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home : dakota county star top stories : dakota county star top stories
December 16, 2018

South Sioux City man works to help citizens of Peru
Michelle Kuester
Dakota County Star Editor

Rolando Luna emigrated to America 19 years ago, but that doesn't mean he's forgotten his roots.

He came to America to make a better life for his family, but since he has been here, he has worked to send resources back to his home country of Peru to help those in need.

“America is a nice country, a better country” Luna said. “Americans are nice people.”

A few years ago, he helped gather wheelchairs to donate to handicapped residents of Ilo, Peru.

This past year, with the help of Orphan Grain Train–a nonprofit that sends resources to those in need, the Rev. Henry Witte of Concordia Lutheran Church, and city administrator Lance Hedquist, among others, Luna was able to donate 10 tons of clothing and shoes across Peru.

“Peru is too much corruption,” Luna said. “No money.”

Luna is doing his part, and more, to help with that.

He arrived in mid-June 2017 and stayed for several months to distribute the clothes. While he was there, Luna met with the president of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who expressed his appreciation toward Gov. Pete Ricketts, Hedquist, and Orphan Grain Train for their kindness.

Luna also saw the conditions that many Peruvians citizens were living in– homes made of cardboard and plastic.

“It's my motivation,” Luna said.

Now that he has brought wheelchairs, clothing and shoes to Peru, Luna's next mission is to donate ambulances.

He noted that many people live a significant distance from the hospitals without vehicles. Luna plans to ask rescue services for donated trucks that they would consider to be of no use.

“They might not be good here, but they'll work there,” he said.

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