Persevering Through Adversities

By: Jacob Snell

Luis Urzua- Leader and survivor of the 2010 San Jose mine accident

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Luis Urzua (on right) showing triumph at his rescue after being trapped underground for 69 days.


August 6 2010- The San Jose mine collapsed and trapped 33 miners including Luis Urzua.

August 7 2010- Rescuers have to find a different way down to the miners after another cave in occurred.

August 22 2010- The miners send a note saying they are all alright back up to the people after a probe reaches them.

August 23 2010- A second probe reaches the miners but makes a larger hole so the rescuers can send food and water or other needs down to the miners.

October 9 2010- The plan B drill breaks through the roof of the mine.

October 13 2010- The first miner is rescued. (Florencio Antonio Avalos Silva)

October 14 2010- The 33rd miner (Luis Urzua) is rescued.

Luis Staying Positive

Luis Urzua took many steps to persevere through all of the adversities he and the other miners faced. Some actions included:

  • Making sure that the available food and water were split evenly among the 33 miners.
  • Keeping everyone in a positive attitude even though they were starving.
  • Painting the probe that reached them all read to show they hit the right spot. Also he attached a note to all of the families saying that nobody was injured and everyone was doing well.

Land Slide

On August 6 2010, the San Jose Mine (Chile) collapsed due to a sudden land slide. 33 miners were trapped 2,000 feet below the surface. One miner thought he had seen a butterfly in the mine right before it had collapsed. But really it was a piece of quartz that had fallen from the ceiling. This was a sign that rocks were moving. If the miner had known it was quartz, then he might have been able to tell other miners and save them. Because of the land slide, the 33 chilean miners were trapped far from the earths surface. Some people say no one should work in the San Jose mine because it is nearly 100 years old!

San Jose vs. Hurricane Katrina

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No more food!

After being trapped deep underground for 69 days, the miners were slowly running out of food. There wasn't nearly enough food to feed all of the miners with an average meal. Urzua divided the food and had a limit of one bite for every certain amount of hours. After being down there for about a month, the food supply was running really low. So then Urzua had to change the miners diet to one bite every 2 days! Since Urzua saved enough food for almost a month, the miners were able to survive from starvation.

About Luis Urzua

Luis Urzua was a man who didn't only care for himself, but for other people too. He was the leader and kind of a savior. He saved the miners because he split all of the food and saved it. Most of them would have wanted to finish the food in the first day because of their hunger. He lead them to safety by keeping them positive. This positive attitude really helped the miners so they wouldn't lose hope. Luis Urzua said that hope kept the miners alive. Urzua kept the miners active and moving, not being idle, so they could stay healthy. If they were idle while underground, most of them would falter when they reached the surface. All of the rescuers were surprised when they came out of the mine because they could move around normally and not stumble or fall.