If you’d told Ana Camila Gonzalez that a month after New Year’s she’d be awaiting trial in Morocco, having been detained by police in Marrakech, she wouldn’t have believed you.

Gonzalez (real names were omitted to preserve identities) is one of 150 or so friends in their 20s and 30s who decided to rent a bunch of homes in the desert outside Marrakech for the winter holiday. They’d exhausted their resources: Europe was shut; the U.S. was shut; Asia was shut. Africa was their last resort, a chance to properly celebrate the end of a horrendous year, they figured, with no one getting in the way.