Mexicans Turn To Their Faith As Country Recovers From Earthquake

Relatives and friends of victims attend a catholic mass outside the the Enrique Rebsamen school that collapsed during Tuesday's magnitude 7.1 earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico. 

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. 

A woman talks with a priest two days after the earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico. The earthquake comes 32 years after a magnitude-8.0 earthquake hit on September 19, 1985.
Rosalba Ramirez Vargas, center, with the prayer group 'The Best Friends of Jesus' pray while anxiously waiting for news from rescue crews at Enrique Rebsamen School in Mexico City.
Flowers and a religious image are seen amidst support beams and rubble during the search for students.
At least 25 bodies have been pulled from the wreckage of the school. 
Relatives and friends signed balloons with messages after the mass. 
A boy writes a message for victims during the service.
People write the names of victims and messages for them on balloons. 
A woman is seen reading letters written to remember children who have died during the earthquake. 
Flowers are seen during the mass. 

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.