Day four with Foothills Hiking Chile involved a 3 1/2 hour hike around Puente Negro itself; and while there were so many interesting things covered on this trek, the most haunting and memorable experience was entering the Plaza del Arriero and finding the
mural depicting the 1972 Uruguay Air crash.
I had heard of this horrific, yet beautiful and amazing story before but never, never did I ever think I would be this close to where it actually happened.
Elizabeth telling us the details of the crash and the history behind this beautiful mural.
The mosaic begins with the Uruguayan flag and ends with the Chilean flag and is 48 meters long. It depicts the crash site, the walk out and the rescue, as well as, the rugged mountain ranges of the Andes and the birds, flora and fauna. Pedro Marchant is the designer of the mosaic but other artists worked on it. We were so awe struck and interested in this aspect of our hike that unfortunately we did not get great pictures!
The activity of the Puente Negro community was actively participated, an opportunity in which the mural designed by Professor Pedro Marchant was inaugurated and executed by the Fabiola Diaz graduate in arts.
For his part, Professor Pedro Marchant, said the mosaic begins with the Uruguayan flag and ends with the Chilean flag,…………………The teacher of the Lyceum Neandro Schilling explained that when designing the mural he wanted to incorporate a series of episodes that marked the accident and subsequent rescue, not leaving aside our flora and fauna. “in the work could not be absent the rugged mountain ranges, the condor, the guanaco and the puma,” Merchant said.
Meanwhile, the artist Fabiola Diaz, said that “we have been working for some time on the patrimonial rescue and this work is added to the sculpture in tribute to the muleteers that exists in this square.”
Diaz explained that “as a part of the rescue of the historical heritage of this event that impacted the world, it was decided to make this mosaic to create a new tourist attraction, along with being able to share this beautiful technique with the inhabitants of Puente Negro.”
The mural was financed by Tinguiririca Energia and the Villas Cordilleras Commiittee, with the support of the Pro sewage Committee and the Municipality of San Fernando.
The information above was taken from this site https://cronicanoticiosa.com/ which reported from Chile on the murals. I used Google translator to translate from Spanish to English. It gives some very important information on the creation of the mural.
Muleteers sculptors in the park. Elizabeth told us they were all made from scrap metal…just beautiful.
In October of 1972 the Old Christians Rugby team from Uruguay chartered a Uruguayan Air Force plane to fly them to Santiago, Chile for a rugby match………they never made it. The plane crashed in the Andes due to weather and pilot error. Sixteen out of the forty-five survived and stayed alive for over two months in the most brutal conditions!
The details and story of this horrific crash have been documented many times….in newspaper articles, books and movies.
These books may be at your local library. I know they can be ordered through Amazon.
I highly recommend watching the movie Alive which can be purchased through Amazon and also can be found on Apple TV to rent or buy. There are also many news articles and interviews about/with some of the survivors, especially Dr. Roberto Canessa and Nando Parrado.
Every day when I look at myself in the mirror, I thank God the same old jerk is still staring back at me. Dr. Roberto Canessa
“As we used to say in the mountains, “Breathe. Breathe again. With every breath, you are alive.” After all these years, this is still the best advice I can give you: Savor your existence. Live every moment. Do not waste a breath.” Nando Parrado
El Milagro de los Andes————Miracle of the Andes.