Haley Sorensen volunteered in Costa Rica over the summer


Hailey Cingel, Claire Lamay, Samiya Byrd, Staff writers

   Over the summer, senior Haley Sorensen spent two weeks of vacation in Costa Rica. While there, she volunteered for a daycare and a special needs home.  Sorensen learned about this opportunity from a friend, and her parents were excited to see her branch out on her own. 

   “I found out about it through a friend who has used the travel company before, and my parents were nervous but really excited for me to go,” stated Sorensen. 

   Sorensen experienced language barriers and had trouble navigating the country.  Sorensen traveled by the bus system, which added to the challenge she faced during her time there. 

   “It was scary, because it was really easy to get lost and almost no one there speaks english, and I don’t speak much Spanish.  It was hard to communicate and find my way around the city via the bus system,” stated Sorensen. 

   Sorensen discovered many cultural differences there, and faced challenges against uncomfortable situations. 

   “The culture was very conservative and family-oriented. You couldn’t wear shorts above the knee, or sleeveless shirts. There’s also a thing called machismo culture, where random men flirt with you, which can be really uncomfortable,” stated Sorensen. 

   Sorensen took the trip as a learning experience, and has learned to appreciate her family and lifestyle more. She also enjoyed meeting new people, and was amazed by how kind others were to her. 

   “It opened my eyes to how lucky I am to have a loving family, and to not be in poverty.  The people were friendly and always happy to see you. They treat you with such kindness and hug you and kiss your cheek and act like you’re the best of friends,” exclaimed Sorensen.