Laura Mancuso, the wife of the unforgettable record man and scientist, is continuing her husband's project to reintroduce a breeding pair of condors into their natural habitat

Dreams never die. Angelo d'Arrigo, who died in a plane crash on 26 March 2006, was deeply involved in a project to reintroduce condors- one of the three sacred anmals of the Inca culture, along with snakes and pumas – into the land where the Inca culture was born, and of which they are the symbol. And the project continues, as Angelo's wife Laura Mancuso wishes, and thanks to the work of the project team, and to the continuing suport of the project's partners who have never ceased to believe in Angelo's dream and in his project.

The team leaves Italy on 2 July, and plans to come back on 24 July.

The International Press Conference to open the project is to be held in Lima, at the Italian Institute of Culture. As well as the team members, the Italian Ambassador Fabio de Nardis, a delegation of Ministers of the Governement of Peru, including the Ministers of Agriculture and Tourism, and Prof. Calderon of the University of Cuzco (who hasbeen following the project) will be present, together with about thirty international journalists.

The team leaving Italy consists of 7 members, including Angelo's wife Laura (accompanied by their youngest son Ivan, aged 3 and a half). With them will also be the National Geographic photographic and video teams.

Inca and Maya, the condors that Angelo imprinted and raised under the wings of his especially constructed hang-gliuder, subsequently teaching them to fly, will arrive in the Andes thanks to Alitalia. The condors will travel in the plane's passenger cabin together with the team as they travel to the Andes, where they will finally extend their enormous (more than 3 metres ) wings.

Base camp is to be established in the Sagrata Valley, near Machu Pichu, and will be reached in FIAT Sedici vehicles provided for the occasion.

Bioloists from the Peruvian University S. Antonio Abad di Cuzco will join the team at base camp, where they will examine the results of laboraotory tests effected by the Italian health authorities.

The project has been overseen by Prof. Danilo Mainardi, world famous researcher into animal behaviour and Professor of Behavioural Ecology at the University Cà Foscari in Venice, Italy.

(all those who have followed Angelo's project hitherto with such enthusiasm and who continue to ask for information, and who hope that the condors will be able to regain their habitat, as Angelo desired, will find updates on his site. The most significant international media will also be carrying the stories)

Thanks to:

FIAT Alitalia AMC Paul Picot National Geographic Channel




02 JULY 2006


Finally, after a lengthy series of bureaucratic problems, Inca Maya and the team have eft for Peru.

In Lima, the work is split: Laura, little Ivan, Roberta and Sabrina stay behind to organise the inetrenational pres conference that will launch the "Wings of Condors" project, while Gabriele, Massimo, Antonello and Ugo proceed to Urubamba to get the base camp ready and to install the condors in their quarantine quarters at the Universita' Sant'Antonio Abate di Cusco.

After the Press Conference, Laura Ivan Roberta and Sabrina are to leave (in two Palio Adventures, provided by Fiat) Lima for Urubamba, crossing the Andes. The route, at times as high as 4600 metres, is tortuous but infinitely breathtaking. In the background, the immense Sagarmata glacier; they meet vicunas, llamas, alpaca, and all kinds of animals.

On theri arrival, the are reunited with the rest of the team, and the local organiser Kike Polack oganised a Peruvian party.




05 JULY 2006


On the fifth day of Peruvian quarantine for the condors, and despite the fact that their health certificates as well as their present state of health show them to be perfectly healthy, SENESA (the competent Peruvian

authority) has refused to end the period of quarantine.

Further, ignoring the European health certification which accompanies the birds, they have expressed the desire to effect further tests. They are proposing to effect blood tests for diseases which are already present in Peru; a pointless exercise that risks merely stressing the animals further, possiblòy to the point of a cardiovascular collapse.

the Italian Ambassador De Nardis has conveyed our remonstrances to the Peruvian government, and has received expressions of solidariety.

The press is indignant about the treatment the project is receiving. For the moment, however, the project team has made no official or unofficial comment so as not to render the situation more difficult.

On Monday, if the condors have not been freed, the team will lodge an official complaint against themselves for the diffusion of infectious diseases. Inca and Maya have been treated unjustly: we recall that they travelled in the cabin on an Alitalia flight with hundreds of passengers. If they were carrying infectious diseases, then the team is also otentially in the same position, and will require quarantine.


