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Off to Rio! Young people arrive in Brazil for WYD2013

(Vatican Radio) Young people from around the world are descending on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to celebrate World Youth Day with Pope Francis next week. The July 23-28 festivities will include masses with Pope Francis, a Via Crucis and a youth prayer vigil.

The official WYDRio website ( reports that, to meet the influx of tens of thousands of young people, four Brazilian airports have added an average increase of 58% in the number of employees in order to meet the additional demand. About 700,000 people are expected to flood into Brazil over a ten day period.

The Civil Aviation authority, the site reports, has enacted a special aviation plan through August 4th. It includes the preparation of 17 alternative airports, to be used in case of emergency, in addition to 1,153 additional places for parking of aircraft at 30 airports nationwide. The forecast for airlines is that WYD Rio2013 will bring about a significant increase in the number of passengers in the airports of Rio de Janeiro.

One of those who will be flying into Brazil for WYD celebrations is Sarah Beatty from Crosby, Liverpool (U.K.). She’s a veteran of WYD events, having participated in Sydney, Australia (2008) and Madrid, Spain’s (2011) festivities. She says she’s raised money for her trip through parish fundraising, car washes, bake sales and bike pilgrimages.

She spoke to Tracey McClure about her hopes and expectations for WYDRio2013. Listen to the interview: