Valle de las Lágrimas was a project by the Uruguayan Álvaro Mangino, one of the 16 survivors of the flight 571 which crushed in the Andes Mountains in 1972.

JVD was assigned to design a unique label, which represented the experience of living an accident as such, and to pay a tribute to life. Instead of focusing of the pain of what they had lived, we wanted to express two fundamental concepts on the will to live: Hope and Victory.

Esperanza and Victoria are two sister labels. Both labels project the story that marked an entire generation forever. With little details about some dates and hidden numbers, these sisters tell a story which is built from its sutil design.

Esperanza is a tribute to all the passengers that passed away in that incident. It wants to represent the souls that went up in the sky and left their partners behind in the immensity of the mountains. For many, their departure was the difference between life and death. Survivors will always live with the hope of seeing each other again, outside this world. We used golden foil to represent the souls as light dust, over a cenital view of the mountains. For the name Esperanza and Valle de las Lágrimas, we used only a stamp, highlighting the meaning of the label.

Victoria marks the definitive step towards life. In Mangino’s words, true victory was to see his beloved Margarita once again. In the label, she is represented in the profile among the mountains. Over the memory of the love of his life, an extract from a letter is revealed. This letter was the one Fernando Parrado threw at the muleteer Sergio Catalán, who would finally help them to be rescued. Was in that very moment that they knew victory was about to come. We used a double exposure effect to merge the woman’s profile with the mountains. Golden foil was used to write the letter, so it would give it a valuable meaning.

Working on this project was a challenge, not only professional but personal too. It required a lot of study and hard work. We needed to get to know the story completely. We also learned to understand how intense and willingly is human life. We all grew up hearing about this story. However, none of the ones who worked on this project will ever remember this incident with the same hearts. We appreciated from a first source everything that happened behind the statistics. We learned about the hope, dreams and frustrations of people as remarkable as Álvaro.

We have nothing more to say but to thank Álvaro for giving us the opportunity of working in a project as unique as this one. We want to thank him also for trusting us and opening his heart to a group of designers who were capable of interpreting his personal tribute to his partners through a design for two unique wines.