Guatemala is a major drug corridor between South America and Mexico. Narco gangs thrive in rural areas and along the southeastern border, while street gangs who profit from extortion, kidnapping and bribery, dominate the urban centers. As a result, the country's capital, Guatemala City, has one of the highest murder rates in the world.
This is the environment in which Guatemala's bomberos voluntarios -- a phrase that roughly translates to "volunteer firefighters" but really encompasses a group of first responders who act as firefighters, ambulance drivers, and paramedics -- operate every day.
Watch the above video for an intense look inside the world of Guatemala's volunteer bomberos, a group of men who on a daily basis save lives, race along treacherous roads where motorists are slow to pull over, and witness the results of cold-blooded executions on the city streets, all in a country with a government corrupted by organized crime, and all for little or no pay.