Inca e Maya in quarantena

Negli uffici del Senasa

Negli uffici del Senasa




08 JULY 2006


Whilst waiting for Inca and Maya to be released, the team decided to visit the the pre-Inca archeological site of Paccarictambo, three hours of untarmacked road from Cuzco.

There the local community told us of their need for a nursery for very young children- because the women work all day in the fields, taking their children with them, the children are subjected to all the vagaries of the weather, with all that this implies.

Next Saturday we have arranged a meeting with the mayor and with the local women to discuss the feasibility of such a project.


Bambini a Paccarectambo

Donne in paese

Il team

Il team incontra un campesitos

Ingresso a Paccarectambo

Ivan e i bambini del luogo

Sito archeologico di Paccarectambo




12 JULY 2006


The last few days have just been full of repeated and difficult journeys to Cuzco to meet the representatitives of the veterinary authorities Senase.

Talks, certificates, exams, analyses, arguments... finally yesterday we decided to accept a further attempt to take yet another blood sample from Inca and Maya.

The two official vets personally verified the difficulty of the operation, and the suffering and stress to which the attempt subjects our two young birds, and together with the Director of Cuzco reported back to Lima their opinion that the birds should be released from quarantine after (yet another )rectal swab, which is sufficient to exclude the possibility of avian flu infection.

The central authorities of Senasa has finally agreed to release the birds from quarantie.

From today, Inca and Maya are finally with us, free, at Base Camp!

Now: the preparations for their definitive release into the wilds, following the methodolgy that Angelo piloted and practised....


Kike Polak organizzatore della logistica della spedizione con i veterinari del Senase

Laura con il Prof.Miguel Ayala Calderon

Max, Ugo e Gabriele con i veterinari del Senase per il prelievo



13 LUGLIO 2006


A welcome party for Inca and Maya, with dancing, reciting of propitious mantras ancient rituala, all in an incredibly suggestive and moving atmosphere.

Everything in the quecha language, but we could ofte catch the names of Inca and Maya. At the end, the spokesperson expressed their profound gratitude to Angelo, whom hey consider an illuminated spirit, since he so strongly wanted to return Inca and Maya, the two sacred condors, Apu Kuntur, the Condor God in the ancient Inca culture


Danze propiziatorie

Dopo le danze propiziatorie

Lo sciamano prima del rituale sacro

Un momento della serata



14 LUGLIO 2006


Today we had the first flights. Inca seems a little disorientated. It's not a great day for flying- vey few thermals, the air is very stable.

Tomorrow should be better.


Decollo di Inca

Max in procinto di decollare

Nella cucina del Campo Base

Le riprese



15 LUGLIO 2006


Today, training and recognition flights over the Sagrada Valley continue. The team is working very well together, and Inca already seems to have settled in, and readily follows Massimo during the flights of recognition. Maya is well, but we're waiting for more suitable weather conditions for her tomorrow.

Some members of the Angelo D'Arrigo Foundation went to Paccarictambo where the Mayor and local people were expecting them; for there, in Wawawasi, there was an inaugural ceremony on the site where a nursery is to be built for pre-school children. To now, even the very youingest children have been obliged to spend all their days in the fields where their mothers are working.

After using a flowered hammer to break a bottle, thanks were given to Pacha Mama, Mother Earth, by pouring onto the earth a part of the fermented maize which also served to toast the project.

It was a moment of hugs and emotion. Ina short speech, Laura explained that this project of solidariety is possible because of the work of the many friends of Angelo working with the Foundation, with commitment and with passion. A local woman, who had met Angelo last year when he came to Paccarictambo, has named her newborn daughter Angelica and asked Laura to christen her when she comes back.


Il Wawawasi


Dal Sindaco di Paccarectambo

Gabriele e Max prima di decollare

Inca dopo un bel volo

Le donne del paese abbracciano Laura commossa

Massimo e Ugo

Max di fronte la valle di Pumawanka sopra Urubamba

Max in volo sopra la Valle Sagrada

Si beve dopo aver reso omaggio alla Pacha Mama


21 LUGLIO 2006


It was what we ardently desired, and awaited.

