Eduardo Strauch | Andes Plane Crash Survivor

Eduardo Strauch

Andes Plane Crash Survivor

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Eduardo Strauch

In October of 1972 an airplane carrying Eduardo Strauch and 44 fellow passengers and crew crashed in the Andes. Seventy-two days later, only sixteen of them were rescued. Eduardo remained silent for more than 30 years concerning this experience, and did not speak publicly about any of the unimaginable challenges involved in surviving at an altitude of more than 3,500 meters, enduring temperatures down to 30 degrees below zero and having to sustain himself by eating human flesh.

But in 2005, when climber Ricardo Pena discovered Eduardo's jacket, wallet and other belongings in the snow above the crash site, the memories re-awakened and Eduardo felt the need to communicate his personal experience, to enliven other people's vision of life and to inspire strong values such as faith, hope, solidarity, discipline, will and perseverance.

Since then, Strauch has been giving conferences across four continents. His experience has inspired plays, books, and many other publications. Together with Mireya Soriano he wrote Out of the silence, published in Uruguay and Spain, and soon in Argentina. The book deals with an introspective journey, which becomes apparent in Eduardo's relation to the mountain. He goes back to the site every year as a form of pilgrimage.

Eduardo, born on August 13, 1947, has always been a nature lover, a sharp observer and an admirer of life's smallest details. As a child, he spent much time at his family's ranch where he learnt the values of the people who worked there, particularly, their humility and respect for nature.

He is a renowned architect, and recently has developed a new passion for art through his oil paintings.

Eduardo Strauch
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EXIT Conference

Thirty years of silence and reflection on the odyssey in the Andes has allowed Eduardo to analyze the facts from a mature perspective, and with the intention of transmitting his experience to others, he gives a motivating message about facing adverse circumstances and enduring everyday difficulties.

The name of the conference is not unintentional. It refers to the sign which Eduardo Strauch kept as a souvenir. The sign indicated the exit in the Fairchild plane and Eduardo had assumed that the door, and that "EXIT" indicator would be the way out, but the true way out had to be found throughout each of those 72 days.

Piers Paul Read, in his book ALIVE, previous to the foreword, thanks everybody who helped to reconstruct the story. He starts with the testimonies given by the survivors and at the end of these acknowledgements he says: … “When I returned (to Montevideo) in October 1973 to show them the manuscript of this book, some of them (the survivors) were disappointed by my presentation of their story. They felt that the faith and friendship that inspired them in the cordillera do not emerge from these pages. It was never my intention to underestimate these qualities, but perhaps it would be beyond the skill of any writer to express their own appreciation of what they lived through.”.

The EXIT conference is rich in human, philosophical and sociological aspects. It fills the emptiness that Piers Paul Read, with honest humility, acknowledges as the limitation of any writer to express an experience of such magnitude.

EXIT highlights the important fact that leadership and a natural need for organization appeared when the survivors faced a limit circumstance and needed to reach an aim. Eduardo calls this phenomenon “The new society”, characterized by the principles that regard the supreme value of life and the wish to preserve it. The new society valued faith, hope, friendship, solidarity, work, discipline, leadership, will and perseverance. There was no place for other values in the new society.


EXIT is a suitable conference for those who must overcome personal or professional challenges. It encourages the audience to incorporate to their daily lives lessons of leadership, motivation, planification and strategy.

Eduardo Strauch was part of a group of common people facing an extreme situation in one of the most hostile environments on the planet. He uses his experience as a survivor as a starting point to generate a successful outlook on any kind of enterprise. He Highlights the importance of creating committed teams which are capable of staying focused and doing their best to overcome any obstacle. The conference can be adjusted to the specific needs of the public. It's target audience includes companies, educational institutions, organizations, and other groups of people.

Structure of the conference:

1. Introduction.

2. A short video that summarizes the tragedy of The Andes.

3. Content (approximately an hour and 15 minutes): -

Opening our eyes to a new reality

- Adaptability

- Leadership, organization, teamwork

- Clear objectives

- Difficult decisions

- Breaking the taboo. Creating a new conscience

- Creating the New Society

- My encounter with death

- Finding an EXIT

- Reborn. Infinite possibilities

- Turning the negative into positive

4. Q & A The conference is available in English or Spanish.

Eduardo Strauch
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