PANAMA CITY -- Pope Francis has arrived in Panama amid a political crisis in nearby Venezuela, a migration standoff over the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall and tens of thousands of wildly excited young Central Americans welcoming him.
As Francis opens his first full day Thursday, all eyes will be on whether he refers to the upheaval in Venezuela when he addresses Panama's president and later the region's bishops.
Francis rounds out the day with his evening welcome to tens of thousands of young Catholics gathered for World Youth Day, the church's big youth rally.
His visit is taking place against the backdrop of a new migrant caravan heading to the U.S.-Mexico border. The plight of migrants is particularly close to Francis' heart and is expected to feature into his remarks while in Panama.