Long journey ends at home for man who was reportedly lost at sea for 13 months
Salvadoran castaway healthy but mentally fragile
His father, Jose Ricardo Orellana, 65, who owns a store and flour mill in the seaside Salvadoran town, has said his son first went to sea at age 14. "The sea was his thing," Orellana said last week after learning of Alvarenga's story.
Maria Julia Alvarenga, 59, said her son always had unusual strength and resilience.
His 14-year-old daughter, Fatima, has made an archway of palms for the front door of the family home in the fishing village of Garita Palmera and hung a sign proclaiming "Welcome." She didn't remember ever seeing her father, who left El Salvador to fish in Mexico when she was just over a year old.
Alvarenga said he worked in a fishing village on the Pacific coast of Mexico's southern Chiapas state, where he embarked. A man with his nickname, "Cirilo," had been registered as missing with civil defense officials there. They said a small fishing boat carrying two men, the other named Ezequiel Cordoba, disappeared during bad weather on Nov. 17, 2012, and no trace of them or the craft was found during an intense two-week search.
Cordoba died after about a month when he couldn't eat the raw fish and turtles, Alvarenga has said.
Photos from the Marshall Islands published by Britain's Telegraph newspaper showed the boat that Alvarenga purportedly arrived in. It bore the hand-lettered name of a Chiapas fishing cooperative, Camaroneros de la Costa, for which Alvarenga said he worked in Costa Azul near Tonala.
The photos also showed a large plastic cooler that Alvarenga purportedly used to shelter himself from the sun and sea.
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