Coral Gables Youth Group Traveling to Cuba for Pope's Visit - NBC 6 South Florida
2015 Papal Visit

2015 Papal Visit

Pope Francis' First U.S. Visit, Sept. 22-27

Coral Gables Youth Group Traveling to Cuba for Pope's Visit

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    A youth group in Coral Gables will soon travel to Cuba for the Pope's visit. (Published Monday, Sept. 14, 2015)

    Local groups in Miami are getting ready for the Pope's visit to Cuba, and that includes a youth group in Coral Gables.

    The younger generation at Roots of Hope will make the 90 mile trip this Friday. They hope the Pope's visit will continue to ease the relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

    Felice Gorordo is one of the 189 people making the holy pilgrimage from Miami to Cuba. He's focused on the Pope's connection to the youth on the island.

    "I think the Pope is going to send a message, especially to them that this is a very special time in Cuba's history and they need to make the most of it," Gorordo said.

    He co-founded the nonprofit, Roots of Hope. Their goal is to empower Cuban youth and make sure the younger generation's voice is heard.

    "They truly need to be the authors of their own futures and this is an opportunity for them to take their life by the reigns and do just that," Gorordo expressed.

    Gorordo has traveled to Cuba quite frequently, but this time is different, "This is a very special trip for me. I'm going back for my 12th time to Cuba, but for the first time with my mom who hasn't been back in 46 years."

    Gorordo's mother has late stage pancreatic cancer and he knows this will be an emotional visit for both of them. They leave on Friday and are traveling with other young adults through the Archdiocese of Miami. They are hoping to meet the Pope after he gives mass in Havana on Sunday.

    "I think Pope Francis' message of hope and reconciliation is a very relevant one in Cuba right now. In the special time of transition and transformation that Cuba is undergoing right now," Gorordo said.

    After more than 50 years of tension, Pope Francis has been an integral part of normalizing the relations between the United States and Cuba. The focus of his visit will mostly be on youth and families.

    Pope Francis is also scheduled to visit Philadelphia, New York and Washington, where he is expected to meet with President Obama.

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