JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville couple stranded in Honduras amid the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a new approach to try and get home.
The U.S. Department of State is tracking 13,000 Americans stranded abroad. Two of those people are Chris and Theresa Imbach who are stranded in Honduras. They say they are not getting any help from the government despite 5,000 Americans being brought home from 17 countries with thousands more to come.
Since News4Jax first aired their story last week, other Americans have reached out to say they are also stuck in Honduras. The couple said domestic flights keep changing or canceling.
The Jacksonville couple says now their only way out is by a charter flight, but they need other Americans to go with them.
The Imbachs have been stranded in Roatán, Honduras following a mission trip at the end of February.
“Everybody is a little nervous because Delta has canceled all their flights," Theresa Imbach said. "American has now canceled all of their flights into the island. United is the last man standing. So everyone is a little bit nervous that if they cancel, we don’t know what’s going to happen.”
The Honduran government closed its borders because of COVID-19, but said it’s allowing flights for stranded foreigners to leave.
The couple reached out to the Department of State and the U.S. Embassy. The government referred them to their airlines to check for flights, but the airlines keep canceling.
“It’s very disheartening when we feel like we’re getting a good answer," Theresa Imbach said. "They just keep pointing us back to the State Department who keeps pointing us back to the airline and so we’re back at square one again. It’s just a big circle.”
The couple says their only option now is to book a charter flight.
“We’re trying to get a group together to hopefully fly out [Tuesday]," Theresa Imbach said. "They’re saying we have to have at least 100 people.”
News4Jax has been able to connect the Imbachs with several other Americans also stranded in Honduras.
“Because of you [News4Jax reporter] Corley [Peel], I’m so grateful that you’ve been able to connect us with other people because we kind of have a group where we are," Theresa Imbach said.
The price for the charter flight is roughly $1,800 per person, but the Imbachs say it will be worth every penny.
“It’s almost the same," Chris Imbach said. "Just a little bit more, but the bottom line is, I need to get home. We just need to get home before the domestic flights stop.”
As of right now, the couple says they have 80 Americans in Honduras that are on the charter flight.
If you or anyone you know is also stuck in Honduras, let News4Jax know so we can connect you to the Imbachs.