Gang life in the poor Central American country of El Salvador is hard, but for a dozen former members of the feared 18th Street Gang, building a new life outside is no less difficult.
Wilfredo Gomez, 40 (below), joined a gang as an adolescent in Los Angeles, the U.S. city to which his parents emigrated. He said he was enticed by the guns, the girls and the camaraderie of gang life.
Once known as "The Shadow”, Raul Valladares, 34, is undergoing a painful process to remove tattoos from his face and arms. He has received death threats from his former gang associates because removing gang insignia is punishable by death.
"It's definitely cost me a lot to leave the gang," he said. "But I'm fighting to keep going."