The Chilean miners who were trapped underground for 69 days share their advice for the young Thai soccer players

Chilean Mario Sepulveda, one of 33 miners who were trapped underground for 69 days, had a message of encouragement for the young soccer players trapped in a cave in Thailand.

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Chilean Mario Sepulveda, one of 33 miners who were trapped underground for 69 days, had a message of encouragement for the young soccer players trapped in a cave in Thailand.
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Guardian News/YouTube

  • A Thai soccer team has been trapped in the cave for two weeks.
  • Some of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped in a mine for 69 days have spoken out about their experiences, providing advice for the young boys.
  • “Hope is the last thing that dies, and now everything depends on the rescuers working to save them and the coach who should motivate them to hang on until they get out of there,” one former miner told the Los Angeles Times.

Twelve soccer players and their coach have been trapped in the Tham Luang Nang cave in northern Thailand for two weeks.

The tribulation, which has been heavily publicized around the world, isn’t unlike what 33 Chilean miners experienced in 2010, when they were trapped for 69 days 2,300 feet below ground in a copper mine.

Two of those miners told the Los Angeles Times advice they had for the boys, who are aged between 11 and 16.

The miners said those who interact with the soccer players should focus on the positive and avoid words or actions that cast them as victims.

“They are probably devastated thinking about their families and when they will be rescued, and it’s normal to worry like that,” former miner Claudio Acuna, 46, told the Times. “I would tell the boys not to despair, to wait and pray, because God knows what he’s doing.”

Omar Reygadas, 64, who is now a truck driver, also said keeping positive was crucial.

“Hope is the last thing that dies, and now everything depends on the rescuers working to save them and the coach who should motivate them to hang on until they get out of there,” Reygadas told the Times. “They shouldn’t worry about crying or being scared.”

Nearly a decade later, both men told the Times they continue to struggle with the mental aftermath of their 69 days trapped in the mine. Acuna said he sees himself in the mine when he closes his eyes, and Reygadas said he feels depressed and suffers from dizziness.

Mario Sepulveda, another miner, shared his own “message of hope” for the young men in a video published by The Guardian.

“I have no doubt that if the government of the country puts in everything and makes all possible efforts, this rescue will be successful,” Sepulveda said in the video. “We are praying for each of you, for each of the families, and for these children.”

Read the entire Los Angeles Times article here »