Edison was one of the 33 Chilean miners trapped for 69 days at the troubled 121-year-old San José copper–gold mine in northern Chile. He has since become a well-known celebrity, famed for his like-able and humorous character, and for his charitable efforts and Elvis impersonation.
The mine, located deep in the Atacama Desert, one of the driest and harshest regions on earth, succumb to a significant cave-in which began in the afternoon of Thursday, 5 August 2010, leaving the miners trapped for a record 69 days deep underground before their rescue.
The buried men, who became known as “Los 33” (“The 33”), were trapped 700 meters (2,300 ft) underground and about 5 kilometers (3 mi) from the mine’s entrance via spiraling underground service ramps. Edison was the 12th miner to be rescued.
Just three and a half weeks after being freed from the mine, Pena competed in the ING New York City Marathon, finishing in five hours, forty minutes, bettering his six-hour goal. A seriously determined individual, Pena had to struggle through the pain in his knees to complete the run.
In 2010 Pena appeared on the David Letterman show for 3 full segments. He performed the interview with the aid of a translator and gave a memorable rendition of Elvis Presley’s Suspicious Minds.
In Jauary 2011, Pena joined with hundreds of other Elvis Presley fans at Graceland to sing “Happy Birthday” on the late rock n’ roll hero’s 76th birthday. Pena was the guest of honour and cut into a 4-foot high cake fashioned to look like stacked television sets outside Elvis‘ legendary Memphis home.
Edison illustrates a gruelling journey of bravery, strength, leadership and skill where every decision made during his time in the mines could have been his last. His natural style and exuberant spirit allows him to set an audience at ease whilst keeping them entertained and on the edge of their seats throughout the course of the presentation.