This is Mario. He is one of the boys that was detained by the police and is now being sent to Guatemala City. We have his camera, but he only took two photos. He was resistant to the project, though present most of the time. Taking photos of life isn't that fun when life is only hard. I remember talking to the kids the day we told them their assignment was to take photos of things that bring them hope. They mostly looked confused, and as a way to explain the concept, Melanie asked, "What made you smile yesterday?" One of the boys just shrugged, and she said, "You didn't smile yesterday?" in a teasing tone, and he shook his head no.
Honestly, I'm not really sure what you do with loss like this other than to be sad. There is no silver lining here. You can try to find the good, but it feels like we've been digging for it and its just not to be found. Knowing kids are walking into abuse is horrible. It all feels hopeless as we stand by with our hands tied, waiting to hear news.
Thank you to those who have sent emails of encouragement, as well as your prayers. They are received with appreciation and gratitude. Thank you for caring. It has been hard to pick up and keep the project going, and though everything feels heavy, we look for slivers of joy as we continue.