Around some time in 2006, my sister-friends and I (same group I traveled to Nassau with) planned a trip to Cancun. This trip was designed to be the ultimate girlfriend getaway. This getaway was very hard to plan because we needed to find a time when all seven females would be available to travel. When we finally were able to find the time, the next hurdle was in accommodating everyone’s budget. It’s really hard for us to get together now (many of us have since gotten engaged, married and/or gave birth) so I’m not sure what the problem was back then and why it took so long for us to get it together.
The countdown for this trip was serious. I was in the BEST shape ever; I had been hitting the gym pretty hard (and consistent) for about a year and watching my carb intake. The main reason: we had planned to do a professional photo shoot.
Fast forward to the day of our long awaited vacation. We arrive on time to JFK and board our flight. We were all so excited. Our flight was slightly delayed and we had a connecting flight in Miami. I remember us literally running through the Miami International Airport to get to our gate. It seemed like we had ran a few miles and when we got there the boarding agent was just about to close the gate. We had made it.
We get to Cancun safely. All of us are going through customs getting our passports stamped when we notice one of our girls is taking longer than usual to get through the system. She tells us they won’t allow her in the country using her Jamaican passport. They wanted to see her green card. She didn’t have her green card.
The situation had begun to get a little tense because my friend said she has always been able to travel using her passport. The Mexican authorities weren’t having it. I remember another one of my friends arguing with one of the agents and him threatening to have her arrested. Mind you, this was around the time Locked Up Abroad first started airing on the National Geographic channel. I remember thinking “this can’t be happening… We’re going to be a Locked Up Abroad story!”, we were able to get my angry friend away from the man to cool off.
Things were still tense though.
They took my friend to a small room. One of those secret hidden rooms that they take people accused of smuggling contraband. The customs agent asked if there was a way she could access her green card. She was able to call her then-boyfriend who had a key to her apartment. He was able to get the green card and fax it to the agents in Mexico. The agents were able to look up her status in the system, plus they now had a faxed copy of her green card. However, this still wasn’t acceptable. The big boss in charge said they needed the actual hard copy of the green card.
We landed around 10pm.
It was after midnight and we were still in the airport. No more flights were coming in and all of the workers had gone home.
Lights were off.
Except in that tiny room.
I’d never seen an empty airport in my life, but I did there in Cancun.
There was nothing left for us to do. The agent had advised us that our friend would be sent back to the states on the first flight out at 7am the next morning.
We felt horrible that we had to leave her alone with a guard in an airport in Mexico. We were able to keep tabs on her though and found that she was able to leave on an earlier 6am flight.
Our trip continued as planned but we weren’t able to truly enjoy ourselves after that incident. My friend has never went to back to Mexico and doesn’t plan to.