A firefighter who went missing when Guatemala’s Fuego volcano erupted on 3 June had written a touching letter with instruction that it must be given to his wife should anything happen to him.
“If you’re reading this letter it means I’m not here anymore,” Antonio Castillo (34) said in the letter which he wrote in February 2016.
His wife, Gloria Nohemi Cojolon de Castillo (34), who’s four months pregnant, said her husband was always ready to help and was very brave.
Antonio celebrated his birthday the day before the eruption, which claimed more than 100 lives.
Gloria received the letter after he’d been reported missing. In it he said she shouldn’t be afraid if someone should come to their home while he was away on a mission to tell her that he’d died.
The letter reads: “Hi love, if you’re reading this letter it means I’m not here anymore. Nothing is forever, move on, life keeps going.
“Tell my dad that he shouldn’t be sad, life is like this and he knows that. I thank him for the advice he’s given me.
“Please don’t cry, I’m good. God let me finish my mission.”
He also expressed his love for their son, Franquito (5), and told his wife to use his life insurance money to start a business and make the most of her life. He wasn’t scared of death, Antonio added.
The firefighter sent his regards to his friends and gave thanks for having chosen this “blessed profession”.
Gloria said she received a call on the Sunday after the eruption from her husband, saying everything was going to be okay and that they’d managed to protect themselves from the volcanic material falling in Alotenango near the volcano.
A few hours later he called to tell her that her relatives in Escuintla were safe. That was the last time she spoke to him.
Antonia’s colleague Juan Bajxac, who was working with Antonio on the rescue operation, is also missing. They were in charge of the evacuation of people from the bridge of Las Lajas. According to reports, the bridge was hit by a pyroclastic cloud which claimed numerous lives.
The eruption left almost 200 people missing. The search for them continues.