"Faith has put us on the path that we wanted," were the words overheard in the video of the moment when Indigenous Guard found children missing for 40 days in the Amazon. "God never fails when one asks him with truth."
In the video of the encounter, broadcast by Colombian public television, Lesly (13 years old), Soleiny (9), Tien Noriel (5) and Cristin (1) are seen lying and sitting down while the adults who found them feed them or carry them in their arms.
The first images of the meeting between the Indigenous Guard and the children lost in the jungle on Guaviare.
— RTVC Noticias (@RTVCnoticias) June 11, 2023
This is the video of the exact moment of the rescue of the lost children in the jungle of Guaviare. This is how the indigenous people found the four lost children after the plane crash.
🇨🇴 | COLOMBIA. 🙏👏Conmovedor: este es el video del momento exacto del rescate de los niños perdidos en la selva del Guaviare. Así se encontraron los indígenas y los cuatro menores perdidos después del accidente aéreo. pic.twitter.com/AIQoe4BE7S
— Alerta Mundial (@AlertaMundial2) June 12, 2023
The Indigenous Guard then handed the minors over to the Colombian Army, which took them out of the jungle by helicopter. From there, they were transported to the capital of Bogota, where they are receiving medical treatment.
The Colombian Air Force plane lands in Catam, Bogota, with the children who were lost for 40 days in the Guaviare jungle.
🇨🇴 | AHORA: Aterriza en Catam el avión de la Fuerza Aérea de Colombia con los niños que estuvieron 40 días perdidos en selva del Guaviare.
— Alerta News 24 (@AlertaNews24) June 10, 2023
The youngest of the group was in intermediate care, according to the testimony of Adriana Velásquez, deputy director of the Colombian Family Welfare Institute. Velasquez also assured that the "strong connection between the children" helped them survive the odyssey in the jungle and will now help them in their medical recovery.
While the Army and the Indigenous Guard were raking the jungle in what was known as Operation Miracle, the children were 3 miles from the site of the plane crash that killed the adult crew members, including their mother.
Led by Lesly, the children were able to build shelters and feed themselves, even when supplies ran out. For this, they resorted to the fruits of the jungle, being able to recognize the poisonous ones, and to some of the food kits disseminated by the rescuers.
The children's grandfather, Fidencio Valencia, explained to reporters that the Huitoto, the indigenous people to which they belong, learn to gather food, hunt and fish from an early age. "She [Lesly] is a strong person, her mother trained her for all this," said her aunt, Damarys Mucutuy, to Colombian outlet Caracol TV. She explained that they taught the children how to survive with "everything from the land," such as building improvised shelters with whatever materials they had at their disposal.