Since March 2020, Buslifers Ambassadors, Gaby, Teo, Naty, and Lua, have been stranded in Colombia. This family of four, also known as Kombiando En Familia, has been traveling around South America for the last three years in their VW Bus. However, when the pandemic hit and the borders of Colombia were closed, they were forced to stay put in the country.
Until now, their home country, Argentina, has not permitted them to return home with their VW Bus. The family has requested that the authorities in Argentina provide them with an opportunity to return to their home country by land. While many other Argentinian travelers have been able to do this, so far their request has been refused.
Life on the road
At the height of Argentina’s economic crisis, Gaby and Teo made the decision to move into their bus full-time and embark on a journey across South America, to give their children and themselves a better quality of life. They made money on the road selling things that they made. The bus has been their family home and pop-up business since they left Argentina. Life on the road was good.
However, due to the circumstances created by the pandemic, they were no longer able to travel and also could not easily open their pop-up shop to sell their wares to passersby. This placed a significant amount of pressure on their financial situation. As a family of four, stranded in a country where they could not find jobs, Gaby and Teo decided that it would be best for them to return to Argentina.
It is not just their financial situation that gives them a reason to return home. When they left to travel full-time they expected to be able to return to Argentina to visit family and friends, especially for the sake of the children. Gaby shared with us, “Living in this way we have no future, my children need to return to their grandparents and friends.”
They have managed to maintain a good spirit throughout the pandemic, but their need to return home is now critical. “We cannot leave [our bus] because the kombi’s visa has expired and they can hijack our vehicle”, shared Gaby. After such an extended period away from Argentina, their home can literally be taken away by the authorities because its legal papers have expired.
Can you help?
Right now, Gaby and Teo are working on a campaign to get their family back to Argentina. In our recent interview, they referred to a number of human rights laws that Argentina is violating, by not allowing them to return to the country. Gaby referred to articles in the OAS and Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, “Argentina signed that:
1. Everyone has the right to move freely and to choose their residence in the territory of a State.
2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
As well as the rights set forth in Article 22 of the American Convention on Human Rights:
2. Everyone has the right to freely leave any country, including his own.
5. No one may be expelled from the territory of the State of which he is a national, nor be deprived of the right to enter it”. These articles alone clearly express that they should not be denied the right to return to Argentina, even in the current pandemic.
Beyond the laws, it is also clearly unjust to leave this family stranded in another country. Gaby and Teo are looking for anyone who might be able to help them with their current situation. If you can help them in any way, or just want to send them some support, please send them a message via their Instagram.
Are you stranded somewhere right now and struggling to get home? Let us know in the comments below.