Nepal’s dramatic mountain landscapes are home to vibrant cultural groups with rich traditions. In 2015, earthquakes disrupted the lives of many Nepalese people, especially those living in small farming villages. Work alongside community members on agricultural, educational, and rebuilding projects in your host village while learning about Nepal’s colorful heritage.
Stay in the heart of historic Bodnath, the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple site outside of Tibet. Join nuns and monks in a walking meditation around Bodnath Stupa, the largest stupa in Asia; visit a hilltop temple complex teeming with monkeys; and experience a Hindu ceremony on the banks of the Bagmati River. In a workshop led by a local artist, learn the history behind thangkas—Tibetan cloth paintings depicting Buddhist symbols.
Journey to Talamarang, an agricultural community of ethnic Tamang people set against the dramatic backdrop of the Himalaya. Settle into our guesthouse and spend your days working on a variety of service projects. While many buildings in our host village were destroyed by the devastating earthquakes of April 2015, the community's resilience has fueled a successful recovery. Lend a hand with construction projects at the children's center and school; lead English conversation classes for local youth; make repairs to the village fish ponds; or plant trees and help with the harvest.
In the late afternoons, play soccer and volleyball with local youth, practice yoga, or join Tamang women in making Nepalese dishes. Share the story of your work in the community through photography, video, and writing projects.
Hike through the Kathmandu Valley to the sacred pilgrimage site of Namo Buddha, where we’ll spend two days at an exquisite, secluded monastery. Reflect on your community service experience, play games with young Tibetan monks, and practice meditation under a canopy of prayer flags.
Travel to the medieval city of Bhaktapur, where ancient architecture offers a glimpse into Nepalese life before the arrival of modern influences. Stroll ornate palaces and the centuries-old Durbar Square, and step into mystical temples that welcome pilgrims from around the world. Meet with master artisans to hear how their cultural heritage is being preserved in the present day. Try your hand at the ancient art of paper making, then hike to Ghyampe Danda for a traditional pottery workshop. Return to Kathmandu to explore the shrines, markets, and labyrinthine streets of the old city, then enjoy a farewell dinner before flying home.