A Toronto Couple Is Finally Home In Canada After Being Stranded In Peru For Months
They almost missed their plane.
A couple finally flew home from Peru to Canada after being stranded for months in one of the countries most affected by COVID-19. The Canadian and her Peruvian husband are now safely quarantining in Toronto after almost missing the last flight out in potentially months. She said she's "relieved" but also disappointed in the government.
"I woke up every day just wanting to be home," said Elise Craig to Narcity. The couple finally touched down inon Friday night, June 19.
She and her husband Joseph Ruiz Cordova narrowly avoided missing their one repatriation flight out of the country — a flight they'd helped organize — after experiencing a ton of difficulty getting her husband a visa.
Because Cordova wasn't a Canadian citizen, Craig said, he initially wasn't— the government deemed his trip "non-essential."
However, all that changed on Monday, June 8, when Trudeau announced that family members of Canadians would be allowed tointo the country. It seemed like Cordova would be good to go after all.
"I was really, really hopeful. And then we received the reply," said Craig, after sending off another visitor visa request.
On Thursday, June 11, Cordova's visa was declined for the second time.
Meanwhile, their only flight for months out of Peru was leaving a week later, on Friday, June 19.
Craig said it was all especially frustrating since she had the office of deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland on her side — they actually wrote to Immigration Canada urging them to let the couple in.
Plus, ever since their first rejection on Wednesday, May 27, Craig's friends and family had been writing to MPs and representatives to fight for their return, she said.
Finally, until just three days before the flight was about to leave, the couple heard back from officials; Cordova would get his visitor's visa after all.
But while they were able to get on the plane along with the 370 other Canadians, Craig said the victory was bittersweet; other families weren't so lucky and are still stranded in Peru.
Craig says she still loves Canada, but she also feels frustrated at how hard they had to fight to come back home.
"I'm disappointed that we had to fight as hard as we did, just for people to do their jobs," she said.