DENVER (CBS4) – As some countries close their borders amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, one Colorado family is stranded in a foreign country and desperate to come home. For the past year, Ashley and Ryan Schwede have been traveling the world.
“We’ve been traveling outside the U.S. for months and have been in Honduras a little over a month,” Ashley said.
The young couple was about to leave Honduras last week, when the country’s government shut down its borders. That meant no travel in or out of the country by land, sea or air.
“We were about 12 hours from leaving Honduras and making safe passage into Belize which has no confirmed cases,” Ashley said. “And, at the time, would have still had flights out to the U.S.”
Now, they’re stranded in Honduras for at least the next two weeks.
“We’re afraid that these 14 days is going to be 18, 21, 25,” Ryan said. “Indefinitely.”
The Denver couple said when they heard coronavirus was getting bad, they thought they were safe in a country that had few cases. To be safe, they traveled to San Pedro Sula, a town with an international airport that would help them get out. Now, the city is basically shut down.
“You can’t really go anywhere except if you have a very specific reason for travel like a pharmacy,” Ryan said. “Grocery stores are closed.”
Ryan added that their hotel, is starting to run out of food. The family talked with the U.S. Embassy and commercial airlines without much help. They’ve been told most airlines are continuously having to cancel and ground flights because of the country’s closure.
“The soonest flights we can get are in a few weeks,” they told CBS4. “The fact that we might have to be here two or more weeks, that’s really putting fear in us now. We just want to come back to the states.”
The U.S. government is looking into ways to rescue Americans, like the Schwede’s, stranded in other countries. One effort is to charter flights to evacuate U.S. citizens from Guatemala.
Meanwhile, the Schwede’s are looking for ways to get home with other Americans stuck in the country.
“We’re looking to charter a flight but that would cost us thousands of dollars per person,” Ryan said. “Nobody was prepared for this. This virus exponentially spun out of control so now, here we are.”