Nando Parrado: Where is Andes Flight 571 Plane Crash Survivor Now?

Image Credit: Nando Parrado/Instagram

Directed by J. A. Bayona, Netflix’s ‘Society of the Snow,’ AKA ‘La Sociedad de la Nieve,’ tells the true story of the survivors of the 1972 Andes plane crash involving 45 people. Doing what they could in order to survive, 16 determined people were indeed able to make it through the mountains, though the experience would become something that they were unlikely to ever forget. Among the survivors is Fernando “Nando” Parrado, whose drive to survive persisted in the harshest conditions, and he played a crucial role in rescuing everyone. Naturally, people are quite curious about where he is these days.

Who is Nando Parrado?

Born on December 9, 1949, Nando Parrado was the middle child of Seler Parrdo and Xenia “Eugenia” Dolgay. Just prior to the plane crash, he had been living his life to the fullest and still playing for Stella Maris College’s alumni rugby team, Old Christians. On October 13, 1972, Nando was accompanied by his mother and younger sister, Susana Parrado, when the plane crashed in the Andes; Nando was unconscious for the initial few days.

When Nando did wake up, he learned that his mother had passed away, but his sister was still alive. This shifted his attention to taking care of Susana. However, when the 19-year-old girl passed away on October 21, 1972 (Day 9), he became even more resolute about getting out in any way possible. When the survivors were forced to feed on the flesh of the deceased, Nando did not let his reservations get to him and practiced every day to climb the mountains that separated him from civilization. Indeed, it was him and Roberto Canessa who ultimately made it all the way to Chile to get help.

Nando Parrado is a Motivational Speaker Today

In the aftermath of the 1972 plane disaster, Nando Parrado apparently was unsure about what was to come next. While he had thought of helping his father with his hardware store before the crash, he decided to pursue his passion for sports car racing and even entered the field professionally. However, following his marriage to Veronique Van Wassenhove, Nando decided to retire from racing and joined his older sister and brother-in-law in the hardware store.

However, Nando has continued to venture out of the business world in order to be in touch with the public. Given the undoubtedly impactful life that Nando has had, it is hardly a wonder that he became a beloved television personality. Additionally, Nando is a motivational speaker who is often asked to speak at various events. The owner of MRC is also one of the authors of ‘Miracle in the Andes,’ a 2006 book that went on to become a New York Times Best Seller.

While there have been many books and projects made about the crash, ‘Miracle in the Andes’ stands out as it tells the tale from Nando’s perspective. In the book, the survivor has reflected on just how starkly different his life was before and after the ill-fated flight. He also commented how adrift he had felt afterward while grieving his mother and sister, all the while realizing that he was finally out of the snowy trap that he and his fellow survivors had to endure for 72 days.

Given his role in the aftermath of the 1972 plane crash, Nando has also appeared in various documentaries about the incident in question. He even attended the Venice Film Festival premiere of ‘Society of the Snow’ in September 2023. The survivor was also portrayed in the 1993 Frank Marshall film ‘ Alive: Miracle in The Andes,’ for which he served as a technical advisor. Some other projects that he has been a part of include ‘Alive: 20 Years Later,’ ‘Alive: Back to the Andes,’ ‘Stranded: I’ve Come from a Plane That Crashed on the Mountains,’ and ‘I Am Alive: Surviving the Andes Plane Crash,’ among many others.

Nando also enjoys the company of his family, including his wife, Veronique. He is a father of two and seems to take pride in all that he has accomplished over the years. Thanks to his communication skills, there is a good reason why, even decades later, the world is always open to Nando sharing his experience and what drove him forward every day in order to ensure his survival.

Read More: Where Was Society of the Snow Filmed?