NewsLatin America"Their mother taught them everything": the story of the incredible survival of...

    “Their mother taught them everything”: the story of the incredible survival of 4 children in the Colombian jungle

    Four children aged 1, 4, 9 and 13 survived the crash of the plane carrying them with their mother by feeding on roots, seeds or plants. Account of their forty days of wandering in the Colombian jungle.

    After forty days spent in the jungle, the four children were miraculously found alive, 5 km from the crash site of their plane. On May 1, Lesly (13 years old), Soleiny (9 years old), Tien Noriel (5 years old) and Cristin (1 year old) boarded a Cessna 206 type aircraft, accompanied by their mother and a relative, indigenous representative.

    The aircraft takes off from an area of ​​jungle known as Araracuara to travel to San Jose del Guaviare, one of the main cities in the Colombian Amazon. A flight of 350 km above the jungle. But shortly after takeoff, the pilot reported a problem with the engine. And just after, the plane disappears from the radars.

    The incredible journey of 4 children in the Colombian jungle

    Their mother tells them to leave before they die

    All four children and their mother survive the crash. For the first few days, the children stayed near the wreckage and ate cassava flour found on board the aircraft. Seriously injured, their mother lasted only four days, according to the story of the children’s father.

    “Before she died, she said to them: ‘Go ahead, leave'” to join your father, he relates.

    Lesly, the eldest of the siblings, then supports her brother and sisters. She looks in the debris for the bag where the diapers are, says after their rescue a friend of their grandmother.

    In a suitcase, Lesly puts a tarp, a towel, some clothes, camping gear, a flashlight with batteries, a bottle of soda, but also a music box and two cell phones. The latter are not used to telephone them, for lack of a network, but to “distract themselves” at night, will detail one of the rescuers.

    Roots, seeds and plants

    The children know the jungle, which undoubtedly saved them. They are part of the Uitoto indigenous community. She was “evangelized”, “but they kept their animist beliefs and their deities”, says their grandmother’s friend, Adriana Carrera. “Plants like coca and tobacco are as sacred in their eyes as the Eucharist.”

    Read Also:   Tension in Mercosur: the influence of China in Latin America

    For the National Organization of Amerindian Peoples of Colombia (Opiac), “the survival of children is the demonstration of the knowledge and the relationship that the natives have with nature, a bond taught from the womb of the mother”. A knowledge that has indeed allowed them to feed on roots, seeds and plants.

    “From childhood, we transmit to them this knowledge and this love of nature”, confirms Adriana Carrera. According to her, their mother “taught them everything”, she confided to the Parisian.

    “Among the Uitotos, we sing nursery rhymes about the forest into children’s ears,” she explains. “They say that such and such a plant is edible, that you should not eat a fruit that is not ripe.”

    The three girls and the boy also feed on palm fruits and wild mangoes. Throughout their wanderings, they always stay close to a stream, filling their little bottle there.

    But for the youngest of the siblings, who was only 11 months old and needed breast milk or formula, the mystery remains. “It is likely that they used an equivalent that comes from lianas”, considers for BFMTV William Wadoux, development project consultant and co-organizer of survival courses in the Amazon. “No doubt certain plants could have enabled the child to survive.”

    Footprints and a series of clues

    The children know that the emergency services are trying to find them. They hear the helicopters flying overhead and the messages broadcast over the loudspeaker, in particular from their grandmother who tells them, in the Uitoto language, that they are wanted, asks them to stay where they are so that help can locate them and not be afraid of the dog Wilson, one of the rescue dogs who went looking for them.

    By helicopter, 10,000 leaflets, in Spanish and in the indigenous language, indicating how to contact the emergency services are dropped as well asa hundred survival kits, containing water and food – it is not yet known whether the children have been able to benefit from it.

    Read Also:   Brazil Health Minister Throws in the Towel

    Because the rescuers are convinced that the children survived. Fifteen days after the accident, he discovered the carcass of the aircraft upright, nose to the ground in dense vegetation, with the body of the mother, the pilot and the indigenous representative on board.

