On the advice of a client I was interviewing at work, I picked up and read Miracle in the Andes a few weeks ago.
It tells the true story of the October 1972 tragedy where a plane carrying a Uruguayan rugby team crashed in the Andes. Not immediately rescued, the survivors turned to cannibalism to survive and were saved after 72 days.
Parrado was one of two boys who hiked out of the mountains to find help, and was ultimately credited with saving the lives of the remaining survivors. The book – published in 2007 – tells the story from his point of view. It’s a first-hand account of what those 72 days were like, and it is truly devastating.
Most of the passengers on the plane were members of the rugby team, but Parrado has also brought his mother and sister along with him. They both died – his mother during the crash, and his sister eight days later. So, for Parrado, the crash was more than a tragic life event. It was a disaster that changed his entire life, and the lives of everyone in his remaining immediate family.
I’m not going to lie – this book was hard to read. There were moments when I could actually feel Parrado’s panic through his words, and more than once I was brought to tears. So, if you’re looking for a light weekend read, this might not be the book for you. But, if you’re looking for a story that will change your life, I highly recommend it.