Now that the great day is here, the day we release the condors, it's a real feast, but rather like when a someone dear to you is leaving for a long journey; the joy we feel for Inca and Maya who regain their liberty in this incredible habitat is a little veiled with a sense of sadness and melancholy.

As we watch them soar in the immense valley where Angelo had imagined them, our thoughts turn to him, to his love for Nature, to his profound sense of freedom, to his nature which acknowledged neither frontiers nor barriers.

And we think of everything he left us: his greatness, his humanity, together with Inca and Maya, the yearling condors he left us to take home.

We did it for them. And, Angelo, we did it for you. And we miss you that much more.

I should like to thank the whole team for the professionalism and the passion that they each brought to this project. And above all for the support they gave me in moments of sadness. And Gabriele and Ivan, dragged into an adventure that they had not chosen, but which they nevertheless have lived with serenity.

And Gioela, Giusy, Alda, Nino, Pina, Mirella, Richard, Angelo's parents and mine, who in sadness and in joy, in anxiety and in trepidation have followed each and every moment of this adventure which is so suffused with the memory of Angelo.

To all the friends at the Fondazione Angelo d'Arrigo, who have continued to work and support us throughout, I say a heartfelt thanks.

And heartfelt thanks also

To HE Alexandro Toledo, President of the Republic of Peru;

To HE Piero Claudio De Nardis, Italian Ambassador to the Republic of Peru; and to and to First Secretary at the Embassy in Lima, dott. Tiziana Marini

To the Hon. Marilena Samperi, and to Assessore Gesualdo Campo in Italy

To Professor Danilo Mainardi of Ca' Foscari University, Venice

To Profesor Miguel Ayala of San Antonio bad University, Cuzco

To the Director General at the Italian Ministry of the Environment, dr Aldo Cosentino, and to dr Antonio Maturani, director in the General Affairs Division. To Dr G Caprioli, Director General for the Promotion of Exchanges at the Italian Ministry of International Trade.

To the Director General for Commercial Policy at the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, dr Amadeo Teti, as wella s to dr Anna Maria Forte, director of the VIII division, and to Sig.ra Zanini.

To Tonino De Angelis at the Italian Ministry of Health.

As well as to all those who helped me navigate the tortuous labyrinth of paperwork, both in Italy and in Peru, all who disinterestedly priveleged reason, elasticity and sometimes the feelings of their hearts over a rigid interpretation of their professional standing

To Inrena, and to Senase

To Jorge Zavaleta for the organisation of the Pres Conference in Peru. To Miguel Zamora, Ministry of Tourism.

To ASL 3 in Catania, the Director General Antonio Scavone, to the Director of Section Vet. Tonino Salina, to the Director of Metropilitan Area CT Carmelo Macrì, To Franco Palmeri UO area C area metr. CT and Salvo Rubino, UO Hygiene Urb. Vet

To Kantu Peru and its logistics director in Peru, Kike Pilak , and to bRenato Moro at Focus

To Claudio Sanpedro. To Leonardo Di Paola. To Nicoletta Cicalo’ in the Press Office

To Daniele de Matteo for the website. To Franco Restuccia for the logo.

To Genevieve e Sylvien Saudan, Cecilia Benassi, Benjamín Ribiere, Katia for website and update translations into English, French German and Spanish

To Giusy Pulvirenti in the office in Italy

To Avv Marco Patrizi and Avv Fabio Petrantoni, dear friends and precious legal advisors

To Luca De Meo, Nicola Pumilia, Manuel Garcia, Belini, Thomas Jene, Cristina Ballardini, Mario e Franco Boiocchi, Eric Oppliger, Alessandro Amadeo, Daniela Schimicci, Sergio Moretti, Enzo Pagano, Patrizia Castorina

National Geographic and Doc Lab for the video shooting

Spin 360 for the photography

and to the hundreds of other beautiful peole who, for reasons of space I am unable to list but who, like Rene our guide and Maruka, Ivan's baby sitter or Raul, Pedro Pablo, Livio, Turibio and all of the others who helped, and whom we will remember because they didmore, and better, than they were asked to


In decollo












24 LUGLIO 2006