Rescued Chile miners mulling future

2011-01-03 14:02
Santiago - Some of the 33 miners who spent a record 69-days trapped underground want to change jobs and are thinking of becoming fruit sellers or motivational speakers, while others say they have no choice but to go back to the pits.

Global media stars after their rescue on October 13, the miners are running out of disability pay and spoke with El Mercurio newspaper about their plans for the future. Dario Segovia said he is thinking of selling fruit at a market.

"I've got to move quickly on this, because they've cancelled my sick leave and I've got to get back to work. I think I'll start with peaches and grapes," he said in an interview published on Sunday.

Omar Reygadas and Mario Sepulveda have been busy giving motivational speeches and plan to take their new occupation outside Chile. They said they've received offers from Mexico, US and Canada.

"This is my new job and I hope to milk it for all it's worth," Reygadas said.


Alex Vega is also thinking along the same lines. "I'm doing something in Santiago, giving speeches about what I went through and how the entire group pulled together."

Reygadas, Segovia, Edison Pena and Carlos Bugueno recently lost their disability pay for failing to undergo medical checks due to constant trips abroad as they enjoyed their newfound fame. Several other rescued miners were more prosaic about their job opportunities.

Pena, Pablo Rojas, Juan Carlos Aguilar and Juan Illanes told the daily they see themselves back inside a mine.

"We've got to get back to our reality. The dream is over," said Pena who ran in the New York City marathon and appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman.

"If you're born a cricket, you die singing," quipped Illanes.

The miners survived more than two months in a tunnel 622m below the surface, at a copper mine in Chile's northern Atacama desert.

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