Lifestyle & Belief

'The 33 of the Miracle': Chile miners launch range of souvenirs


Thirty-two Chilean flags and one Bolivian flag wave in the northern Chilean desert in honor of the miners trapped 2,300 feet below them.

You watched the news story; now, buy the souvenir.

Visitors to Chile will soon be able to pick up souvenirs commemorating the 33 miners who spent more than two months trapped underground in 2010.

The range of T-shirts, mugs and commemorative medals will be sold in airports, according to the BBC, under the brand name "The 33 of the Miracle."

It was a struggle to find something to call the range, miner Jose Ojeda said, since many of the more recognizable slogans associated with them have already been copyrighted.

Ojeda himself holds the rights to the phrase that gave the miners their collective nickname, Los 33: he wrote the note that let rescuers know the miners were still alive after the San Jose mine collapsed, in which he wrote, "We're ok in the refuge, the 33 of us."

His words quickly became a slogan; Chilean President Sebastian Pinera even handed out copies of them to foreign dignitaries on his trips abroad, the BBC reported at the time. Such widespread use prompted a Chilean author, Pablo Huneeus, to copyright the phrase on Ojeda's behalf.

Since then, several of the miners have said they face economic hardships that have forced them to try and make money from their experience. Profiling the men one year after their rescue, The Guardian's Jonathan Franklin recalled that, in the middle of their interview, one offered to sell him a flag signed by all 33 miners: "How much is that worth?"

The miners also collectively sold the movie rights to their story; filming on Los 33 is expected to begin sometime this year.