Hermes Castro, Mesa College student and future hydrologist, continues to break barriers. Castro, 30, will be a featured speaker at the National Park Service conference, “Breaking the Color Barrier in the Great American Outdoors,” next week in Atlanta.
The lifetime athlete and outdoors man had a life-altering experience when he was hit by a drunk driver while cycling to work in 2006. Told that he would be paralyzed for life, Hermes battled his way back and is determined to walk again.
Following a chance meeting at Mesa College, the Antarctic adventurer Sir Robert Swan was so impressed that he invited Hermes to be part of his 2041 Expedition to protect the frozen wilderness of Antarctica. Mesa College students rallied to his cause and raised $10,000 to cover expedition expenses. Hermes spent two weeks in Antarctica as part of the expedition in March 2009.
While still wheelchair bound, Hermes has spent the summer rehabilitating his legs. His message to the conference attendees is simple and powerful: "If I can navigate some of the most inhospitable territory without use of my legs, you can turn off the light and put your cans in a recycling bin."