Northwest Portland Hostel

Centrally Located – in the Heart of Portland

Meet the Volunteers: Melissa, Anna and Amanda

Thursday, October 11, 2012

We are lucky to have a great group of volunteers at HI-Portland, Northwest. From hikes to walking tours to pub crawls, these awesome guides give an insider perspective of local attractions to out guests travelling to Portland from around the world. Ever wonder why these Portlanders chose to spend their free time volunteer at our hostel? Here’s what Melissa, Anna and Amanda had to say:


Melissa Gittelman

I chose to be a hostel volunteer because I love meeting people from all over the world and thought it would be a fun way to meet people while I’m not traveling. What I like most is just all the connections you make with new people each week from around the world and sharing my culture with them and learning about theirs.
I’ve only done pub crawls and the Portland Burrito Project but I’d say the most memorable moment was bonding instantly with all the people on the pub crawl and feeling like we were friends after one drink.
I have lived in Portland only two months so far but I was living in Corvallis for 2 years and visited here a lot. I moved here two and half years ago from Philadelphia.  My favorite spots to go are the waterfront, saturday market, rose gardens/washington park and out to the Gorge for some hiking.


Anna Anderson

I live in the neighborhood and have walked by the hostel for a few years now. But it just dawned on me this summer that therewould probably be volunteer opportunities there too. Now I’m regretting not getting connected sooner! I have learned so much about other parts of the world as well as Portland and the United States.

I came along on a pub crawl one evening and ended up striking up a conversation with a British guy. At the end of the night I invited him to the party I was hosting the next day. He showed up, but I forgot to tell him that it was cat themed! I answered the door as cat woman. I hope he enjoyed the unusual Portland-esque dress-up party. I know all my friends enjoyed the international presence.

I grew up in Albany, Oregon but moved to Portland in 2009. I love Portland because of its quirkiness. It wouldn’t be weird to see someone in a super hero outfit walking down the street. There’s always a reason to dress up and act like a kid again in this city. It truly is where “young people go to retire.”


Amanda Sanford

I love meeting new people, learning about new places, and sharing a bit about Portland with those who are visiting. Volunteering at the hostel has given me the opportunity to do all three! I enjoy volunteering because I am able to interact with fellow travel-minded individuals while offering an insider’s view of the uniquely wonderful City of Roses.

I enjoy leading hikes in Forest and Washington Parks. I typically hike in all types of weather, so winter months can make for some memorable (and rain-soaked) trips up and down the trails. Remember: there is no bad weather, just bad clothing…

I am originally from Portland, although I went to school in Eugene (Go Ducks!) and lived in Eastern Europe for several years after college. I moved back to the city three years ago and love being in the Pacific NW again. My favorite spots and activities around Portland include Waterfront Park, Last Thursday, the local breweries (Deschutes and Rogue are at the top of my list), Old Town Pizza, and the Crystal Ballroom for 80s Video Dance Attack!

Thanks to all our great volunteers! If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, please contact Tessah at

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