Finding the Chilean Miners with Peter Hapak

Peter Hapak for TIME
Peter Hapak for TIME
Florencio Avalos, 31, assistant foreman. Steady, but shy — Avalos took charge of filming the videos of his fellow miners because he didn't want to be on camera himself. He was the first miner sent up in the rescue capsule because officials determined he was "lo más hábil", "the most able," to handle any technical difficulties that might arise. "I just came back from China," says Avalos who was in Beijing doing interviews, "and I was amazed at how interested they are in us even that far away. That's given me a lot of strength to move beyond what happened to us."

Trapped 2,300 ft. below the earth’s surface for almost three months, these 33 men defied the odds and inspired the world. Here we present them in the order in which they emerged from the mine.

To photograph all 33 miners, one crew traveled hundreds of miles over several days. Photographer Peter Hapak and TIME’s deputy photo editor Paul Moakley recall the adventurous photo shoot for TIME’s Person of the Year issue 2010.

Watch the video

Take a look inside of the mine with photographs by Edison Pena

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