COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – On Thursday, a group of 11 majority South Carolinian hikers returned from Peru.
The group had been stuck in Peru for weeks after the COVID-19 pandemic sparked many border closures. Some group members had medical conditions, which made the timeliness of the return critical.
Representative Joe Cunningham was one of the parties involved in getting the group home. According to a spokesperson for Cunningham, they were first contacted by a mother of one of the hikers on March 23, and have been in contact ever since.
Cunningham’s office acted as a liaison between the hikers and the State Department, and secured the group transportation from where they were staying to Cusco, where a State Department plane was waiting to bring them home.
Senator Tim Scott’s office was also one of the driving forces behind getting the group home. A spokesperson for Scott said that the office has been working for the past three weeks to get 120 Americans home from various countries. So far, 99 have returned, the group from Peru among them.
Any American abroad needing assistance should register with the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) or call American Citizen Services at 1-888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444