The Latest: Corn, Squash and Coconuts Adorn Papal Altar

Here are the latest developments from Pope Francis' trip to South America:

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10:20 a.m.

Pope Francis is celebrating the last Mass of his three-nation South America tour on a very special altar.

It was made in honor of Paraguay's native Guarani and out of respect for Mother Earth. It is composed of 40,000 ears of corn, 200,000 coconuts and adorned with 1,000 squash gourds.

The altar was created by the artist Koki Ruiz, who also included an image of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of the natural world and the pope's namesake.

Also pictured is St. Ignacio de Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order the pontiff belongs to.

Ruiz told The Associated Press last week that the corn, coconut and squash are subsistence products of Paraguay's native peoples.

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9:44 a.m.

Hundreds of thousands have gathered on a huge swampy field called Nu Guazu (Nyew Gwa-ZOO) inside a military base awaiting the arrival of Pope Francis.

Among them is Argentina's president, Cristina Fernandez. She's seated with Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes.

At this very spot, Pope John Paull II in 1988 canonized Paraguay's first saint — Roque Gonzalez de Santa Cruz. The Jesuit priest was a missionary to the Guarani people.

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9:10 a.m.

Pope Francis has told the people of the flood-prone Asuncion slum he visited this morning that he couldn't have left Paraguay without visiting their land.

Many of the 15,000 families living in the poor neighborhood on the shore of the Paraguay river are squatters, refugees from the rural northeast where Brazilians and multinationals are increasingly buying up farmland for the production of soy and other crops

The residents want land titles and many wonder how they'll be affected when a planned highway is built alongside the river.

Said one, Maria Garcia: "We built our neighborhoods piece by piece, we made them livable despite the difficulties of the terrain, the rising of the river and despite public authorities who either ignored us or were hostile to us."

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8:30 a.m.

Among those waiting for the pope in Banado Norte at the St. John the Baptist chapel was 82-year-old widow Francisca de Chamorro. Her rudimentary wooden home sits right behind it.

"Now I can die in peace," she said.

Chamorro said that if the pope had visited this time last year he'd be wading through floodwater.

People waited for the pope on a soccer pitch. The church had asked people not to hang banners, but big placards were on display demanding land titles.

The locals want title to the land they live on so that when a highway is built along the river they will be compensated if they have to leave.

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8:10 a.m.

Pope Francis begins the last day of a weeklong South American tour on Sunday with a stop in an Asuncion slum that borders the Paraguay river that frequently floods it and makes its dirt roads impassable pools of mud.

The barrio's name is Banado (Ban-YA-doh) Norte. Banado means "bathed." About 15,000 families live there.

One in four Paraguayans live under the poverty line and the U.N. ranks the country in the world's top fifth in income inequality.

The pope has spent much of the past week railing about the injustices of the global capitalist system, demanding a new economic model in which the Earth's resources are distributed equally among all.

In Banado Norte, people live in shacks of plywood and corrugated metal. Pigs rummage through garbage for leftovers.

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