HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Four Hawaii residents are in limbo in South America. They’re trapped in Peru as a result of widening coronavirus pandemic quarantines.
Windy McElroy, who lives in Kapolei, traveled to Peru with her daughter on March 2, to see the historic ruins of Machu Picchu.
She says the streets were full of tourists until the Peruvian government shut the country’s borders on March 16.
“We quickly packed up our bags and rushed over to the airport ," McElroy said. "The taxis couldn’t get close to the airport so we had to hop out and run with our bags.”
When they got there, McElroy says there was a locked gate with armed guards who weren’t letting anyone into the airport unless they had a plane ticket for a flight that day.
“There’s no one here in the country to help us,” McElroy told Hawaii News Now over FaceTime.
McElroy says she and her daughter have a flight booked for March 31 out of the country, but doesn’t know if it will actually take off.
She says the U.S. Embassy in Lima has sent mass emails to stranded Americans, but no individual plans have been set.
Meanwhile, Kapahulu resident Elton Goo is in Mancora, Peru with his wife.
He started his vacation surfing the waves of Lima. Now Goo, who has stage 4 lung cancer, is worried about having enough medication on-hand to survive the announced 15-day isolation.
He says he’s trying to work with the embassy to either secure travel plans out of the country or coordinate a shipment of his medication through Peru’s secured borders.