Mining their way to Success: The 33

Urzua and Aguila sharing their story on stage

by Tanya Ortega (Staff Writer) – 12/21/15

Urzua and Aguila sharing their story on stage
Urzua and Aguila sharing their story on stage

On August 5, 2010, thirty-three miners from Chile were trapped underground for thirty days, and after a successful rescue operations, all the miners survived. These miners live their lives and travel around to share their story.

Recently released The 33 is a movie about the whole incident that happened in Chile. These miners had to go through thirty-three days of surviving with little food and water. Two miners, Luis Urzua and Juan Aguila, both attended a church called Camino Metro.

During their visit they talked to the audience about what they had to go through. They came in representing themselves in their actual uniforms and helmets. On the back they had their names and a flag from Chile.

They first started to explain their first thoughts when the collapse happened. “At first we all heard a rumble noise, and we had no clue what was going on, until we saw above our heads that dirt and rocks started to collapse,” explained Urzua. At this very moment, Urzua started to realize that the mountain doesn’t just collapse on it’s own. He knew something was wrong. “We thought there was going to be an earthquake, and we didn’t understand what was happening,” stated Urzua.

Eventually they were trapped with no way out. It became hopeless because there was no way out. People didn’t know if they were alive. Surprisingly all thirty-three were still alive. Aguila claimed that, “Everyday we asked and prayed for God to save us. Hope is what kept us together.” At one point they were drinking water that wasn’t as clean because there was dirt inside the metal container. They had to share one container of tuna and split into thirty-three pieces. More than 2,300 feet below ground, these miners were fighting starvation, and they were clinging to faith.

Rescuers tried looking for the men by drilling more than a dozen holes. People gave up because there was no sign of life. The Chilean President, Sebastian Piñera, had plans of putting a giant cross to memorialize them. “It was such an obstacle. We were fighting for something we had to adjust to. Day after day, we were wondering when will someone save us,” explained Urzua.

On August 22, 2010, there was a note attached to drilling tool. The note said that all 33 men are alive. After that, rescuers started a project of many drillings to pull them out from underground.

Today, these miners are sharing their story throughout the new movie and attending churches. Aguila wants to inform the people who are struggling to “Have faith and the strength because you will pull through. No one is perfect in this world, and one day you will succeed.”

These men have now appreciated life more and they received many great opportunities. This event is a reminder that people can achieve anything with the hope and faith.