Sugar Land father who was stuck in Argentina for months now scheduled to come home

Mayor, senator step in to help

SUGAR LAND, Texas – A Sugar Land father who has been stuck in Argentina for more than two months is scheduled to arrive back home Saturday.

Randy Van Gelder, an entrepreneur and lead singer for the band "Echo Strike ran into some big trouble after performing at a concert in Argentina.

“March 12 is when we had the first concert and the same night, the President of Argentina declared that all U.S. citizens had to immediately go into quarantine or risk getting arrested,” Van Gelder said during a video call.

After at least three failed attempts to return home, Van Gelder said he was going to start an arduous journey back to the states Thursday night.

The first leg of the trip involved a 10-hour car ride to Buenos Aires, he said.

Van Gelder said he’s been held up in a 700 square foot apartment for more than 60 days, while his wife and two young children have eagerly awaited his return back to their Sugar Land home.

“Each day is a little different. We really miss him but we’re getting by. We realize we’re not the only ones going through tough times right now,” Amy Van Gelder said.

Van Gelder’s father is friends with Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman.

Zimmerman said he contacted several lawmakers for help. Sen. John Cornyn’s office arranged for the return flight and necessary paperwork back to the States.

“I would do this for any Sugar Land resident,” Zimmerman said.

Van Gelder is scheduled to arrive in Miami Friday and catch a flight to Houston Saturday morning.