INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Kathryn Vance is an Indiana native stuck in the middle of Peru with a group of friends from college.
“We all live across the country now, so this is one of those trips were we like to get together,” Vance said.
They found out late Sunday night that they would be together longer than expected, when the owner of a local restaurant told them the country’s borders were closing in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.
“Two of us immediately left the restaurant, went back and tried to book flights to get out of here because we didn’t know if it was going to be 8 a.m. or midnight. At that point, we really didn’t have very much information but even unfortunately even within an hour of knowing all of those flights had already been booked,” Vance said.
They were able to book flights for later in the week, which were soon canceled. Vance says the bus services in Peru have stopped running and there are no available rental cars. They are in a remote area of the country and three hours by car to the nearest airport.
“Our next best option was to book flights for April 1, so that is kind of where we are right now,” Vance said.
Vance and her friends are in an Airbnb near the Sacred Valley region of Peru. Most of the attractions in the area are still open to the public and the owner of the Airbnb is allowing them to stay until April 1. A few of her traveling companions are working remotely, as the area has decent internet service.
“We decided to stay put; we felt like we were in a safer place out here,” Vance said.
They are safe but they don’t have a way to get home.
Indiana House Rep. Tom Saunders was contacted by Vance’s mother and has been on the phone with people in Vice President Pence’s office
“They are aware of the students and location in Peru. I was also told there is a large contingency of Americans in Morocco who are also stranded and the State Department is also working with the military to try and provide transportation for those Americans back to the United States. That is their main priority. Then they were going to try an address the citizens in Peru,” Saunders said.
Saunders is hoping to get this group home by the middle of next week.