Nando Parrado is a shy, unassuming young man who takes the flight with his mother and his sister. The flight crashes, and he loses both of his loved ones over the course of the coming weeks. Parrado is forced to deal with an extreme situation while mourning the deaths of those closest to him. The experience profoundly changes Parrado. The quiet, unassuming boy disappears, and a determined, authoritative man emerges in his place. He is restless and insistent on setting off as part of the expedition as soon as possible. He is willing to risk everything to return to the society he left behind. Parrado is not quite a leader, but he sets the tone of determination in the group. His belief and his assuredness help prevent others from losing hope. Parrado might not be the strongest, most intelligent, or most likeable of the survivors, but he is the most determined to survive. His relentless determination eventually succeeds, and his expedition with Canessa saves the men from almost certain death. He grows up over the course of the story, and his growth saves lives.