Woman with SA-French citizenship seeks help to get out of Peru

27 May 2020 - 12:07
By Ernest Mabuza
A woman who has dual SA and French citizenship has been stuck in Peru since March.
Image: Jaromír Chalabala /123rf.com A woman who has dual SA and French citizenship has been stuck in Peru since March.

A woman who has dual SA and French citizenship has asked for help to be evacuated from Peru to return home to London, where she has been resident for years.

Haley Hartwell says a camping trip for a couple of weeks in Peru at the beginning of March had ended up with her being completely isolated in the jungle for two months, after the outbreak of Covid-19, and she is not sure for how long she will be in Iquitos.

After the outbreak of Covid-19, most countries closed their skies, making it difficult for foreigners to get home.

What made things worse in her case was that she needed to fly from isolated Iquitos to the capital Lima from where most expatriation flights for foreigners in Peru depart.

She has tried several times to contact the SA, French and UK embassies without success.

“I am the only person here out of the whole group of people that were here who was unsuccessful in getting a repatriation flight out,” said Hartwell.

She claimed that the South African embassy in Peru had not replied while the French embassy said that because she was not a French citizen living in France, she was not a priority.

The UK embassy stated that because she was not a UK citizen, she needed to contact the French embassy.

She had expected the lockdown in Peru would be lifted soon.

“However, on the morning of the 23rd I received more disheartening news that the ban has now been extended until June 30 with continued extensions [possible] towards end of October,” she said.

Hartwell said she had run out of money.

“I am living off the land, eating vegetables. I am drinking rain water and living a very, very simple life.”

A plea on gofundme states that she needs £4,000-£4,500 to get herself home.

She calculated that's what it would cost to fly from Iquitos to Lima in Peru, then a flight from Lima to Europe.

The cost would include a stay for 14 days in a country in Europe because she would need to be quarantined for 14 days.

As of Wednesday morning, £375 of the requested amount had been donated.