Gulfport father hoping his daughter in Peru will return home soon

Updated: Mar. 18, 2020 at 3:34 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Americans across the nation are forced to adjust to new ways of life to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But what adjustments do Americans in other countries have to make, and what are they feeling?

One father, Patrick Collins, said his 25-year old daughter Laurel took to Peru a couple of weeks ago for a clinical trial journey. She was accompanied by her South Alabama classmates and students from other colleges.

He said the trip was going well until Peru shut down its borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s not as if they were monitoring the situation when all of the sudden the president of Peru comes on the TV and said, ‘You have 24 hours to leave the country.’ And as you can imagine there was a mad rush to get to the airport, and everyone couldn’t get a flight. The ones that couldn’t were stuck there,” Collins said.

So, Laurel, her classmates and many others are still in Peru. Collins said they tried to work with the U.S. Embassy there, but it’s been closed. He said he also reached out to others who’ve also run into the same Peruvian red tape.

“There’s 20 students, four or five are from South Alabama which is where my daughter is from, two are from the Coast, and there’s a man there from Hancock County. They’re all students, and this is part of their education,” Collins added. “They were having a good time until this.”

Collins said the hope is to have the colleges get together and arrange some type of charter flight back home for the students.

“They’re still going to try and do that but they still have to negotiate with the Peruvian Government to let them leave,” he said.

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