Catholics have a long tradition of using statues, paintings, and stained glass to tell the story of Jesus' life. The art plays an important role for the faithful, inspiring and channeling devotion.

A woman prays at El Jesus Nazareno Brotherhood in Izalco, El Salvador. | (REUTERS/Jose Cabezas)

In the small, predominantly Catholic country of El Salvador, a dwindling group of artisans have dedicated their lives to restoring these ancient figures and works. The labor is extremely detailed and demanding — workers chisel, carve, and patch wood; they sculpt and mold plaster and stone. Below, a peek into two of the El Salvadorian family-run workshops still breathing life into the country's ancient religious art.

A 150-year-old statue is unwrapped by members of the Santa Catarina brotherhood in Izalco, El Salvador. | (REUTERS/Jose Cabezas)

Manuel de Jesus Quilizapa works on a statue in his workshop in Izalco, El Salvador. | (REUTERS/Jose Cabezas)

Relatives of Manuel de Jesus Quilizapa work on a statue of Jesus. | (REUTERS/Jose Cabezas)

An assistant of Manuel de Jesus Quilizapa adjusts the head of a statue. | (REUTERS/Jose Cabezas)

Manuel de Jesus Quilizapa works on a statue. | (REUTERS/Jose Cabezas)

Jose Sabas Gomez's woodcarving tools are spread out on a table in his workshop in Apastepeque, El Salvador. | (REUTERS/Jose Cabezas)

Jose Sabas Gomez works on a statue of Jesus. | (REUTERS/Jose Cabezas)

A set of wooden hands are propped on top of paint cans in Jose Sabas Gomez's workshop. | (REUTERS/Jose Cabezas)

Jose Sabas Gomez's son Miguel works on a statue of Jesus. | (REUTERS/Jose Cabezas)