Catholic agencies are beginning to build temporary shelters for thousands of families in Ecuador made homeless by the South American country's worst natural disaster in nearly seven decades.
About 1,000 people a month cross the border from Colombia into Ecuador, seeking refuge from armed violence.
"Those who choose the path of service ... are always at others' service. Not a moment belongs to them," the pope told a gathering of clergy in Ecuador.
Pope Francis told Catholic students and educators that care for the environment is a God-given mission. "God does not only give us life: he gives us the earth."
Pope Francis tied together the Christian proclamation of faith with Ecuadoreans' centurieslong struggle to stop exploitation of their resources and their very selves.
Pope Francis told more than a million people gathered at a park in Ecuador that despite economic hardships across the region, things can and will improve.
Francis told crowds at Quito's airport that he wanted to reach out to all in the country during his visit and was "filled with excitement and hope."
QUITO, Ecuador -- Many Ecuadorians are hoping Pope Francis will address political and environmental issues and push the church toward greater participation.
Late Thursday, members of the Global Alliance for Rights of Nature left Otavalo and boarded two buses headed to Quito for the summit’s final event – the historic opening of the World Tribunal on Rights of Nature.