Seattle man among hundreds of Americans stuck in Peru during coronavirus lockdown

SEATTLE -- It was supposed to be a temporary volunteer trip, but now a Seattle man is stuck thousands of miles away from home with no timeline of getting back.

Griffin Armour spends half of the year volunteering in Peru. He was preparing to fly home earlier this week from the Pervuian city of Cusco.

But before he could board a plane the country was put on lockdown. On March 16, President Martin Vizcarra announced a 15-day near-complete closure of the country's borders.

Armour said he didn't see it coming.

"I didn't hear anything until 24 hours before," Armour said. "The borders closed and the president announced a total lockdown."

Armour is one of hundreds of Americans stranded in Peru. He tried to call the U.S. Embassy shortly after the lockdown, but confusion reigned.

"I called the embassy and it took me a long time to get through and they basically said it's shut down," Armour said. "The website is saying 'look here for updates' but for right now the country is shut down until April."

People in Cusco are only allowed to go places like the bank, the pharmacy or grocery stores, Armour said. Otherwise, the police tell them to go home.

Right now there's no official word from either the Peruvian or U.S. governments on when Armour can come back to Seattle. At least his family knows he's safe, he said.

Still, he wants to come back.

"I just want to tell my family that I'm trying to come home soon and I hope the U.S. government helps me get home," he said.