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Peruvian official grateful for Church aid

Consulate general visits Church offices, tours humanitarian center

Peruvian Consulate General Guido Loayza visited Church headquarters Oct. 26 with a dual purpose. First, Mr. Loayza wanted to offer thanks to the Church for its ongoing assistance to Peruvian earthquake victims. And second, the leader of the consulate's Denver office wanted to learn more about the Church he was thanking.

Both purposes were accomplished, said David Utria, a Peruvian-born member and Utah businessman who escorted Mr. Loayza on his recent visit.

The consulate general met with Elder Claudio R.M. Costa of the Presidency of the Seventy and officials from the Church's Welfare Department during a luncheon at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City.

"(Mr. Loayza) expressed his gratitude for what the Church has done in Peru...he was extremely impressed," Brother Utria said.

Indeed, a steady flow of Church-sponsored relief supplies has flowed into the South American nation following the Aug. 15 magnitude-8 earthquake in southwest Peru. The first wave of humanitarian items was provided by local members and the Lima-based South America West Area in the immediate hours after the disaster. Days later, an air shipment of some 80 tons of food, medicine, surgical supplies, hygiene kits and other needed supplies arrived near the quake-ravaged city of Pisco. A second provision-laden air shipment was sent to Peru on Sept. 29.

Additional supplies have been sent by the Church to Peru via cargo ship.

Mr. Loayza's Salt Lake City visit also included a tour of the LDS Humanitarian Center.

"It was a real eye-opener," Brother Utria said of the tour. "The consulate general had no idea what the Church is doing — not just for its members but for all people."

Mr. Loayza also visited Temple Square.

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