2,300 young people from Germany will be travelling to Panama to participate in World Youth Day from 22 to 27 January next year, the German Bishops’ Conference (DBK) announced in a statement today. WYD is “directly connected, from a thematic point of view, to the October Synod on Young People and the issue of vocation”, which is not something only for priests and religious: “every person, every baptised person, can and should follow his/her unique and irreplaceable way of life, a path in the presence of and with God”, said Bishop Stefan Oster (Passau), president of the Youth Commission of the DBK. For this reason, a religious man and religious woman will be accompanying the youth and will be available to those wishing to exchange views. Before WYD, the German pilgrims will be staying in local communities in Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico or El Salvador. They will be easily recognisable by their traditional Panamanian hat “La Pintada”: a special edition was produced by Adveniat in Latin America. The journey of the German youth will also focus on the social dimension. “If you really want to know Panama, you need to look beyond the glittering facades of skyscrapers and banks in Punta Paitilla and visit the slums, where indigenous and black people live”, said Stephan Jentgens, head of Adveniat in Latin America. 600 young people will meet disadvantaged young people and will visit concrete projects.