The ‘official’ search for victims has ended in San Miguel Los Lotes , a town devastated when Guatemala’s deadly Fuego volcano erupted earlier this month.
But some determined locals aren’t giving up, like 48-year-old Eufemia Garcia Ixpata, who had told Reuters she would continue to search for some 50 family members lost.
“I’m not going to give up until I have a part of my family and am able to give them a Christian burial. Even if it’s just a few little bones, even if it’s just a piece of cloth”, Garcia said.
I'm not going to give up until I have a part of my family and am able to give them a Christian burial. Even if it's just a few little bones, even if it's just a piece of cloth.
Even now, at the crack of dawn, she leaves the shelter where she’s been living, to go out and dig for dozens of missing relatives.
For Garcia , the search has at times been highly emotional. She found the remains of one of her children. And also found some remains of her mother – a 75-year-old who had decided she could NOT outrun the volcanic flow.
Whenever the alarms ring out warning of more volcanic activity Garcia puts her search through the rubble on hold— and instead visits the morgue or checks local hospitals. She only stops to eat when food is shoved in front of her by aid workers.
And Garcia is not alone in her anguish.
Scores of people remain missing, while hundreds of survivors remain in shelters, wondering what happened to their loved ones when volcanic ash rained down on their home.