Poverty-stricken Chiapas awaits Pope’s message of peace

TVC E. Final preparations were underway on Sunday (February 14) in the colonial city of San Cristobal de las Casas in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas for Pope Francis' visit, with local residents hopeful that the pontiff's message of peace will reverberate throughout the poverty-stricken state.   On the Pope's Chiapas itinerary on Monday (February 15) is a visit to the city's picturesque cathedral, built during the 16th and 17th century shortly after the Spanish moved into the area. The cathedral won't be the site of the pontiff's mass in Chiapas. He has opted to give mass to indigenous communities at a humble sports centre in the city. Under the surface of San Cristobal's colonial beauty and indigenous Mayan heritage lies stark poverty, with official statistics last year putting the figure at 76.2 percent of the population. Local Catholic, Elvia Luna, told Reuters she hopes Pope Francis' visit will provide some hope for the...