The pizza may not be as good, the soccer may feel mediocre, and rest assured, the club scene in Dolores leaves much to be desired. But as far as exchange student Giuseppe Privitera is concerned, that's just fine.
More than halfway through his year at Dolores High School, Privitera, an exchange student from Termini Imerese, Italy, is relishing every minute of life in America.
In Dolores as part of the Rotary Club's foreign exchange program, Privitera has seamlessly transitioned to a foreign athletic culture, education system and lifestyle.
A standout athlete on foreign fields
Arriving in Dolores before the start of the 2013-14 school year, Privitera was unsure of what to expect from all aspects of life, including the local athletic scene.
A longtime soccer player, Privitera joined the Montezuma-Cortez High School soccer team hoping to find familiarity in a sport he so loved.
From the get go, Privitera proved himself to be a force on the young Panthers' team, scoring two goals and recording two assists in his first game on American soil.
Although Privitera's statistics waned over the remainder of the season, his deft ball handling and precise passing left an impression on his teammates, fans and coaches.
Not content to leave one impression however, Privitera joined the Dolores High School basketball team after the conclusion of soccer season.
An inexperienced basketball player, Privitera enjoyed practicing and playing with the Bears junior varsity team before an injury derailed his season.
Far from discouraged by his injury however, Privitera expressed satisfaction with his athletic accomplishments and enjoyment of America's high school sports culture.
"I've been really impressed with sports," said Privitera. "When I used to play sports, I played for regional (club) teams. "Here, we play school against schools. There is more spirit, and I like it more."
Equally as enjoyable as his experiences participating in athletics, Privitera has cherished the opportunity to live and study in Dolores.
Especially fond of Dolores High School, Privitera has embraced the American education system, which he described as "awesome."
"I really like the style of school in America," Privitera said. "I like having a locker. I like changing classes. I really like P.E."
More than anything however, Privitera has enjoyed the small-town charm that Dolores offers.
Unlike his native city, which is often teeming with people, the wide-open spaces of Southwest Colorado, as well as the friendly local population, has left Privitera in awe.
"Living in a small town has been different, but I really like it," said Privitera. "I really think the people here are awesome."
Awesome indeed, and certainly pleased to host Privitera, who, through his athletic accomplishments and personal flair, has already left a lasting impression on the Dolores community in which he currently resides.