Mexico’s President Visits LDS Colony

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“Mexico’s President Visits LDS Colony,” Ensign, Feb. 1990, 78–79

Mexico’s President Visits LDS Colony

“I am very happy to have fellow patriots like you,” the president of Mexico told Latter-day Saints in Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, as he visited with them in November.

Church members who met with President Carlos Salinas de Gortari were as impressed with his graciousness and warmth as he was with them. His November 11 visit had no official purpose other than to provide a chance for the president to meet “los Mormones.” He came at the invitation of Fernando Baeza, governor of the state of Chihuahua and a friend of the LDS community in Mexico.

President Salinas enjoyed a relaxed dinner with citizens of Colonia Juarez, along with civic leaders from nearby Casas Grandes, in the gymnasium of the Church-owned Juarez Academy. The president took note that everything for the dinner was locally produced and prepared, and asked for some of the homemade candy and rolls to take home with him.

Following the dinner, he lingered in the gym to look over Relief Society displays and exhibits of local products. Stake Relief Society president Celia Ortiz Loera presented the president with a handmade quilt, explaining that it was typical of Mormon handicrafts. Before President Salinas departed by helicopter, David Memmott, president of the Juarez Academy student body, presented him with an LDS triple combination bearing his name, and other student leaders gave him copies of A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, The History of the Mormon Colonies in Mexico, and the videotape Our Heavenly Father’s Plan.

“We appreciate your dedication, honesty, sobriety, and respect for the law,” President Salinas told Colonia Juarez residents in brief remarks. “You have contributed to the elevation of the welfare of the regions where you live together, work, and labor intensely, and with this you also elevate the level of our nation.”

Through agricultural innovation and industry, Latter-day Saints have been influential in making the area well known for its farm products.

Many of the Latter-day Saints in Colonia Juarez are fourth- and fifth-generation descendants of Church members who immigrated to Mexico more than one hundred years ago and built several colonies in the area.

President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, at microphone, enjoyed a leisurely, informal visit in Colonia Juarez.