McHENRY – New Peace Corps volunteer Sara Boro, 24, of McHenry will leave Tuesday for a two-year assignment to Guatemala. It is just now sinking in how long she will be away from home.
After an extensive application process, which she submitted in May 2012, Boro finally is ready to embark on her long-term trip to Guatemala.
During her two-year stay, Boro will assist in community-needs assignments, help develop after-school programs for children between sixth and eighth grades to keep them out of trouble and help at-risk youths.
Boro is the daughter of Dan and Nancy Boro and a 2007 graduate of McHenry West High School. She completed her undergraduate and graduate education at Eastern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and a master’s degree in college student affairs.
“I really agree with what the Peace Corps stands for, and I wanted to gain the experience of living abroad for an extended amount of time,” Boro said. “This will allow me to be better able to relate to international students who come to the U.S.”
Boro will be away for 27 months. The first three months of her service will be dedicated to training, which includes technical, language, health and safety training while living with a host family. Then she will work on community development projects.
Boro also will be working with classes from the local area, including one from Eastern Illinois University and her mother’s grade school class. This will give her a little piece of home during her extended stay in Guatemala.
“I decided to join the Peace Corps because I wanted to have a true international experience,” Boro said. “The longest I’ve ever been abroad was four months during college. I studied in Ecuador, Spain, New Zealand, Australia and India, but I have never been away for so long. This is why I’m a little nervous to go on this trip.”
Boro has few concerns about her safety during her stay in Guatemala.
“The Peace Corps does a lot to make sure we are prepared and safe,” she said. “I honestly think I will be overly prepared when it comes to safety, which is not a bad thing.”
Boro has nerves about language barriers.
“I minored in Spanish during my undergraduate education, but some portions of Guatemala speak a Mayan language which I may need to learn depending on which community I am assigned to,” Boro said.
“It is really just starting to hit me now that I’m going to be away from home for so long, but I am up for the challenge of stepping out of my comfort zone,” she added. Boro is one of 352 Illinois residents serving in the Peace Corps.