Punta Gorda woman stuck in Peru amid pandemic

A Punta Gorda woman is begging for help to get her home to her son.

Fatima Diez Rives flew to Peru to see her sick father, but now she’s struggling to get back to Southwest Florida.

She had no idea when she arrived in Lima a week ago that she would see the airport packed with people scrambling to get out of the country.

“It’s pretty overwhelming. It’s pretty sad, because everything happened in a blink of an eye,” she said.

Diez Rivas landed in her home country the same night Peru’s president announced a complete border shutdown to hopefully stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Supermarkets are closed, everything is closed. Nothing is open. You can only go out for food, for medications.”

Diez Rivas, who now lives in Punta Gorda, went to visit her father, who is battling cancer. With the airport shut down, the 24-year-old mother is stuck in Peru until at least the end of the month, along with thousands of other Americans.

She has even emailed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for help.

President Donald Trump said Sunday that the U.S. Embassy is working with the Peruvian government to bring people like Diez Rivas home to her 3-year-old son.

“I miss him and I want to get back to my baby,” she said.

For now, she’s staying isolated in Peru, waiting for the day she can fly back to Southwest Florida.

“We need to go back to our families. We need to go back to our homes.”

WINK News also reached out to Rubio’s office, but did not hear back.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) told us his office would work with the State Department to help bring Diez Rivas home.

Reporter:Taylor Petras
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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