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Hello, Trujillo — a new friend

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Say "Trujillo, Peru," and some will tell you there's no way to get there from here. But Jorge Arce-Larreta knows the way. He's from Trujillo and lives in Salt Lake City. Now he has linked the two. Trujillo is Salt Lake's newest "Friendship City." Eventually, the place may become one of Salt Lake's "Sister Cities."

The new hands-across-the-Andes relationship is expected to trigger fresh business ventures and provide many cultural exchanges. Academic, spiritual and political endeavors will also likely develop.

We applaud Salt Lake City and Trujillo for linking up. With many of Utah's residents arriving from Latin American countries now, and with Peru trying to elevate its economy, the move showed sensitivity and insight. With some vision and hustle, the relationship will help people from both towns.

Salt Lake City and Trujillo do make an intriguing match. Trujillo is known as "The City of Eternal Spring." Salt Lake City, on the other hand, can get colder than a well-digger's knee. Trujillo is a coastal city, Salt Lake City is inland and desert dry. Trujillo boasts an ancient, regal heritage. Salt Lake City is a modern phenomenon poised for the future.

Where the two may well tend to blend is in personality. Peruvians often have a down-to-earth, no-nonsense nature that sits well with Utahns. They tend to be more stoic and measured than other Latin Americans. Such qualities should jell with the understated, western sensibilities of Salt Lakers.

The bonus for taxpayers, of course, is the whole friendship city program is manned by volunteers — true believers willing to contribute their own time, talents, money and sweat to make the relationship work. The coffers of public funds will only be out $5,000. And given the going rate for cities today, it's a bargain.

Trujillo isn't Salt Lake's first friendship city. Utah's capital has three others, as well as several international "sisters." But getting Trujillo on board may help to ease some of Salt Lake City's changes. As Utahns begin to grapple with the game of soccer, grasp more words in Spanish and listen more closely to rhythms that have little to do with the waltz, having a good friend like Trujillo will be an asset, just as Trujillo will be able to benefit from the wonders found in the City of the Great Salt Lake.