EL PASO, TX (KTRK) --On Wednesday, Pope Francis visits Ciudad Juarez in Mexico and excitement is building across the border in El Paso.
"It's palpable.. you can feel it.. you can see it," said George Salom Jr.
Pope Francis will visit a prison and celebrate Mass in Ciudad Juarez. You can see the stage where the pope will deliver the mass from the United States.
Ciudad Juarez and El Paso are both preparing for thousands of visitors who will want to see the mass in person.
"This is a once in a lifetime for a lot of us," said El Paso resident, Linda Munoz.
This is the first time a pope has ever visited the borderland. As a safety precaution, El Paso plans to shut down several streets near the location where the mass will be held.
"Probably one of the most historic events in 500 years for this region," said George Salom Jr.
Residents in El Paso who cannot cross into Ciudad Juarez can watch the mass at University of Texas El Paso's Sun Bowl stadium. Sun Bowl mass tickets are about $15 plus fees. Officials say about 50-thousand people are expected to watch the mass inside the stadium.
We found one woman who flew to El Paso all the way from Chicago. She still has family in the city and told us, she was a little nervous about making the trip since her uncle was murdered in Ciudad Juarez last December.
"Anything can happen just to anybody," said Nancy Herrera. "In the past, I thought it only happens to the people involved, but when something happens to someone you're close with, then you realize not everybody is involved."
Ciudad Juarez has suffered some of the worst violence in the government's crackdown on drug cartels. While the violence has decreased in the last few years, residents hope the pope's visit will lead to an enduring calm.