Overview

Nepal Tourism and Social Entrepreneurship Workshop

This two-week walking workshop is in association with the charity Moving Mountains. The trip involves trekking to the rural villages of Bupsa and Bumburi in the lower Solukhumbu region of the Himalayas where participants will work on relevant projects which are developed and supported by Moving Mountains Nepal and improve the lives of the communities without affecting the traditions and way of life of the local Sherpa people.

The trip will provide you with a great insight and first-hand experience on the connections between tourism and social entrepreneurship and you will witness how tourism, international development and social enterprise has completely transformed these villages in this stunningly beautiful part of the world surrounded by the Himalayan mountains.

Adventure Alternative will manage all the in-country logistics and the expedition will be fully supported with a very special team of experienced staff in an area well off the beaten track.

Nepal Map - Bupsa, Bumburi region.JPG
Map showing lower Solukhumbu region where villages of Bupsa and Bumburi are located

Background of the link between the villages and Moving Mountains

For over two decades we have had a strong connection with the villages of Bupsa and Bumburi, ever since Adventure Alternative and Moving Mountains Trust founder, Gavin Bate, made friends with a Sherpa called Ang Chhongba and they ended up working together. They decided to bring electricity, education, health and prosperity to this region known as the Juving district, and from his climbs of Mount Everest Gavin was able to raise the money to pay for hydro electric power plants and new schools and monasteries. This trip is on the back of such a history and brings new programmes and new projects, each of which continue to improve the quality of life for the local people. 

Previously these villages were all but dead; there were no families, no children and no trade to speak of. If you go there now, the schools cater for hundreds of children, the new monasteries are filled with villagers, the clinic is working, the electricity powers lights in every house and machinery which brings income to the co-operative. There is tourism now, homestays and medical camps and trips like this one which give people a chance to glimpse the old Sherpa ways and see how 'clever aid' has managed to bring prosperity and positive change without affecting the underlying identity of the people. 

This trip works on certain programmes including running sports events and a big drive towards rubbish recycling and collection, providing fresh water in every house, teaching people about the basics of primary healthcare and teaching young people about computers and IT. It's great fun, but also tremendously fulfilling. It's a real case of tourism and social entrepreneurship:

Many of our Adventure Alternative Nepal staff also sit on the board of Mountains Nepal. All have been involved in the work Moving Mountains has achieved in Nepal and are now employed by Adventure Alternative full-time and it is this unique relationship and development that ensures a team of hard working and dedicated staff who are committed to both the development of Moving Mountains in Nepal and to ensuring that you gain the best possible experience in a setting that is both relevant, enjoyable and rewarding.

As a result of strong relationships which have been built over decades in Nepal you will find a huge support network of amazing and caring people. Aside from the full time staff you are likely to encounter project managers, sports coaches & teachers, health care workers, house staff and cooks, mountain trekking and high altitude guides (many of whom are Everest summiteers), maintenance volunteers, counsellors; the list goes on! All of these people are there to ensure you have a great time, they are fun, energetic people who have your well being as their priority.

 Kit and clothing

The basic idea of the kit is to keep you warm, dry, protected from the sun, able to move comfortably in the mountains and able to be comfortable in the evenings and at night. There is a more detailed kit list here, but the main points to cover are as follows;

  • BAGS - Rucksack or duffle bag for a porter to carry plus a day pack to be carried by you (the duffle / ruck sack that our porters carry on the trek should be no heavier than 12Kg)
  • SHELL - Waterproof shell jacket, umbrella
  • LAYERS - Most people trek in shorts and T-shirts but you'll need some casual clothing for time spent in the villages and a warmer fleece for the evenings
  • FEET - Comfortable boots with a good sole and ankle support. Lighter footwear to change into in the evenings.
  • SLEEPING - Warm sleeping bag (2-3 season) to get a good nights sleep at the lodges (they also have blankets)
  • DRINKING - Water bottles should be hard plastic (Nalgene), not throwaway bottles.
  • WASHING & MEDICAL - wash kit, towel, personal first aid kit SUN CARE - sunglasses, sunhat, sun cream, etc
  • TREKKING - trekking poles are useful
  • PERSONAL ITEMS - cameras, books, music. You can charge electronics in most places but it's a good idea to bring a power bank.

You do not need to be super-fit for this trip, however the trekking element is moderately demanding with some days of sustained walking with a day-pack for about 6 hours. The effects of altitude will also further tax your body. You will enjoy the trip all the more if you are in good physical shape.

The trails are well made and used as they are the main transport arteries through the region. They are traversed by mules and people. They are often constructed as rough steps from local rock as they wind around the hillsides. Wherever possible the paths have been constructed to minimise the ascent and descent between villages. However this is the Himalayas so there are some fairly demanding ups and downs to deal with along the way.

