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Pacific castaway's story a 'miracle' for his parents

Published on Feb 5, 2014 6:12 AM
(From left) Fatima Mabea Alvarenga, Jose Ricardo Orellana and Maria Julia Alvarenga in Garita Palmera, 102km west of San Salvador on Feb 4, 2014. The family of Mr Jose Salvador Alvarenga is eagerly anticipating a reunion with the Pacific castaway. -- PHOTO: AFP

GARITA PALMERA, El Salvador (AFP) - For Salvadoran couple Ricardo and Maria Julia Alvarenga, the reappearance of their son after his incredible story of survival adrift in the Pacific for 13 months is nothing short of a miracle.

The couple, who last saw their son eight years ago, could barely believe that Mr Jose Salvador Alvarenga, 37, was alive after his claim that he survived a 12,500km odyssey from Mexico to the Marshall Islands on a small boat.

"It is a divine miracle, a sign that God was compassionate with our son's life," said Mrs Alvarenga, 54, with tears of joy.

"I kept thinking that one day he would come back to us, that God wants him to return to our house," she said from the family's home in Garita Palmera, on El Salvador's Pacific coast.

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