Days after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit central Mexico, residents are in part turning to prayer and spirituality to cope with the devastation.
Theearthquake, which hit on Tuesday, severely crippled Mexico City, and has caused major damage in nearby states. About 286 people were reported dead as of Friday, theAP reports,with more than half of those deaths occurring in in the country’s capital city.
Rescue workers werestill attempting to find survivorsin the rubble of collapsed buildings on Friday.
In a countrywhere about 81 percent of the population identifies as Catholic,some survivors of the earthquake have been turning to their religion for comfort as they bury the dead.
In southern Mexico City, 19 children and six adults died after the collapse of the Enrique Rebsámen school building. Eleven children were successfully rescued from the rubble as of Thursday,the AP reports.
Relatives, friends, and rescue workers gathered near the school Thursday evening to participate in a large, outdoor Catholic Mass to remember victims. The priest spoke the names of the dead, and attendees released white balloons with messages for the deceased.
“My brave princess,” one balloon read, “we will always love you.”
Scroll down for images of faith in action in Mexico, andclick here for suggestions of how to help.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.