POSTED: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - 6:01pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - 6:05pm
EL PASO – As Pope Benedict is set to visit Mexico this weekend, people in Mexico, and those with close ties to the country are hopeful that the pontiff's visit will usher in peace, and signal the beginning of the end to the violence in the country.
Hopeful: that's the sentiment of many students at Cathedral High School, before Pope Benedict visits Mexico this weekend.
"I think it's important that he's coming, because the people of Mexico really need that faith right now,” said Daniel Pedroza, a student at Cathedral High School.
"The appearance of the pope in Mexico is going to have a great impact not only on the people of Mexico City, but the entire Mexico,” said Daniel Alvarado.
The country has seen so much bloodshed in recent years; thousands have lost their lives as rival drug cartels battle over turf.
The violence has had an impact on this side of the border, too; so many in El Paso have ties to Juarez, Mexico.
"[In] Juarez, you never know...it's being in the wrong place at the wrong time but we have...a majority of our students in Juarez, so we're real connected to it,” said Carlos Gomez.
Connected, and determined to make a difference. Today, the student group, "Hope without Borders" held a blood drive at Cathedral High School, to bring awareness to the violence in Juarez.
As the pope is set to visit Mexico this week, a purported drug cartel leader has promised to stop the violence during the pontiff's visit.
Students said they aren't sure what to think about that promise, but said they hope the pope's visit will make a difference.
“I really don't know what they're thinking, but I really do hope that they...respect that a great man, a great figure of the catholic church came to see us, to help us in this great time of need,” said James Steinhauser.
Pope Benedict is expected to arrive in Guanajuato, Mexico this Friday. He will also visit the city of Leon, before leaving for Cuba on Monday.