    The wreckage of a plane found in the Colombian jungle after its crash on May 19, 2023.
    The wreckage of a plane found in the Colombian jungle after its crash on May 19, 2023. © Colombian army / AFP

    But they also find nibbled fruit in the crash zone, scissors, diapers and a makeshift shelter made of sticks and branches. The soldiers then discover a “makeshift shelter made of sticks and branches”, then a dog, scissors and a piece of hair band. Subsequently, they identify footprints that could be those of children.

    “According to the clues found, we conclude that the children are alive,” said a general on the radio at the end of May. “If they were dead, it would certainly be easy to find them because they would be motionless.”

    Wilson’s dog

    Rescuers also found traces of a dog. What the children confirm later: during their stay in the jungle, they have indeed received a visit from an animal, which they draw during their hospitalization. A dog with a light brown coat and pointy ears that matches Wilson. Participating in the search, he had in turn lost himself in the thick vegetation.

    “The dog was with them, he left and came back (…) then he disappeared,” confirmed the children’s grandfather. Lesly also said that this dog accompanied them “for a while”.

    The next day, June 9, the children were finally found by members of local indigenous communities, engaged with the hundred soldiers mobilized as part of the operation called “hope”. In total, nearly 2656 km of jungle were traveled to save the children.

    Haggard and weakened, but alive

    A video released by the Colombian government shows them installed on a tarpaulin, emaciated, haggard and particularly weak. If they are dehydrated, have a few scratches and bites and Tien Noriel (the only boy of the siblings) is too exhausted to walk, “their condition is acceptable”, announces the Colombian Minister of Defense.

    Four children, members of an indigenous community, found alive on June 9, 2023, several weeks after the crash of their plane.
    Four children, members of an indigenous community, found alive on June 9, 2023, several weeks after the crash of their plane. © Colombian Presidency / AFP

    Another miracle: not a single animal attack or accidental injury during their forty days in the jungle.

    Read Also:   the evangelical vote, always so coveted

    When they were rescued, the children had been in the same place for four days. They are aware and the eldest remembers everything.

    “Lesly, holding the little one by the hand, ran towards me”, says one of the rescuers. “I took her in my arms, she said to me: ‘I’m hungry’.”

    Next to it, the 5-year-old boy is lying. “After a first hug and giving him some food, he got up and said to me, very aware of what he was saying: ‘my mom is dead'”, he still remembers.

    Rescuers comfort them, tell them they are friends and come on behalf of family. The boy answers them: “I want bread and chorizo”. “They only thought about eating, eating, eating again,” continues the rescuer.

    Their state of health evolves favorably

    The children are airlifted and transported by helicopter to the city of San Jose del Guaviare then transported by medical plane to Bogota. When they arrive, they are evacuated on stretchers and put on board several ambulances.

    The Colombian First Lady visits, on June 10, 2023 in Bogota, one of the children members of an indigenous community found alive several weeks after the crash of the plane which transported him.
    The Colombian First Lady visits, on June 10, 2023 in Bogota, one of the children members of an indigenous community found alive several weeks after the crash of the plane which transported him. © Colombian Presidency / AFP

    After two days of care, “they are in a very good mood, they have colored and drawn. They like to talk (…), they are very well disposed”, indicates the deputy director of the Colombian Institute for the Protection of family (ICBF), even if they cannot yet feed themselves normally.

    More than a week after their rescue, the children’s health is evolving “favorably” but they are still in “nutritional deficit”, said the military hospital in Bogota. Children in particular remain at “high risk” in the face of possible infectious pathologies because of their state of weakness. They should thus remain hospitalized for another two to three weeks.

    As for their future, nothing is decided yet. Because they are now at the heart of a family quarrel. The ICBF will retain guardianship of the children until the dispute is resolved: relatives of their mother accuse the father of the two youngest children – he is not the father of the two eldest – of ill-treatment, which the last denies. The father of the two eldest has not come forward and the maternal grandmother is asking for custody of the four children.

    Source: BFM TV

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    18 − 14 =

    Subscribe & Get Latest News