Pope Francis has appealed for generosity toward Cuban migrants "who find themselves in difficulty in Central America."
The pope said following his traditional Angelus blessing Sunday that many of the Cubans are victims of human trafficking, and called on the region's governments to find a solution to the "human drama."
Thousands of Cubans had been migrating through Central America in fear that the year-old warming in U.S.-Cuban relations could end Cubans' special immigration privileges in the United States.
Some 8,000 Cubans have been stranded in Costa Rica since mid-November when Nicaragua began rejecting Cubans from crossing its territory. Costa Rica stopped giving Cubans travel visas last week.
Francis lingered after the Angelus to listen to a youth choir sing Christmas carols.