from all over the world who share a common faith was like no other experience. Youth traded pins, flags and colorful bracelets and items from their countries. We needed a flag for survival in the crowd. Our group, which consisted of students from CO, CA, OH, VA and WY used a Wyoming flag in addition to the American flag to keep our group together and to find our group should we get separated.

    We were able to see the Miraflores Locks and Casco Antiguo, which is the historic district of Panama City. It was completed and settled in 1673. It was built following the near-total destruction of the original Panamá City, in 1671, when the latter was attacked by pirates. Panama’s Independence Day is on November 3. In 1903 Panama declared its independence from Colombia. The bulk of the Panama City skyscraper construction occurred in the historic growth period between 2008 and 2012. Panama ranks #21 in the world for its number of skyscrapers. In the Americas, it ranks fourth with New York, Chicago, and Toronto ahead. Panama is south of the hurricane zone and does not experience major structure issues from earthquakes. At the closing of the event, it was announced that the next World Youth Day is to be held in Lisbon, Portugal in the summer of 2022.

    Any youth or young adults who would like to attend World Youth Day and receive information about ongoing fundraising please contact the area coordinator, Carol Baron: 307-332-5129 or [email protected] Like our Facebook Page: Lander World Youth Day



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