Vincy Students decide to remain in Mexico
Front Page
April 30, 2009
Vincy Students decide to remain in Mexico

The 51 Vincentian students who are studying in Mexico are seemingly prepared to ride out the swine flu outbreak and will not rush back home, the government has said.{{more}}

Acting Prime Minister Sir Louis Straker said that government officials, including the non-resident Ambassador to Mexico Ellsworth John, have been in contact with the students and they are all safe.

Sir Louis, speaking at a press conference addressing the swine flu outbreak, said that the students have indicated that they do not want to come home.

He said that they have expressed confidence in the Mexican health system to deal with the eventuality that any of them should take ill.

In an exclusive interview with SEARCHLIGHT, Lorenzo Oliver, who is in his fifth year of studies in Mexico, spoke of an online meeting that was held between government officials and about 20 of the 51 students on the morning of Tuesday, April 28th.

He said that they were asked whether or not they wanted come home.

“Some were of the opinion that weshould and most didn’t think we should,” Oliver said.

“Mexico is more equipped to deal with this thing…it would be best that we just ride it out until things get better. It wouldn’t be wise to potentially put St Vincent at risk,” Oliver said.

Oliver said, however, that the students got the assurance that the government was “willing and ready to do whatever to help with whatever we decided upon.”

Oliver told SEARCHLIGHT that San Luis, Potosi, the area where he is studying, is heavily affected.

“Life is at a stand still…people don’t leave their homes unless it’s absolutely necessary; all parks, bars, and clubs are closed for a week also,” he said.

Meanwhile, another student, Brad Allen, who has also been in Mexico about five years, told SEARCHLIGHT that the situation is frustrating.

“The news took us all by surprise… everything was normal, going about my normal routine. Then all of a sudden… schools were closed, bars, clubs, parks and any other place that would harbour the congregation of people. Activities in the street have come to a near stand still,” he said.

Allen said that getting the mandatory facemasks became a task by itself.

“I had to look for hours to get my set of face masks, because they were sold out in almost all the pharmacies, so I had to go to Home Depot to get them, and still I had to wait in a long line.”

“We are basically sitting ducks, well, swine in this case. It’s frustrating being under house arrest, believe me.” (KJ)