Hello there! I am Cassie Hidalgo from Phoenix Arizona. I am serving as the Wilderness Volunteer Coordinator for the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mt. Adams Ranger District.
There is not much to my up-bringing that inspired me to be outside and be passionate about helping people and the land, other than that I knew I didn’t want to be inside all of the time like most people from Phoenix are! My family is from Costa Rica, and they are the hardest working bunch that I have ever met. Their work ethic definitely has been passed down to me. I prefer to do my work outside though; it keeps me young.
My favorite things are bicycles, backpacking, being in good company, and doing whatever I can to help the community around me. I have always been enthralled by the stories of people who had a passion and WENT WITH IT! Since I have become somewhat of a fully formed adult I have been trying to make decisions with my heart and to help others while helping the environment. Working with the Mt. Adams Institute for the Mt. Adams Ranger District is a perfect step in that direction. Even as I write this, my face is sun kissed from being out on in the wilderness hiking and talking with guests of the wild.
My background pushed me towards applying to be a part of the MAI program. The people that work here definitely seem to be following their passion, so it was easy to make the decision to spend the summer and fall with them. I hope to gain more of an understanding of the hard work that goes into managing the public land around us, and come up with ideas about how I can best assist in the betterment of the communities around me.
These past 4 weeks have been memorable and I know that the next 5 months will be breath-taking, challenging, filled with great people, and sore muscles. I am very excited to live in Trout Lake and work for the Forest Service through MAI and AmeriCorps. I don’t know how a simpleton from Phoenix got so lucky!
With the desire to explore and give a hand,