Stuck in the Airport! Help Robin Fly Home to Guatemala

  • US$938.00
    raised of $1,200.00 goal goal
78% Funded
30 Donors

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BACK TO GUATEMALA

Hello, I'm Robin Cigarroa, from a small town in Guatemala called Godinez near Atitlan Lake. I came to Malaysia in 2019 with my Ex and studied there for almost 4 years as a 3D Animator. I've just finished my studies and managed to secure a job with a reputable animation studio in Malaysia.

FINANCIAL SITUATION

I come from a middle-low class family. With the help of my Ex I managed to enter, stay and study in Malaysia. After we broke up, I had to work in a part-time job in a Chicken Rice stall for 1 year to sustain myself while finishing my studies, but I lost it on January 2023 and I had to use my savings together with my dad’s help, to complete my studies. At present, I have a total debt of over USD$22,000 to pay off once I start working.

CURRENT PROBLEM

My student visa expired in May 2023 and I had to leave Malaysia. I went to Thailand to wait for a month before returning to Malaysia as I was told that I only needed a cooling period of 1 month before I re-enter. However, by regulation, when a student ends their visa, they must return to their home country (Guatemala for me), which I did not do it because my family can't afford it. On the 20th of June, I flew to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and was denied entry at KLIA2. My passport was marked with an NTL (not to land) stamp saying I have to go back to the original place of departure, which in this case was Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Problem: Guatemalan passport holders require a tourist visa to enter Thailand. As I was denied entry, I was unable to go to any other country to apply for a tourist visa at an embassy of Thailand, hence I am stuck at immigration in the airport. The final solution is to come back to Guatemala, although is gonna be a diffcult process and very expensive.

I NEED YOUR HELP

With the encouragement of my loved ones, I am humbly asking my friends and the people I’ve met for your kind help with this situation. To go back home to clear the issues with my student visa and come back to Malaysia, so I start my job and pay my debts. My family has enough financial burdens themselves and I do not want to be an added one. I got a freelancing job for now but it’s just to pay for my meals. I want to pay off my dad's loan as soon as possible so the interest is not that high. Although the loan is only covering the flight back to Guatemala, I still need to buy a flight ticket to come back to Malaysia by August, if my work permit goes smoothly.

As I am patiently waiting in the airport for my Embassy to figure out the best solution, this fundraiser is my last resort. I really appreciate it if you can help me to get back home.

Bank Details

You can donate through this site or directly to my bank (convenient and immediate) below:

Malaysian Bank

  • Bank name: Maybank
  • Name: Robin Cigarroa
  • Account number: 564717530340

Thank you for you kind support. You have special place in my heart.

TIMELINE OF EVENTS

Day 1 – Tuesday 20th of June

Upon being denied entry to Malaysia, I was sent to a room by immigration for those denied entry to the country. I was not provided a clear explanation as to why I was denied entry and that I needed to return to the last port of departure, which is Chiang Mai, Thailand. In the room, there were around 20 deported people, mainly from India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, and some Chinese. The room was cold, with only airport chairs, no plugs, and no signal of Wi-Fi and Data. It was a challenge for me to contact my embassy for any kind of help since I needed to save my battery and the internet was poor. Yes, I was fed through the day but it was hard to get by with the limited Wifi I could access to get help.

Thankfully, my current girlfriend is Malaysian and I still had my Malaysian SIM card. I was able to access mobile data and immediately contacted the Embassy of Guatemala in Indonesia to ask for help (there is no Embassy in Malaysia). At this point, the officers still did not give clarity on the situation or what I was supposed to do. My GF also called immigration to enquire about the reason for being denied entry and what's the process, she was told they were not obliged to provide reasoning and that the officers are on the case. They also assured her that there are plugs in the room to charge her phone, but there are not.

Day 2 – Wednesday 21st of June

My Embassy tried to contact immigration but was unsuccessful. My GF tried to get help from the airline AirAsia that was following my case. One Filipino girl in the room suggested that I speak to the AirAsia staff that brings our food to seek help, so I did. After some attempts, AirAsia told me they can’t send me back to Thailand because I don’t have a visa, so the alternative was to buy a ticket to another country I don’t need a visa.

I consulted my embassy and AirAsia about it. After many backs and forths, I decided to buy a ticket to Jakarta, Indonesia where I can get an electronic visa upon arrival that cost USD$35 as well as help from my Embassy that's located there. AirAsia took the flight info and helped me to charge my phone.

Day 3 – Thursday 22nd of June

Early in the morning, I was escorted by AirAsia staff to get on the plane to Jakarta. I arrived in Jakarta and when I passed immigration, they saw the NTL stamp from Malaysia and didn’t allow me to enter even though I had all my documents (eVisa, exit ticket, and hotel booking). They sent me to the “waiting room. Although it has a bed and a toilet, I was locked without being able to charge my phone, and no WiFi again. AirAsia asked me to buy my ticket back to Malaysia, but I explained I didn’t have battery. It was until midnight they lent me a charger where I immediately contacted my embassy, family and GF to update them on the situation. I couldn’t sleep well.

Day 4 – Friday 23rd of June

AirAsia came to say that at 11:00 am I will fly to Malaysia. They gave me food, escorted to me to the flight all the way from Indonesia to Malaysia until i KLIA2. I went directly to the AirAsia counter to explain the case and they started to find a solution together with my Embassy.

