Mexico City CNN  — 

Almost two full days after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake destroyed parts of Mexico City, Carlos Enrique Silva and his family found themselves packing up all their belongings into two white pickup trucks, as an unwanted rain-shower trickled down.

Tuesday’s powerful quake had rendered the Silva’s home uninhabitable and experts had told them to take everything out and leave.

For days, scenes such as these have become familiar across Mexico City’s upscale La Condesa neighborhood – a trendy, tree-lined enclave in the city’s central western district.

The Silva family's car was totalled after a 1500-liter gas tank fell eight stories onto it, spilling gas across the courtyard. Neighbors living over a five block radius were evacuated as a precaution.

Multiple areas of Mexico City were affected by the quake – with 146 deaths confirmed throughout the capital so far – but the well-manicured La Condesa and neighboring Roma were among the hardest hit.

For Silva, packing up his home so quickly was devastating, but amid the sadness, there were small mercies.

“La motocicleta,” he said and smiled softly. His two seater black motorbike had emerged from what looked like a war zone unscathed – and more importantly, so too had his family.

When the earth moved on Tuesday, so did the sidewalk in Mexico City's Condesa neighborhood.

Less than a block away, those same 48 hours following the quake had felt agonizing slow for Cristobal Perres Garcia, 59. He had spearheaded a rescue mission to pull out the bodies of 12 people who had been buried alive when an office housing a food processing company collapsed.

Cristobal Perres Garcia's cousin Guadalupe died in the earthquake but her body has yet to be recovered from the rubble.
Volunteer rescue workers work to pull out two women from the rubble of what used to be an office building.

On Thursday all but two people had been recovered. One of them was Garcia’s cousin, Guadalupe, who had worked in the building.

“As a former bodyguard and a soldier I’m used to suffering,” he said, “but this is a sad day.”

Throughout the neighborhood, groups of friends and family had gathered, eerily silent, in front of crumbling memorials.

Police cordon off the intersection near the fallen office building located in a residential area of Mexico's Condesa neighborhood.
Bereaved family and friends watch the search efforts continue for the third day.

At the Avenida Alvaro Obregon, a group had assembled close to the remains of a collapsed office block, where more than 35 people were thought to have been trapped.

A global group of volunteers worked around the clock to locate and rescue people trapped at an office building on Avenida Alvaro Obregon in Mexico City on Thursday.

Marco Antonio Garcia Salsedo hadn’t left the site since the day of the earthquake. His cousin, Angel was believed to have been in the building when it collapsed.

“We know he is in there and we are waiting for him,” Garcia said.

Garcia was leading on a clue that a friend in New York had delivered to him earlier that morning: Angel somehow had placed a phone call to a friend in New York from inside the rubble on Thursday morning.

A woman watches rescue efforts at the Avenida Alvaro Obregon building site.

Although Salsedo had been holding onto hope that his cousin was still alive, he had lost trust in something else – the authorities.

Along with a sizeable grouping of other families at the site, Salsedo was concerned that the government rescue team would use heavy machinery to expedite the operation.

Family with loved ones still trapped inside the building pitched tents near the rescue mission to monitor its progress closely.

“I’m here to be vigilant,” Salsedo said.

Instead, Salsedo, like many other families, had placed his trust in local volunteers – primarily young, well-mannered residents who had helped to comb the site in search of life, and comfort families affected.

Young volunteers hand out face protection and call for silence while rescue workers listen for signs of life at the site on Thursday.
Many volunteers wrote their names, blood type, number and volunteer location written in permanent marker on their arms as an identification precaution before entering the rescue operation.
Volunteers gather excess supplies to send from Condesa to Morelos, a state closer to the quake's epicenter.

Abigail Hernandez Cardenas, a high school counselor had arrived on the site on Wednesday to volunteer her skills as a psychologist.

“People come to me for food, for shelter, for water, for support. But they come to me when they are feeling hopelessness above it all,” said Cardenas.

Addressing the growing sense of frustration among many of the families present, Cardenas said the people of La Condesa must stay positive.

“Faith is the last thing to go. So, when the group heard that the military was going to bring in heavy machinery, they got together and said no … And look what happened. 30 minutes later they (the rescue medics) found someone,” she added.

That person pulled from the rubble wasn’t Salsedo’s cousin, but the rescue renewed his hope that the next person found alive might be.