When you put the stories to the faces of the 33 men who have been trapped 2,000 feet below the surface for over sixty days, the rescue mission becomes much more personal.
Florencio Avalos Silva, 31, was the first to be rescued and his reunion with his family was so touching, there wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd. Watching the son cry as his father was being lifted out was a moment you’ll never forget.
Some of the other miners who have been trapped since August 5th have incredible stories.
Ariel Ticona Yanez, 29, has a wife who gave birth to a baby girl named Esperanza, “Hope”, 40 days after the mine collapsed. Of his three children, this was the first birth he was able to witness, not in person, by via video link that was lowered into the mine. He comes from a mining family and looks forward to baptizing his daughter when he reaches the surface.
The girlfriend of Claudio Yanez Lagos, 34, proposed through a letter during his isolation. They have two daughters together and are planning to marry after the rescue.
Richard Reinald Villarroel Godoy, 27, never told his mother he was working at the mine for the past two years! Imagine the shock when his mother learned what happened. Richard has something to look forward to… his girlfriend is expecting a child in November.
Victor Zamora Bugueno, 33, has a wife who is expecting in six months and they plan to name the baby “Paz Victoria” or “Peace Victory” if it’s a girl.
Music kept the miners’ spirits lifted. Edison Fernando Pena Villaroel, 34, is a huge Elvis Presley fan and asked for Elvis music to be sent down into the mine and he led the group in sing-alongs.
Jorge Hernan Galleguillos Orellana, 56, loves folk music and dancing and requested music to be sent to the mine.
Watch the Chile miners being rescued live on CNN news.