Davenport, Iowa (KWQC) - Edwin and Jennifer Valladares booked their flight to Honduras late last month. They were traveling there to visit a terminally ill family member. Edwin, a full-time student at the University of Iowa studying pre-med, and Jennifer, a Bettendorf native, planned the trip to work with his spring break. The visit itself already brought many emotions, and now, even more, as they work to find a way home.
Edwin’s aunt Lupe has stage four breast cancer. While she tried chemotherapy for one round, she decided to forgo treatment. The couple wanted to say their final goodbyes.
“If we didn't make the trip so we wouldn't be able to see her alive again,” Jennifer said.
They had only planned to stay one week and return on March 19th, however, the country closed its borders on March 15th. Then, an international travel advisory was issued on the 19th.
"I wish we would have...we would have been notified enough in advance to not end up in this situation,” Jennifer said.
Back in the Quad Cities, Jennifer is working on her MBA and Edwin’s classes have moved online. They said the internet connection hasn’t been well.
“The internet service is really really slow. I've been trying to study but sometimes it's so slow it kicks me out,” Edwin said.
Despite those challenges, they said the sense of community in Honduras keeps them going. They’ve also been looking on social media and seeing all the good deeds being done by people here in the Quad Cities.
"It's really inspiring to see kind of some of that developing back home,” Jennifer said.
The couple says they've been in contact with the US Embassy every day. They have a flight booked for April 1st. They're still hopeful they might be able to get home sooner.
President Trump announced in a press conference Sunday evening that they are working closely with the Honduran government to try to get Americans back home.