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Floridians stranded in Ecuador after school trip

Americans stranded in Ecuador
Posted at 11:50 PM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 23:50:12-04

QUITO, Ecuador — A Spanish emersion trip to Ecuador is now fight to get back on U.S. soil.

Fox 4 spoke with two Floridians as they detail their journey this far.

“Its just day by day things are getting tougher and tougher, ” said Michael Jansma.

Students at Country Day School in Clearwater, Florida traveled to Ecuador nearly 3 weeks ago, and just days later, they were hit with some devastating news.

“It was on Saturday, I think the 15th or so that we got the news that they were closing the borders,” said Michael Jansma.

He says the group immediately tried to book flights but to no avail.

“There were so few flights, so few seats yet there were hundreds of people that were mandated to get off the island,” said Michael Jansma.

They have already faced some difficult times. Michael’s wife, Laura, has a thyroid issue and is running out of medication which local pharmacies don't have.

“We had a pharmacist who wouldn’t help us, they just were ignoring gringos and only helping Latinos. There was mob mentality in the airport there was a lot of pushing a lot of shoving, ” said Michael Jansma.

They fear things may continue to get worse

“We all are very nervous and very scared if something were to go wrong medically, or if we were to run out of food, ”said Michael Jansma.

As for now, the group says they are thankful for their current living accommodations while in Ecuador

“We are not disconnected from family and friends, we miss them a lot we miss our own bed and obviously the safety and security of our own community, ” said Michael Jansma.

Michael Jansma tells Fox 4 the future is uncertain as they will continue the search for a flight back into the states.