A "well built home" are three sweet words for Maurtua. On Aug. 15, 2007, a massive magnitude 8.0 quake struck her city of Pisco and other regions of western Peru. Hundreds were killed and thousands more lost their homes.
"When the earthquake started, I crawled under a table with my grandchildren," she remembered. "The ground was moving so violently that we were knocking our heads against the bottom of the table."
When the earth finally settled, Maurtua found herself among Peru's new homeless.
Two and a half years later, the horrifying images of the adobe walls of her family home collapse about her remain vivid. Such memories, she said, have left her forever grateful to be living under a strong roof, surrounded by reinforced brick walls secured to a sturdy foundation.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began delivering assistance to the quake victims in the immediate hours following the quake. Days later, tons of food, water and other provisions flown in from Salt Lake City sustained church members and many other victims. In the weeks that followed, hundreds of families sought refuge in tent cities that sprung up around LDS meetinghouses in affected areas.