Church Leaders’ Visit Strengthens Volcano Survivors in Guatemala

Contributed By Marianne Holman Prescott, Church News staff writer

  • 6 September 2018

Sister Reyna I. Aburto, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, and Sister Lisa L. Harkness, First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, were in Escuintla, Guatemala, Wednesday, August 29, 2018, to visit with volcano survivors. Sister Aburto listens to Ignacio López, a member of the Church who was displaced.

Article Highlights

  • Church leaders offered comfort and aid to victims of the June 3 volcano eruption.

During a visit to Guatemala on August 29, Sister Reyna I. Aburto, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, and Sister Lisa L. Harkness, First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, met with survivors of the devastating Fuego volcano eruption that occurred on June 3.

The duo—who were traveling in Central America from August 24 through September 4—have been interacting with members, Church leaders, and local organizations to offer comfort and provide aid on behalf of the Church, according to a Newsroom release.

On August 29, the two women greeted victims of the volcano as they walked around a community of temporary housing in Finca la Industria, Escuintla.

Sister Lisa L. Harkness, First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, hugs a girl who is living in temporary housing in Escuintla, Guatemala, Wednesday, August 29, 2018.

Sister Reyna I. Aburto, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, comforts a volcano survivor in Escuintla, Guatemala, Wednesday, August 29, 2018.

The community of wooden structures was built with funds from the Church’s Humanitarian Aid Fund and serves as a refuge for those who were impacted by the natural disaster.

Other displaced members have been living in a local Church building that serves as temporary housing as well as a rehabilitation clinic for survivors.

Also on their itinerary was a visit to the Children’s Hospital of Infectious Diseases and Rehabilitation, where Sisters Aburto and Harkness met with local doctors and patients and presented a donation of medical equipment on behalf of the Church.

The pair will also go to El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Panama during their visit to the Central America area, where they will train Church leaders and participate in devotionals with members.

Sister Reyna I. Aburto, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, gives a hug to a Church member who is living in temporary housing following a volcano eruption in Guatemala, Wednesday, August 29, 2018.

Sister Lisa L. Harkness of the Primary General Presidency talks to a member of the Church displaced by a volcano eruption in Escuintla, Guatemala, Wednesday, August 29, 2018.

Temporary housing for volcano victims in Guatemala.

Temporary homes for volcano survivors have been built in Finca la Industria, Escuintla, with funds from the Church’s Humanitarian Aid Fund.

Sister Reyna I. Aburto of the Relief Society General Presidency, right, and Sister Lisa L. Harkness of the Primary General Presidency talk to a member of the Church displaced by a volcano eruption in Escuintla, Guatemala, Wednesday, August 29, 2018.

Sister Reyna I. Aburto, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, and Sister Lisa L. Harkness, First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, were in Escuintla, Guatemala, Wednesday, August 29, 2018, to visit with volcano survivors. Sister Aburto listens to Ignacio López, a member of the Church who was displaced.

Dr. Natalia Barrientos of the Children’s Hospital of Infectious Diseases and Rehabilitation in Guatemala shows Sister Lisa L. Harkness medical equipment donated by the Church, Wednesday, August 29, 2018.

Sister Reyna I. Aburto, second from the left, and Sister Lisa L. Harkness, second from the right, talk with medical personnel at the Children’s Hospital of Infectious Diseases and Rehabilitation, where they presented a donation of medical equipment on behalf of the Church, Wednesday, August 29, 2018.

Sister Lisa L. Harkness of the Primary General Presidency, right, greets a patient during a visit to the Children’s Hospital of Infectious Diseases and Rehabilitation in Guatemala, Wednesday, August 29, 2018.