The problem was the same but clearer: First I can’t enter Malaysia after 1 month. No country is accepting me because I need to go back to Thailand. Thailand was not accepting me because I don’t have a Thai Visa, and I can’t get a Thai visa because I can’t go anywhere.

I slept on the floor, thankfully with Wifi and plugs.

Day 5 – Saturday 24th of June.

AirAsia and I started to find a way to send me back to Guatemala. My Dad requested a loan of USD$2,300 with 19% of annual interest to fund my flight home but he only receives the funds on Thursday 29th of June. The problem: The only way for AirAsia to send me back was if there was one direct flight or one airline that takes me home.

This is where AirAsia tried to contact the other airlines to check if they were willing to take on my case. My option at the time was Qatar Airways, but Qatar Airways declined. I am stuck again. I got help from my teacher friends but it didn’t work. This entire time I only had a bag full of dirty summer clothes and I was cold and had not had a shower since my challenges started. My GF came to visit me and brought me a jacket and clothes (despite her not being allowed to meet me). The embassy was trying to contact immigration Malaysia for a solution.

I started sleeping behind a machine that produces some heat, especially for the freezing mornings.

Day 6 – Sunday 25th of June

I sent an email to the Embassy of Guatemala in Spain if they can help to contact the Airlines, so they can take me home. I never received an answer from them. The embassy in Indonesia got in touch with immigration Malaysia but they were not replying because it was a Sunday.

AirAsia offered an option to go to Korea, apply for a K-ETA (sort of Visa), and enter, so I can clear the stamp. Embassy said to wait for immigration to reply. My GF visited me again, and brought food and useful items. Security asked her to leave.

Day 7 – Monday 26th of June

Immigration officers talked to me asking about the case and left. AirAsia talked to me about Korea and ask to find and buy a ticket directly to Mexico. Japan was the only option although it was very expensive (>USD$2,000), almost the whole loan of my dad. AirAsia offered to cover the flight to Japan. The embassy was still waiting for an immigration reply.

The Ambassador of my Embassy called me himself saying that he will try to speak to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia for a solution.

I started to get sick. I got support from friends who suggested to do this fundraiser for my situation so that I can get home.

At this point, I am tired and just want to go home. It is frustrating having to wait for my Embassy to advice the best solution.

Day 8 – Tuesday 27th of June

Immigration talked to me, saying they can’t do much and I should take the Japan option. A friend offered to lend me the money while my dad gets the loan.

I talked to other people waiting like me. 2 brothers from Chad waiting for 11 days at that time, 2 friends from Uganda, and 1 girl from Sudan waiting for around 1 month.

I finally had a reply from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia - I still have to go back to Thailand first. Japan's plan is canceled temporarily.

Day 9 - Wednesday 28th of June

The Embassy of Guatemala in Thailand arranged with the immigration in Thailand to allow me to do a transit at Bangkok's airport. Immigration said I can stay in the airport 24hrs under the watch of a diplomat from my Embassy.

Day 10 - Thursday 29th of June

I waited the whole day for AirAsia to confirm my flight to Bangkok so I can buy the ticket to Guatemala. But a few hours before the flight to Bangkok they told me I had to buy the ticket first for them to send me to Bangkok, so I rushed to get it but I had some problems with the payment and the prices went higher and higher, that I had to postpone it to fly on Saturday 2nd July.

Day 11 - Friday 30th of June


Fundraising Team

  • Sylvie Tan
  •  
  • Funds captain

Donors

  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Aug 08, 2023
Amount Hidden
  • Blake Sherlock
  • Donated on Jul 14, 2023
  • Israel shared your story with me, and I felt compelled to help. Good luck and safe journey!!!

$40.00
  • Yong Zheng Xian
  • Donated on Jul 04, 2023
$10.00
Jul 10

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

Update posted by Robin Eduardo Efrain Cigarroa Otzoy at 04:55 pm
rrrr

Hi! It's been exactly one week since I arrive home and I made this video as a gratitude for all your generosity! My family is so happy I'm back after 4 years.GRACIAS!!!

See update
0
Jul 05

He Made It!

Update posted by Sylvie Tan at 07:35 am

3rd July of 2023Rpbin landed at 10am (GTM -6:00) in Guatemala. His family received him in the airport and arrived at home at 7pm. He is still adapting and recovering from the whole journey. The trip cost was: Malaysia - Thailand : Covered by AirAsiaThailand - Doha - Madrid -. . . . .

See update
0

Donors & Comments

30 donors
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Aug 08, 2023
Amount Hidden
  • Blake Sherlock
  • Donated on Jul 14, 2023
  • Israel shared your story with me, and I felt compelled to help. Good luck and safe journey!!!

$40.00
  • Yong Zheng Xian
  • Donated on Jul 04, 2023
$10.00
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Jul 01, 2023
Amount Hidden
$10.00
  • Punithan Ponnusamy
  • Donated on Jul 01, 2023
$10.00
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Jul 01, 2023
$10.00
  • Astrid Farina
  • Donated on Jul 01, 2023
$32.00
  • Steve Epstein
  • Donated on Jul 01, 2023
  • Good luck!

$25.00
  • Kimiyo Ikushima
  • Donated on Jul 01, 2023
  • Robin you will be back home soon!

$30.00
Show more donors

Followers

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US$938.00
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30 Donors

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