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Arkansas woman stuck in southern Argentina as international flights remain scarce

Kellee Mayfield went to Argentina on a painting trip. Now, she's stuck in quarantine.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas woman is unsure when she will be able to return home to Arkansas after arriving in Argentina last week for a trip.

"Things are changing all the time, so we just have a little sense of anxiety," Kellee Mayfield said.

Kellee Mayfield arrived in El Chalten near southern Patagonia last Friday for a painting trip. She is with 10 other Americans from other states.

 "We're about two-thousand miles from Buenos Aires right now with a group of plein air artists and what that is, we're artists who go outside and paint," Mayfield said.

But they quickly learned their trip was not going to go as planned.

"I was on the phone while they were boarding with my husband and I said ‘Do I need to get on this flight?’….he said 'I think you’ll be okay,'" Mayfield said. "We found out when we landed in Argentina we would need quarantine."

Mayfield and the rest of the group are ordered not to leave their hotel. All domestic flights are closed for the next five days. Argentina also closed every single national park. Mayfield is currently just outside Glacier Park.

"The U.S. State Department has made it clear that if we break the health mandates of Argentina then we would face criminal offense," she said. “We can walk around [the property] here, but we cannot go outside of the gate.”

Mayfield and the rest of the group have since been reaching out to see when they can get back home to the U.S.

"My husband sent a letter to Senator Cotton and Boozman. Boozman's office did contact my husband that the Embassy is aware I'm here," she said

But Mayfield is not too stressed about the situation..

"I feel quite fortunate that I get to look out these windows and see the peak out here and the glacier. It could be a lot worse" she said.

Her and the rest of the crew are also showing no symptoms.

"Before we leave here a physician will come check us and clear us for travel," Mayfield said

As of right now, she has a flight to fly home next Saturday out of Santa Cruz and is hopeful it will leave. But she said every other time she tried to book a flight, it gets canceled. 

"We all have trip insurance. We just roll with punches. No ones freaking out. We're just like okay, we will get there when we get there," Mayfield said.

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