South Florida first responders back home after being stuck in Peru - 96.9 WINK FM

South Florida first responders back home after being stuck in Peru


Two Miami first responders reunited with their families after days of being trapped in Peru.

Captain Brian Vega with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue arrived at Miami International Airport Monday afternoon and was greeted by his family.

“I’m beyond elated and relieved to be back at home in the good ole USA,” he said to reporters.

Vega was one of two residents we reported stuck in Peru Friday. Vega was stuck in Aguas Calientes and Sgt. Jessenia Munoz of Miami Dade Police was trapped in Cusco.

Violent protests that erupted in Peru eliminated many means of travel for folks visiting the country. Roads were closed and businesses were burned. So it was unclear when Vega or Munoz would make it back to Miami.

But on Monday morning, only hours apart, both first responders walked through the same doors at Miami International Airport.

Many local leaders worked to get federal leaders to free the hundreds of Americans stuck in Peru. Vega was in a town where the only way out was by train. Over the weekend he was able to take an emergency train to Cusco, but he says even that presented challenges.

“We made it most of the way; the train did have to stop about a mile short because there was a big boulder blocking the railway, and at that point we had to hike in ten darkness for the last mile,” said Vega.

He made it safely, which was welcome news for his wife Heydi who says it was hard to manage here at home with her children while her husband was stranded.

“As a parent, that’s the biggest worry is that you have zero clue what to announce to your kid when you don’t hear any word,” she said.

Thankfully, Vega lived to tell the story of his safe return home. As for Sgt. Munoz, who was stuck in Cusco, she was able to get flights to Lima from Cusco, and she was able to fly back to Miami early Monday morning.

There is a level three advisory in place for Peru which says to reconsider travel due to crime and civil unrest.


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