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How the Chile mine rescue saga united the country

Chile mine rescue efforts have helped pull together a geographically disparate, class-conscious, and often individualistic country.

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Maria Segovia, sister of Dario Segovia, one of the 33 miners trapped at the San Jose mine, was comforted Monday by an unidentified woman at the camp where relatives are staying outside the mine, near Copiapo, Chile.

Natacha Pisarenko/AP

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Bernarda Lorca would usually be sitting in her wheelchair, selling cosmetics and handmade crepe-paper flowers on the street in Santiago. Instead, she spent last night at the dusty San Jose mine site here, making flowers for the dozens of women who have waited at the mine gate for 68 days since a cave-in trapped their husbands, brothers, and sons.

With the world's biggest copper producing country in a frenzy over the possible imminent rescue of 33 trapped miners, Ms. Lorca is part of a caravan offering both financial and moral support.

The collapse of the mine has helped pull together a geographically disparate, class-conscious, and often individualistic country.

RELATED: 5 reasons the Chile mine rescue was so successful

"The people are more united," Lorca said the dining hall at Camp Hope, where the families have been joined by more than 1,000 journalists awaiting the mine rescue. "Chile is very divided. The rich are rich and the poor are poor. Here, people who might be a bit snobbier have to walk in the same mud as everyone else. You can't walk around here in polished shoes."

Rescue begins at midnight

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