Rescued Chile miners mulling future
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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 October 13 rescue, 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 canceled 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 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, United States and Canada.
“This is my new job and I hope to milk it for all it's worth,” Reygadas told the daily.
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 622 meters (2,041 feet) below the surface, at a copper mine in Chile's northern Atacama desert. - Sapa-AFP