The castaway with an incredible story of spending more than a year adrift at sea will leave El Salvador for Mexico this week to visit the family of his fishing mate, who didn't survive the ordeal in the Pacific.
A lawyer for Jose Salvador Alvarenga said he and two relatives are scheduled to fly Friday to Mexico City and then travel to Chiapas, where he lived and worked for years.
The primary purpose of the four-day visit is to see the family of Ezequiel Cordoba, 24, who set out with Alvarenga on the ill-fated fishing trip in November 2012.
Alvarenga, 37, has said that after their boat was blown off course by a storm, he survived on raw fish, birds, turtles and his own urine but that the younger man couldn't stomach the food and died of starvation and thirst weeks later.
The two men promised that whoever made it to land would get word to the other's loved ones about what happened, he has said.
"The purpose of this visit is to honor the pact between them as coworkers on the boat," said the lawyer, Benedicto Perlera.
PHOTOS: Exclusive pictures of the castaway after he washed up
After 13 months, the battered 24-foot fiberglass boat washed up on the remote Marshall Islands in late January, and Alvarenga became an international sensation through his improbable tale of survival.
Because he had been in Mexico illegally, he returned home to El Salvador, where he told NBC partner Telemundo that he was tired of answering questions from skeptics and admirers.
"I want to forget it all," he said.
— Tracy Connor
First published March 10 2014, 4:28 PM