Parents and officials are trying to figure out how to bring home to British Columbia 17 high schoolers from a small town in the Kootenays who are stranded — but safe — in rural Haiti.

They arrived in the tiny, impoverished Caribbean nation just four hours before it was hit with a deadly earthquake on Tuesday night.

The teenagers make up a group of 26 people from South Slocan, between Castlegar and Nelson, who were volunteering at a mission outside Port-au-Prince, said Pat Dooley, superintendent of school district 8.

“We’ve had excellent contact through the wives of one of the pastors who’s (part of the trip),” Dooley said, adding there hasn’t been any direct contact yet with any of the students or their chaperones.

“Our students are in as safe a place as they can be,” she said. “Their parents want them home, but want them home when it’s safe.”

Dooley said around 100 Haitians have made their way from Port-au-Prince to safety at the mission.

Most of the roads around Port-au-Prince are impassable and for now there is no way of the students getting to an airport or port.

Even if there were, however, there would be nowhere for them to go.

“The focus is on the disaster … in Port-au-Prince only military planes are landing. Evacuation by sea is a possibility,” she said.