Also bear in mind that the altitude will mean that something that you may bound up at sea level may slow you considerably at 2500m. You don’t have to be super-fit but some of the hills are quite steep and there are a lot of them! You will carry a small rucksack and will have Sherpas to help with the main luggage.

Dates

Bespoke Dates

Itinerary

Nepal Tourism and Social Entrepreneurship Workshop itinerary

This experiential, field-based course aims to deepen students’ awareness and understanding of the connection between tourism and social entrepreneurship, culminating in a two-week visit to Nepal.

During this visit, students will augment what they’ve learned in the classroom with first-hand investigation of the tourism-social entrepreneurship connection within Nepalese mountain villages: its impact, both micro and macro; challenges associated with establishing and strengthening this connection; and strategies to address these challenges.

The teaching / learning approach will rely heavily on student engagement and initiative: discussion; interviews; individual reflection; and collaboration with students from participating institutions located in the United Kingdom, United States, Denmark, and Nepal. Participants will prepare for their visit to Nepal through in-class instruction in their home institution. Although our focus and travel will be in the mountain villages of Nepal, the lessons learned will have broader applicability.

The two weeks in Nepal will involve 4 or 5 days trekking, which can be physically challenging and therefore require an appropriate level of fitness but the rewards include a great all round experience which mixes genuine charitable projects and volunteering with children and communities who benefit directly from the work of Moving Mountains Nepal with an adventurous trek off the traditional tourist trails to experience a bit more of that diverse culture and hospitality that the Nepalese and the Sherpa community is famous for.

Nepal Tourism and Social Entrepreneurship Workshop - Basic itinerary

Day Date Information
1 6th May Arrive in Kathmandu, where you will be met by a team from Adventure Alternative Nepal and Moving Mountains Nepal. Overnight in Kathmandu, in rooms at a Guest House.
2 7th May Day to acclimatise and recover from jet lag, second night in Kathmandu at the Guesthouse.
3 8th May Morning transfer by road from Kathmandu to the mountain village of Saleri or Phaplu; overnight in lodge.
4 9th May Continue in jeeps to reach the village of Taksindu and then trek for a few hours further to reach a local mountain lodge / tea house.
5 10th May Continue trek to the village of Bupsa and move into the guesthouse owned by Moving Mountains co-ordinator Geljun Sherpa.
6 11th May Full day in Bupsa for project work and workshops and visiting the school in the village and also the monastery.
7, 8, 9 12th, 13th, 14th May

Trek to the village of Khari Khola (2 hours) to continue the workshops and visit the school where tourism is taught. A one day visit to the village of Bumburi where Moving Mountains built a primary and secondary School, Medical Centre and the Hydro-Electric project which provides electricity for all the homes in the village. Visit a traditional Sherpa home and look at the impact of development on this area.  The homes in Bumburi have also received water distribution, eco-stoves and back boilers which has had a remarkable effect on the health of the villagers, thanks to smokeless rooms and clean / hot water on tap for drinking, washing, etc.

In Khari Khola you will also be able to do a local cookery course and learn how to make perfect dal!

10 & 11 15th & 16th May Trek back to Bupsa for overnight and continued workshops and celebration by the villagers and then downhill walk to Taksindu.
12 17th May Trek back to Paphlu and overnight in lodge.
13 18th May Drive back to Kathmandu and to the guesthouse
14

19th, 20th May

There is a three day visit to another project which is near Pokhara to another social enterprise in a Dalit village.

 

Cost

Nepal Tourism and Social Entrepreneurship Workshop
£1095.00 trip cost + £400.00 charity target

You can fundraise for the total amount of £1595.00 which covers the cost of the trip plus some fundraising for the education and tourism programme in the villages, or you can pay yourself for the cost of the trip and fundraise the programme cost separately. 

INCLUDES

  • Airport transfers
  • Road transfers to and from the mountains
  • Accommodation at guesthouse in Kathmandu (Bed & Breakfast and bottled water included)
  • Accommodation in lodges / tea houses on the trek with meals and hot drinks provided (water not included on the trek - boiled water can be bought locally)
  • Sherpa guide and porters to carry your bags
  • Homestay at Bumburi and Bupsa villages with meals and hot drinks
  • Personal project fundraising target £400 per person which supports the schools in the villages and includes the tourism teacher.

EXCLUDES

  • International flight to Kathmandu
  • Tourist visa, which you can buy on arrival
  • Vaccinations required for travelling in Nepal
  • Personal expenses for snacks, drinks, souvenirs, water in the mountains, etc
  • Travel insurance (policy should include trekking in Nepal cover)
  • Any extra activities or optional add-ons not mentioned in itinerary 

 

Photos

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