The Lonely Work of Performing Funerals in Lima, Peru (13 photos)

Brother Ronald Marin, age 30, left his home in Venezuela in 2018, and moved to Peru for health reasons. Formerly a teacher, he found work at a Catholic church, and was soon asked to help comfort mourning families nearby. Marin later took vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, becoming a lay worker for the Church. As the current pandemic grew, Catholic churches in Peru began closing their doors and restricting services to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. Some of the devout, like Marin, continued to work with members of the community, administering funerals, comforting families, praying with the sick, and more. Rodrigo Abd, a photojournalist with the Associated Press, recently spent time with Brother Marin in and around Lima, as he worked alone, supporting others, in a country hard-hit by COVID-19.

Brother Ronald Marin walks along a paved dirt road lined by graves, inside the “Martires 19 de Julio” cemetery in Comas, on the outskirts of Lima, Peru, on July 4, 2020. Wearing a white robe and shoes worn down by dust, Marin is one of the few who administers funerals in this cemetery far from the center of Peru’s capital.

Rodrigo Abd / AP)

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