By Alasdair Baverstock / Daily Mail
Proudly bearing the label ‘Rat Kid’, Gustavo has lived in Mexico City’s parks and sewers since he was just eight years old, when his ‘evil stepmother’ kicked him out of the family home.
Now 18, he says the past decade has taught him the skills required to survive on the tough streets of Mexico’s capital.
The young man currently makes $10 a day performing on the city’s metro, prostrating his naked torso across shards of broken glass and then asking for donations from horrified passersby.
‘Staying alive in this town means putting your body on the line,’ he’s aid, speaking from the encampment where he and 14 other abandoned children now live.
Left destitute by the death or abandonment of their parents, children from across the republic make their way to the capital in search of a better life. But when the city of 24 million people turns a blind eye to their plight, many end up living in the shadows.