By Genaro Pamatz

This summer, students from Sonoma Academy went on many foreign adventures, but not all were for vacation and fun. Some students took volunteer trips to help people in need.  

Sophomore Ysabella Richard traveled to Nicaragua, to do volunteer work for children and adults. She helped garden for a public clinic, and helped young children at school.

“The whole experience was fantastic,” Richard said. “It felt really good to do something that matters.”

The garden gave fruits and vegetables to the poor. The garden also gave fruits and vegetables to women who worked in the clinic making medicine. This was one of her favorite aspects of the work.

She was there for almost a month. During that month, she only got sick once.

“Yeah, that was the only part that sucked,” she said, “but I tried to get by it, and did anything I could possibly do. I was not going to let this one little thing get me down.” She stuck with it, despite a cough, headache and fever.

She visited a small town called El Bálsamo, and talked and played with the local children.

“I think that was my favorite part, talking to the people that live in a place that is foreign and unique, and a place that I think is beautiful,” she said. “Playing with them was also fun.”

Senior Simone Gutermuth also volunteered over the summer with a friend. They traveled to the Dominican Republic to help children with something they love: art.

“It was kind of hectic, children doing something they never had an opportunity to do before, but it was great seeing the smiles on their faces,” Gutermuth said. “It was great in every way.”

Something else she brought with her also positivelyaffected women in the Dominican Republic: bras. She collected donations of bras in Sonoma County, brought them to the Dominican Republic, and gave them away to those who needed them.

“Their poverty level makes it hard for them to buy everyday things and so donating these bras made me happy and warm inside,” she said.