Fernando "Nando" Parrado (born in Montevideo in 1949) is one of the sixteen Uruguayan survivors of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, which crashed in the Andes on October 13, 1972.
He graduated from the Stella Maris College (Montevideo) and played for their alumni rugby team, Old Christians Club. At the time of the Andes crash, he was a university student.
From early age, he demonstrated special skills for sports and excelled in rugby, where he became captain of the college team.
In 1972 he made a trip with his teammates to Chile in the occasion of an international encounter of rugby. Unfortunately, the flight never arrived at destination; it crashed tragically at 18,000 feet in the Cordillera de los Andes.
The two and a half months that followed changed his life completely. His mother and younger sister passed away in the accident, and Nando made a superhuman effort, and survived for 72 days, finding his way out of the Andes, after 11 days of snowy marathon trek.
Soon after the rescue of the survivors, thanks to the epic passage of the Andes of Nando Parrado and his friend Roberto Canessa, he worked with Piers Paul Read to write the world bestseller “Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors ”. 20 years he served as the technical advisor in the production of the film “Alive: Miracle in the Andes”, where he was portrayed by Ethan Hawke.
He is also the President of the family company Seler Parrado S.A. and the founder of two TV media production companies.
In addition to his work in business and television, Parrado is a motivational speaker, using his experience in the Andes to help others cope with psychological trauma.
Nowadays, he is a successful businessman and a very active sportsman, he is married with Veronique and has two daughters, Verónica y Cecilia.