'That’s when panic struck': Guatemala closes its borders on visitors during COVID-19 spread

Brooke Dolberg was thrilled to explore a country she’s never visited, that country being Guatemala.

She and her friends left Phoenix March 12th and arrived to Guatemala Friday the 13th. It was the start of a 10-day vacation.

But just 4 days in, Dolberg got word that Guatemala was closing its borders for 2 weeks in efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

"We didn’t expect the Guatemalan president to act so quickly and to close the borders for 15 days ... that’s when panic struck,” she said.

Dolberg and her friends were in contact with the U.S. Embassy. and she was waiting to hear whether she would be selected to board one of the 6 U.S. charter flights leaving the country for Dallas, Texas.

The last two flights took off Wednesday morning.

“We were waiting yesterday," she said, adding, "We pulled the trigger in driving to Mexico."

Dolberg and two others decided to drive to the Guatemala-Mexico border Thursday morning and walk across the border. 

They plan to take a flight from Tapachula to Mexico City and then head to Los Angeles.

“I'm apart of a Facebook group where there is a thousand of us stranded ... there is still a ton if us left," Dolberg says.

She never thought she’d find herself in this situation, she expressed.

“Yeah we’re stuck in a beautiful country, [but] now we’re one of those people,” she said.

Their flight to the Los Angeles airport is expected to land Thursday around midnight.