SAN JOSE LAS FLORES, Guatemala — A 15-year-old Guatemalan migrant was buried in his hometown Saturday, nearly a month after he became a symbol of the perils facing unaccompanied children who have been flooding illegally into the U.S.
Residents of Gilberto Francisco Ramos Juarez’s mountain hometown of San Jose de las Flores filled the house where he grew up to pay respects to the boy. He lay in a gray and silver coffin beside an altar filled with highland flowers and candles.
A monja blanca orchid was placed on the front door in a sign of mourning. Women prayed inside the house while men waited outside to carry Ramos Juarez’s body to the mountaintop cemetery overlooking his village.
The boy’s father Francisco Ramos says that “only sadness will remain.”