Home » 13-Year-Old Keeps Younger Siblings Alive In Jungle For 40 Days After Plane Crash

13-Year-Old Keeps Younger Siblings Alive In Jungle For 40 Days After Plane Crash

by Nolan Hawk

A 13-year-old Columbian girl made sure her little siblings survived in the Amazon jungle after their plane went down 40 days ago.

Lesly Mucutuy and her younger siblings Soleiny, 9, Tien, 4, and Cristin, 11 months, managed to live through a plane crash that took the lives of their mother and two other adults.

The children were miraculously found alive 40 days after a routine flight from Araracuara to San Jose del Guaviare on a Cessna 206 disappeared from radars minutes into their 220 mile journey.

Rescuers were able to locate the plane a few weeks later and only the adults’ bodies were found.

The wreckage gave them hope that the four children had lived through the crash, when they discovered the remains of partially-eaten fruit and child-size footprints.

At the time, Columbian President Gustavo Petro announced that children were safe, but quickly amended the statement to say there was evidence they could be lost in the forest.

The remote area of the Amazon jungle the plane crashed into is full of dangerous predators and rebel soldiers, and during their time missing had experienced several punishing storms.

The possibility that the children could be alive sparked a manhunt of 150 soldiers and 200 local indigenous residents through a 125 square mile swath of Amazon rainforest.

Brigadier General Pedro Sanchez told The Guardian that he was confident the children for alive for a grim reason.

“This isn’t a needle in a haystack, it’s a tiny flea in a rug because they keep moving,” Sanchez explained.

“But if, God forbid, they were dead we would have already have found them, because they would be still.”

During the 40 day hunt, the country’s military left food packages and bottled water in spots around the jungle.

They also airdropped 10,000 flyers in Spanish and the children’s native language Huitoto, which included survival tips and instructions to stay in the same area.

Searchers flew planes overhead with their grandmother’s voice calling out to them, as she is the one who has reportedly raised them and made sure they were trained to survive in their indigenous jungle community in Vaupes, Columbia.

The children are part of the Huitoto Indigenous group where they learn to hunt, gather, and fish in the jungle from a young age.

The siblings were located on Friday, the fortieth day after the crash. They were bitten up by bugs, malnourished and dehydrated, but miraculously alive.

They were raised from the forest floor by a winch on a helicopter and taken to a military hospital for treatment. Doctors believe they will remain in the facility for treatment for up to three weeks.

Officials credit Lesley for keeping her younger brother and sisters alive. Her aunt, Damarys Mucutuy, said that she knew how to identify non-poisonous plants and how to care for a baby, who she was well versed in watching while her mother was at work.


“She gave them flour and cassava bread, any fruit in the bush, they know what they must consume,” Mucutuy detailed.

“It is thanks to [Lesly], her value and her leadership, that the three others were able to survive, with her care, her knowledge of the jungle,” Columbian Defense Minister Ivan Velasquez remarked.

Manuel Ranoque, the father of the youngest two children, said that Lesly told him that his wife had survived the crash for four days before succumbing to her injuries. Prior to passing, she told the children to save themselves.


“They used what they learned in the community, relied on their ancestral knowledge in order to survive,” indigenous leader John Moreno stated.

“It is a joy for the whole country,” Petro said after their rescue. “They were alone, they themselves achieved an example of total survival which will remain in history.”

Related Videos

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More