For the last two-and-a-half months, 33 miners have been trapped in an underground shaft a half-mile beneath the earth’s surface inside the San Jose Mine, Chile.
As rescue efforts took place last week, millions around the world watched with baited breath as each were brought to the surface in a NASA engineered tube only 26 inches in diameter.
Families and friends gathered to see their loved ones for the first time in 70 days, hoping that they would make the 40-minute trip from the bottom of the cave to the surface without incident. As they stepped out from their transport tube in their Oakley sunglasses, each man looked healthier than most expected.
Maintaining the health, both mental and physical, was a priority for rescuers. The rescuers also wanted to be able to communicate with the miners while they were configuring a rescue effort and making sure that the miners didn’t faint during their rise to freedom, which could cause death, was also a main concern.
The Chilean government knew they needed outside help in order to get these men out sooner rather to later so they stepped out of their comfort zone and asked the world for help on all of these efforts. They didn’t wait for offers of help, they took the lead and got their men the right clothes, video feeds, much needed food and water and even access to televised soccer games.
Along with the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and many other nations, gave advice on how to keep the rescuers safe and healthy and helped with rescue efforts.
The concern for their own citizen’s safety and lives came before their pride, setting a much needed precedent for the world to see.
There are now hundreds of photos and videos scouring the internet. These videos bring us the personalities of the miners, the leaders who kept them going, those who entertained and those who kept the spirits of the men moving upward.
As the world watched these men as they survived in cramped quarters and stone walls, hope that they would be rescued hung in the air. How many of us never thought they would endure?
But they did! They sprang from their capsules and shared their strength and determination with the entire world, bringing each of hope that the nations of the world can come together for the greater good of 33 men in Chile.