April 2, 2020 In the News

Exeter family stranded in Peru since coronavirus outbreak returns to US

Seacoast Online
By Patrick Cronin
April 2, 2020

EXETER – An Exeter family stranded in Peru due to the coronavirus pandemic recently returned home thanks to the help of U.S. Sen Jeanne Shaheen.

Shaheen, D-N.H., announced Thursday that her office successfully helped Julie Givens and Javier Jimenez and their three children return to the U.S. after being stuck in Peru for several weeks. Her office helped arrange for the Exeter family to board a flight organized by the State Department.

The Peruvian government ordered a state of emergency March 15 and closed its borders and barred all incoming and outgoing international flights, due to the coronavirus pandemic. On March 26, the Peruvian government approved repatriation flights through April 1.

“Thank you to Sen. Shaheen’s office for helping to advocate for our family and many others to return home as quickly as possible,” Givens said. “We are grateful to the people there for keeping us informed, and for making us feel that we were not forgotten. It felt like a long road as we waited to leave Peru, and the uncertainty was difficult. We are so happy to be back home in New Hampshire, and we are so thankful to the many people who supported us in the process of returning.”

Shaheen’s office also assisted Paul Blaisdell of Northfield who was on a work trip to El Salvador. Her office was able to get Blaisdell on a manifest for a U.S.-bound flight arranged by the U.S. government.

“The COVID-19 crisis has been an incredibly stressful time for all Americans, but particularly for travelers who have been stranded overseas,” Shaheen said. “I’m very glad these Granite Staters are finally safely home.”

Shaheen encouraged anyone struggling to return from a foreign country, or knows someone in this situation, to call her office at (603) 647-7500.

“I continue to work with my staff to help return other Granite Staters who are still in foreign countries,” Shaheen said. “It’s important for these travelers to know that someone is working on their behalf and that we won’t let up until they’re safely back in New Hampshire.”