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Tampa woman working to bring church group stranded in Honduras home

Coronavirus

TAMPA (WFLA) – Richard Moore is with a church group from Morgantown, West Virginia that’s been traveling to Honduras for more than a decade to do volunteer work.

“We build homes for people who are basically living in shacks,” said Moore in an interview from a compound he’s staying in located in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

His group left before travel restrictions were put into place by the U.S. and Honduran governments. Now they are stranded with no way to get back to the United States.

“Well right now we have been basically quarantined into our compound where we are living. We are not allowed out of here, we have not been allowed off-site since Monday,” said Moore.

There are 16 people in their group, ranging in age from 16 to 73.

Becky Barnett from Hillsborough County is friends with several people in the group and is working to help bring them home worried about what may happen if they are forced to stay for a long period of time.

“I’m worried about their safety and their health. Some of them are on medications,” said Barnett.

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin’s office says they are aware of the group’s problems and are working to bring them home.

“Senator Manchin’s office has been in contact with the mission group from Morgantown and his staff is working around the clock to find a way to bring them home. This includes communicating with the Department of Defense and Department of State to exhaust all available options. We will stay in close contact with this group until they are safely returned home,” said a spokesperson from Manchin’s office.

Moore says he feels his group is safe where they are now, but the situation is growing worse in Honduras.

“There is kind of like a martial law in Honduras. You can not travel out in a vehicle with more than one person,” said Moore.

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