by David Noto
The San Jose Mine is literally in the middle of nowhere, about a one hour drive from the closest city, Copiapo, which is best described as "small town" Chile.
People all over the world were glued to the TV for the rescue of the 33 miners here in Chile, watching each one emerge from that rescue capsule and embracing their loved ones. Being able to see it in person and feeling the emotion of the crowd was like nothing else. When I finally got to see each man come out and have that emotional reunion with his family, I couldn't help but become emotional too.
All I could think about were the people I love and how much I would miss them if I were in that situation. And with the odds against you, to finally be able to see that person again must be an overwhelming experience.
On the day before the extraction, the miners' family members had already sat in small tents, parking themselves at the entrance of the site and waiting for over two months. They sat in outdoor furniture and had to deal with the strong sun everyday as well as the brutal cold at night.
Many told me their personal stories and that they were staying confident that the men would be rescued soon. It's a remarkable thing to see because it reminds you of how important family is to all of us.
The media presence was insanely huge, with some 1500 journalists on hand. There was just no room. Normally, this would create a hostile environment and cause countless fights among us. But the last thing we wanted to do was get in the way of these people and overwhelm them.
When the last man made his way out of the capsule, the people at "Camp Hope" cheered and screamed.
The media stayed back and watched quietly, allowing them to have their moment. I think we all knew the delicacy of the situation. And while we wanted to make news, we also just wanted to be supportive.