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Latino Daily News

Sunday March 16, 2014

Salvadoran Castaway in Mexico to Meet with Shipmate’s Family

Salvadoran Castaway in Mexico to Meet with Shipmate’s Family

Photo: Jose Salvador Alvarenga

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Salvadoran fisherman Jose Salvador Alvarenga, who says he spent over a year adrift at sea, returned to the Mexican state of Chiapas where he set sail on his odyssey, to meet with the family of his shipmate Ezequiel Cordova who died at sea.

“I come to Mexico to tell the mother of my pal all the details about what happened to him, to keep my promise about telling his mom his final words for her,” Alvarenga said at an improvised press conference Friday at Tapachula airport in Chiapas.

The Salvadoran fisherman traveled Saturday to the El Fortin community on Mexico’s Pacific coast.

Alvarenga said he feels happy to see his friends in Chiapas again on the beach from where he sailed in November 2012 with Cordova to catch sharks.

Accompanied by his parents and an attorney, Alvarenga seemed to have trouble walking but was calm enough and has agreed to write a book telling his story.

The Salvadoran fisherman did not wish to tell reporters what he would tell the mother of his deceased shipmate, with whom he was to return just a few hours after setting out, bringing with them whatever sharks they managed to catch.

But according to Alvarenga, a storm drove them off course and they went adrift. Cordova died about five months later of “hunger” and “thirst,” and the Salvadoran threw his body in the sea.

During his months as a castaway, Alvarenga, 37, survived by eating raw fish and seabirds, and drinking turtle blood and his own urine.

The Salvadoran fisherman was rescued Jan. 30 in the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific at some 13,000 kilometers (8,000 miles) from where he set out.

After being rescued, Alvarenga astonished the world with his story, was hospitalized on several occasions, and this Friday, not yet totally recovered, he returned to the place where his unfortunate adventure began.

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