Nando Parrado

Leadership and Teamwork: Survival in the Andes

His adventure, "The Miracle of the Andes" inspired the book and movie "Alive".

Nando Parrado

A lesson of courage, determination, leadership and teamwork.

English · Spanish

Nando Parrado is one of the few survivors of the dramatic aeroplane crash from a cruising altitude over the Andes.  On October 13, 1972, a plane carrying a Uruguayan rugby team over the Andes lost its bearings in bad weather and crashed in the remote mountains.

The book “Alive”, by Piers Paul Read, recounts the unforgettable saga of human endurance for 74 days on a glacier at 18000 ft, without suitable clothing, training, equipment or supplies. Stranded in the freezing Andes, cold, hungry, weak and desperate, the survivors struggle against all odds to remain alive.  In their extreme hunger they are forced to consume the flesh of the corpses.  A movie was made (by Frank Marshall – 1993) with the same title, based on the book. This story shows the power of the human spirit and the strength of the will to survive.

In December 1997, Nando and a group of people returned to the Andes with equipment, clothes and supplies to try to retrace their steps.  They were not able to make it and had to call in rescue helicopters.

 We were never in mountains before, or touched snow. One minute we’re laughing and joking, and then we’re covered in blood and are freezing on this mountain at 11,000 feet with no clear way out. Nando Parrado

Nando Parrado is regularly invited to talk about his experience in the mountains.  He delivers a great message of teamwork, highlighting the importance of camaraderie and relationships as the key to survival.  He is a guarantee for a truly inspiring event, as his genuine and sincere presentations capture and spellbinds his audiences.

Nando Parrado, who lives in Montevideo, Uruguay, has won numerous awards for his sporting achievements, and has crossed the Sahara, a journey of more than 8,500 km. in 28 days.  He has founded two television production companies, built a tennis club and joined the board of directors for two other businesses.

Survival

Teamwork

Family values

Family business

Will and decision

True leadership

Courage & Motivation

Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home

In the first hours there was nothing, no fear or sadness, just a black and perfect silence.

Nando Parrado was unconscious for three days before he woke to discover that the plane carrying his rugby team, as well as their family members and supporters, to an exhibition game in Chile had crashed somewhere deep in the Andes. He soon learned that many were dead or dying—among them his own mother and sister. Those who remained were stranded on a lifeless glacier at nearly 12,000 feet above sea level, with no supplies and no means of summoning help. They struggled to endure freezing temperatures, deadly avalanches, and then the devastating news that the search for them had been called off.

As time passed and Nando’s thoughts turned increasingly to his father, who he knew must be consumed with grief, Nando resolved that he must get home or die trying. He would challenge the Andes, even though he was certain the effort would kill him, telling himself that even if he failed he would die that much closer to his father. It was a desperate decision, but it was also his only chance. So Nando, an ordinary young man with no disposition for leadership or heroism, led an expedition up the treacherous slopes of a snow-capped mountain and across forty-five miles of frozen wilderness in an attempt to find help.

Thirty years after the disaster Nando tells his story with remarkable candor and depth of feeling. Miracle in the Andes—a first person account of the crash and its aftermath—is more than a riveting tale of true-life adventure: it is a revealing look at life at the edge of death and a meditation on the limitless redemptive power of love

Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home