Church Sends Humanitarian Aid to Chiapas, Mexico, Earthquake Survivors

  • 19 September 2017

Elder Paul B. Pieper, Mexico Area President, visited food distribution points and met with government and local Church leaders, as well as families affected by the earthquake, to show his support and concern, Thursday, September 14, 2017.

“The earthquake gives an opportunity to not only rebuild the city but also to rebuild souls.” —Elder Paul B. Pieper, Mexico Area President

The Church is distributing food, tents, hygiene kits, and other relief supplies to earthquake victims in Mexico who were impacted by the 8.2 magnitude quake in the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas in southern Mexico on September 7. More than 2 million people were affected. The greatest impact was felt in the city of Juchitán.       

More than 90 people were killed in the earthquake, including three Church members. Food shortages are reported, and hundreds of people are without shelter.

Thursday, September 14, Elder Paul B. Pieper, Mexico Area President, visited food distribution points and met with government and local Church leaders, as well as families affected by the earthquake, to give support.  

“The earthquake gives an opportunity to not only rebuild the city but also to rebuild souls,” said Elder Pieper.

Ivette Morán Rodríguez de Murat, president of Oaxaca’s System for the Integral Development of the Family, thanked Elder Pieper for the Church’s donations. “There is much to do in Oaxaca. We must work together in heartfelt solidarity, and we are grateful not to be alone,” she said.

Elder Paul B. Pieper, Mexico Area President, visits with Ivette Morán Rodríguez de Murat, president of Oaxaca’s System for the Integral Development of the Family, September 14, 2017.

Latter-day Saints have sent 10,000 boxes of food, 300 tents, and 5,000 hygiene kits to Oaxaca. Another 5,000 food boxes have been shipped to the state of Chiapas.

Thousands of homes were damaged, including the homes of 284 Latter-day Saint families. The earthquake also impacted 26 Latter-day Saint meetinghouses. Four LDS meetinghouses have been used to provide shelter.

Jorge Toledo said his family was sleeping when the earthquake hit. “We barely managed to get out,” said Toledo. “We lost everything.”

Elder Pieper encouraged the members to “make sure this natural disaster is not a spiritual disaster; make sure it is a spiritual blessing.”

The Church issued a statement on September 7 following the earthquake. Two missions of the Church were directly impacted, the Mexico Tuxtla Gutierrez and Mexico Oaxaca Missions. All missionaries are safe.

In other news from Mexico, assistance is being provided to those impacted by two other natural disasters.

The Church donated 4,500 boxes of food and 2,500 hygiene kits following Tropical Storm Lidia, which heavily damaged the Baja California Peninsula, leaving four dead and several missing.

Local leaders are also responding to the needs of families affected by Hurricane Katia, which recently struck the northern part of Veracruz and several states in central Mexico.

Elder Paul B. Pieper, Mexico Area President, surveys the damage from a recent earthquake, September 14, 2017.

Thursday, September 14, 2017, Elder Paul B. Pieper, Mexico Area President, visited food distribution points and met with government and local Church leaders, as well as families affected by the earthquake, to show his support and concern.

Elder Paul B. Pieper, Mexico Area President, prays with a family whose home was damaged in an earthquake, September 14, 2017.

Elder Paul B. Pieper, Mexico Area President, visits with a family who lost their home in an earthquake, September 14, 2017.