In chapters 11-13
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Salva eats and drinks very little as well as takes his uncle's advice. He picks a spot in the distance and walks to it. Then he picks another one and does the same thing. Salva shuts out the pain and discomfort from his mind and finds strength within himself to survive.
Salva survives in an challenging environment because he remembers his family and uncle jewiir words. For example, on page 72 it states "How can i go on without them? but how can i not go on? They would want me to survive...To grow up and make something of my life...To honor their memories." Another detail is "Do you see that group of bushes? You only need to walk as far as those bushes." -Hope this response answered your question.