'Life in El Salvador' Tonight on Al Jazeera.
El Salvador, a small country in Central America, has been torn by violence for many years. After a bloody civil war in the eighties, this country is now in the grip of a brutal battle between violent street gangs and the police.
In the center of this violence stands the church of a young priest named Padre Tonjo. In his eyes the youngsters are no criminals, but victims of poverty and the violence.
In El Salvador the poverty, high unemployment rates and the wide-branched network of the gangs make it impossible for young people to make a choice other than to join one of the street gangs. The gangs represent a world of violence, but also offers a strong social function in which they offer friendship and food.
In this daily struggle between the rival gangs, the church of Padre Tonjo is one of the last safe places. For the young gang members, who are hunted by the police daily, he is one of the few that they can still trust.
Tonjo offers gang members a chance to make something of their lives by offering them work.
For Al Jazeera, Thomas Hurkxkens and Marc Broere followed the life of the priest for one week.