In Pictures: Pope Visits Brazilian Favela

During the fourth day of his first foreign visit, Pope Francis headed to the Varginha favela in Rio de Janeiro.

As NPR's Lourdes Garcia Navarro described it to our Newscast unit, the shantytown was not prettied up for the pope. Its river remained clogged with sewage and dirt, and the houses were still slapped together.

"It's an extremely poor community," Lourdes said. "I think the pope wanted to come here to highlight his very personal message of affinity with the poor."

Francis — the first Latin American pope — will finish his day with a speech in front of thousands at the iconic, and much wealthier, Copacabana beach.

The story, we think, is best told in pictures. So we'll leave you with a slideshow:

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    Pope Francis speaks to youths at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro on Thursday. He urged them not to despair as he addressed Brazil's political problems in the wake of massive protests. The pope is in Brazil for his first foreign trip since he became leader of the Catholic Church.
    Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty Images
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    Francis waves to the crowd while riding in the Popemobile as he tours the Varghina favela in Rio de Janeiro.
    Mario Tama/Getty Images
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    Pilgrims from Argentina watch as Francis speaks in the Varghina favela. More than 1.5 million pilgrims are expected to join the pope during his visit for World Youth Day celebrations.
    Mario Tama/Getty Images
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    Francis walks through the Varginha favela. The community of 1,000 people was under the sway of narcotraffickers until it came under police control less than a year ago.
    Tasso Marcelo/AFP/Getty Images
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    The pope blesses a child in the favela.
    Antonio Lacerda/EPA /LANDOV
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    Thousands of young people gather at Rio de Janeiro's iconic Copacabana beachfront to welcome Pope Francis to World Youth Day ceremonies. On the fourth day of his visit to Brazil, Francis waded into the country's ramshackle slums and onto the national battle over poverty and corruption.
    Christophe Simon /AFP/Getty Images

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