SAN ANTONIO -

A peaceful gathering was held outside the Alamo on Tuesday morning with the intention of drawing attention to the violence and unrest in Venezuela.

About 25 people with ties to Venezuela gathered with signs and flags to spread their message. 

Peaceful protests in Venezuela have turned into violent clashes and people in the U.S. are feeling the backlash.

The Venezuelan government gave three American embassy officials 48 hours to leave the country after Washington came to the defense of an opposition hard-liner, accused of being responsible for bloodshed during anti-government protests. 

There are accusations that the U.S. is conspiring with opposition leader Leopolodo Lopez to try and oust Socialist President Nicolas Maduro from power.

The U.S. has denied the charges.

According to Zahir Mejias, who moved to the U.S from Venezuela about a year ago, the situation in her homeland is much worse than people think. 

"We just want people to hear us and to understand it's not what it seems, it's even worse," she said. "My whole family is there -- my dad, my sister -- and we're very worried. We just want peace."

Mejias said the country she grew up in changed after Maduro's government took over. 

Murder is rampant in Venezuela, with almost 25,000 murders having occurred last year. Mejias said most murders go without investigation and unpunished.

About four months ago, students in the country gathered by the hundreds for peaceful protests hoping for change. In many cases, they've turned into deadly clashes.

Just this weekend, three people were killed when a peaceful protest turned violent, after police intervened. 

All media and many Internet sites, including Twitter, are restricted by the government.

Even getting groceries and medicine is a challenge for many.

In the U.S, peaceful gatherings like the one in front of the Alamo have been taking place in cities across the country in hopes of raising awareness and support for Venezuela. 

"Our hearts are in Venezuela and at home and we just want to show them that we care and they're not alone," said Mejias.

For a list of recent stories Eileen Gonzales has done, click here.