ANGEL FIRE, N.M. (KRQE) – Each year, some of New Mexico’s ski resorts hire seasonal workers from all around the world to help out but since the coronavirus has shut down borders and flights around the world, those workers are stuck here.
“Right now its a little more different because we’re spending a little more time in our house because there’s nothing to go to, everything is closed,” said Angel Fire seasonal ski worker Josue Monge.
Some workers from Angel Fire Ski Resort are originally from Costa Rica and Peru. They came to New Mexico in December on a temporary work visa to help the Resort during it’s busiest time of year. But unfortunately, about 30 of these out-of-country workers are going to be here a lot longer because of the coronavirus.
“When our president shut down the frontier, I was on my way to Albuquerque’s airport with my friend and she told me, ‘Fabriccio, they’ve closed the border,’” said Angel Fire Resort seasonal worker Fabriccio Betarano. “And we were like 20 minutes until we arrive and we were like, what are we going to do?”
After some countries closed their borders in an effort to stop the virus from spreading, Angel Fire stepped in.
“Everything is just different and we’re all trying to figure this out together,” said Angel Fire Ski Resort seasonal worker coordinator Kaci Lesley. “We’re sad they’re away from their families and can’t get home and I’m trying to treat them like my own.”
The Resort is letting them stay there for free, making sure they have groceries and entertainment.
“We spend time watching movies or talking, hanging out,” said Monge.
With some close quarters they typically live in, the Resort plans to move some of the workers to the Resort for social distancing purposes. As they wait it out for the borders to reopen, they’re staying in good spirits at their home away from home.
“We’re trying to enjoy our time together, take care of them as best we can, keep them housed, keep them fed and keep them happy as best we can while they’re away from their families,” said Lacey.
“Its kind of wait for it, stay calm and hope everything goes better,” said Monge.
Of course, it is still unclear when those international borders might reopen.