José Mynor López liked to go on drives and sing to his daughter in the back seat, blasting songs such as “Si Estuvieras Aquí” by Los Toros Band. His voice was louder than the singers booming from the radio.

And he liked to share it with the world.

“Me respetan a todos niveles,” he sang to the song “Jefe De Jefes” by Los Tigres del Norte in a video posted on social media. “They respect me at all levels.”

“Sea feliz cuñado,” one person posted in the comments. ”You are happy, brother-in-law.”

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López was part of the construction crew working the night shift atop the Francis Scott Key Bridge last week when the massive Singapore-flagged container ship Dali struck it, sending the bridge tumbling into the water below. Six men died after falling into the dark waters of the Patapsco River. López is among those whose body has not been found.

The other men are Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, 35; Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, 26; Miguel Luna, 49; Maynor Yassir Suazo Sandoval, 38; and one as-yet-unnamed man. All of them emigrated from Mexico, Honduras or El Salvador.

Lopez was from Camotán, Guatemala. He moved to the United States almost two decades ago and lived in Dundalk with his wife Isabel. He was the stepfather to her daughter and she is the stepmother to his son, his brother Mackon Guerra Lopez said.

In their hometown, the brothers grew up taking care of horses for money. After work, López liked to play soccer, go fishing and swim in the river.

Still, Mackon said, life was hard in Guatemala. Robbery and organized crime caused an ongoing sense of terror and hopelessness. José couldn’t have been older than 19 when he left his family to try his luck in the United States. He sent money back to help to their mother, father and sister, Mackon said.

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Mackon followed his older brother’s lead when he was around 18. They began working together, often in construction and repairing bridges. If Mackon needed help, if he needed money, José was there for him. He often offered to clean his yard, Mackon said.

His brother was friendly, Mackon said, and respectable. He was easy to talk to and easy to spend time with.

Isabel Franco, who used to call her husband “mi gordo” as a term of endearment, told The Baltimore Banner’s media partner WJZ that he had a “good heart” and was always worried about the well-being of his family. He was always fighting for them, she said.

“Only God knows how hard my heart aches,” she added.

Isabel told WJZ she wants to see her husband one more time. While the bodies of Fuentes and Cabrera were recovered last Wednesday, Luna, Sandoval, Lopez and one other have not yet been found. Maryland State Police Superintendent Col. Roland L. Butler Jr. said officials have turned the recovery mission into a salvage operation and could no longer safely search for additional victims without first removing the massive amounts of concrete and debris from the waters.

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Mackon said he and his brother talked constantly about bringing their mother and father to the United States. He is hoping they can still come.

“To give the one last goodbye,” he said.

Clara Longo de Freitas is a neighborhood reporter covering East Baltimore communities. Before joining the Banner, she interned at The Baltimore Sun as an emerging news and community reporter. She also has design and illustration experience with several news organizations, including The Hill and NPR.

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