Four children have miraculously been found alive in Colombia’s Amazon jungle after surviving a plane crash and enduring weeks of self-sufficiency.
The rescue of these siblings, aged thirteen, nine, four, and one, has brought immense joy to the entire country, according to Colombia’s President, Gustavo Petro.
Petro described the children’s ability to survive alone as “a remarkable example of resilience that will be etched in history.”
The children’s mother and two pilots lost their lives when their light aircraft crashed into the jungle on May 1.
The search for the missing children became a massive operation involving numerous soldiers and local residents.
“These children belong to the indigenous Huitoto community,” President Petro, said, while sharing a photograph depicting the rescued siblings, who had been missing for 40 days, being cared for by military personnel and indigenous people.
One of the rescuers fed the youngest child with a bottle, while another used a spoon to provide nourishment to one of the older siblings from a mug.
A video released by Colombia’s Ministry of Defense captured the heartwarming moment when the children were airlifted in a helicopter above the dense jungle trees during the dark night.
They have now been transported to Bogota, the nation’s capital, where ambulances have taken them to a hospital for further medical attention.
Expressing her gratitude, the children’s grandmother, Fatima Valencia, stated, “I am immensely thankful to Mother Earth for setting them free. They relied on her for flour, cassava bread, and any fruits they could find in the wilderness.”
Valencia added that the eldest sibling, accustomed to caring for the younger ones in their mother’s absence, played a significant role in their survival in the jungle.
The ill-fated flight, carrying the children and their mother, was a Cessna 206 plane traveling from Araracuara in the Amazonas province to San José del Guaviare. The aircraft issued a distress signal due to an engine failure. Upon reaching the crash site, soldiers discovered the tragic fate of the three adults. However, signs indicated that the children had managed to escape the wreckage and were seeking help within the rainforest.
A massive search operation commenced, and in May, rescuers found belongings left behind by the children, such as a drinking bottle, scissors, a hair tie, and a makeshift shelter.
Following the discovery of small footprints, search teams remained hopeful that the children were alive, despite the presence of predators like jaguars and snakes in the rainforest.
Local indigenous community members joined the search efforts, while helicopters broadcasted a message recorded in the Huitoto language by the children’s grandmother, urging them to stay in one place for easier detection.