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Mexican official tours Church welfare facilities

A Mexican government official visited the Latter-day Saint Humanitarian Center Nov.1, touring the facility with Church welfare directors and offering thanks for the recent Church humanitarian aid in the aftermath of two hurricanes.

Melba Pria, a liaison between the Mexican government and the many Mexican nationals living in the United States, walked through the massive center on Salt Lake City's west side with Garry Flake from the Church's Welfare Department. Members of Utah's Hispanic community, along with the state's Mexican consul, Martin Torres, joined the tour.

During the walk-through, Brother Flake explained the global reach of the Latter-day Saint Humanitarian Center, where relief supplies are collected, sorted, packaged and then shipped to areas of need throughout the world.

"It's been a very enriching and enlightening experience," said Ms. Pria, who also toured public schools in Utah and discussed immigration and education issues with local elected leaders.

"This is a visit that we've been looking forward to because we have a lot of programs [in which] we work together with the [LDS] humanitarian services," said Ms. Pria, who was making her first visit to Utah.

Ms. Pria said visiting the Latter-day Saint Humanitarian Center was a priority because of the facility's work with minorities, including many Mexicans.

"Even those [Mexicans] who are not members are being helped by the Church," she said. "The outreach programs and the [awareness] of what poverty means for the Church is very important."

Ms. Pria added her government is grateful for the help Church members have given to many Mexicans in the aftermath of Hurricanes Isidore and Kenna.

"It has been a difficult season, but it's better than no rain at all," she said.

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