Gustavo Zerbino: Andes Plane Crash Survivor is Now a Grandfather

Image Credit: Gustavo Zerbino Stajano/Instagram

Netflix’s ‘Society of the Snow,’ AKA ‘La Sociedad de la Nieve,’ tells the stories of various individuals involved in the crash of Flight 571 that saw the survivors taking extreme measures to live in the snowy terrain they were trapped in. Among the final 16 survivors of the accident, Gustavo Zerbino Stajano certainly has made a name for himself, and not just because of his actions during the 72 days that he was in the Andes. As such, the world can’t help but wonder where he is these days.

Who is Gustavo Zerbino?

Born on May 16, 1953, Gustavo Zerbino has been passionate about rugby from a young age. He was indeed one of the many players of Stella Maris School’s Old Christians Club who were aboard the ill-fated 1972 flight that crashed into the Andes. At the time, Gustvao was also studying medicine and put his knowledge to use when trying to help those who were injured in the crash and needed help. He also contributed to stitching the massive sleeping bag that the survivors used to huddle up and preserve heat during the harsh and cold conditions that they were in.

Gustavo Zerbino (Right)

At the time of the plane crash, Gustavo was only nineteen years old and was in his first year of medical studies. Along with his fellow teammates, he survived in the Andes for 72 days and was among the last set of 8 people who were rescued from the mountains. Following the tragedy, Gustavo continued to pursue his medical studies, though he never finished the degree, even though he completed six years as a student. This was followed by his gaining a degree in Business Administration. Throughout this time, he held tight to his passion for rugby and even made it to the first division of the same.

Where is Gustavo Zerbino Today?

Not long after his time in the Andes, Gustavo was one of the members of Uruguay’s national team that played in the South American Rugby tournament in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1973.  The team performed quite well and won 2nd place. He was also part of the county’s 1977 team for the same event that was held in Argentina this time around, with Uruguay once again becoming runner-up. The first center position player also became the Uruguayan Rugby Union President in 2008 and held the position until 2011. He was then re-elected for the role in 2015.

Additionally, Gustavo is one of the founders of Rugby Sin Fronteras (AKA Rugby Without Borders) and now serves as its vice president. The organization has taken multiple trips to the crash site of the 1972 plane in 2011 and 2012 and played matches to honor the deceased and the survivors, many of whom were part of the Old Christians Club rugby team. However, sports is far from the only field on which the survivor has left his mark.

Gustavo has been the Director of Compañía Cibeles since January 1980. The company focuses on agrochemical and veterinary products and nutritional and pharmaceutical items. In the past, he also served as the President of Uruguay’s Cámara de Especialidades Farmacéuticas y Afines (Chamber of Pharmaceutical and Related Specialties), having taken up the position in 1992 and retaining it for about seventeen years.

Gustavo has also made multiple appearances in various projects based on the 1972 plane crash. He is also known for publically speaking as a lecturer about various topics that he is familiar with, whether it be rugby, pharmaceuticals, or his survival journey. On a more personal note, Gustavo now has a large, thriving family for whom he is thankful each and every day. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his rescue from the Andes, he was proud to show off his loved ones, including his grandson, Antonio, while he shared that his other grandson, Leon, was in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Read More: Antonio “Tintin” Vizintín: Andes Plane Crash Survivor is Now Happily Married