The president of Earthbound Expeditions, Rajan Simkhada, is an amazingly talented, impressive and humble man. He has worked in Nepal’s tourism industry for years, was raised in the villages and now resides in Kathmandu where he runs his travel agency.
Earthbound Expeditions was created over 14 years ago, and is a leading adventure tourism agency that leads the traveler “off the beaten path” on trekking trips throughout the Himalayan darlings, Nepal, India, Tibet, and Bhutan. Over the years, as Earthbound gained raving reviews and more and more customers came, the company branched out into philanthropy work focusing on responsible, sustainable (social and environmental) travel. His company promotes rural development by giving back 10% of their profits each year in these areas. Per Earthbound, “responsible travel is a new way of travelling and trekking for those who’ve had enough of mass tourism. It’s about respecting and benefiting local people and the environment-but it’s far more than that”. It involves respect for the local culture, minimal environmental impact and giving back to the community. In an increasingly global world, social responsibility and tourism go hand and hand and it is refreshing to find a company dedicated to working with and for their people.
Besides running the trekking company, Rajan is also very busy in his philanthropic work. He is the founder of Mamata Volunteers a non-profit organization that matches US volunteers with customized volunteer programs within Nepal. Below is information on the scope of Mamata Volunteers, written on their website, www.mamatavolunteers.org:
Mamata Volunteer’s mission is to provide volunteers with a customized program that will enable them to make an important contribution to the people of Nepal, while also gaining an in-depth experience of Nepal’s language and culture that will stay with the volunteers for the rest of their lives. Join us and experience this unique Cultural Immersion and Responsible Travel Program in Nepal one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Mamata Volunteers is a non-profit organization stationed both in Nepal and in the United States. As a part of our Volunteer Program, Mamata first provides instructional training on local language and culture and only then do we place our trained volunteers in schools, hospitals, orphanage and communities across the region. Volunteers will have the chance to teach English, stay with children in local care houses, and help with community based programs like health camps, environment cleaning, empowerment of women and more. Come join us for a truly life changing experience at the Top of the World, Nepal.
Rajan also serves as National Director of HANDS IN NEPAL, a grassroots non-profit organization founded by a young, highly talented American man, Danny Sprague Chaffin, that focuses on building schools in rural Nepal. Their first school (a four-room schoolhouse made of stone and cement with a tin roof) was recently completed for the cost of around $6,000 and provides education to over 80 children in the village of Dharka. To learn and heard more about his story, you can visit the website at: http://www.handsinnepal.blogspot.com/
You can also see an amazing documentary of Danny’s experience on YouTube. Here is the link and it is definitely worth a view and incredibly inspirational:
Finally, Rajan and Earthbound is the leading patron and sponsor of the Buddhist Bal Griha Orphanage in Kathmandu, Nepal. The Orphanage provides a home for over fifty children who come from disadvantaged rural communities. In many cases, the families simply cannot afford to keep their children so they are abandoned.
It is amazing people like Rajan and Danny (and all the others out there in the world) who are making positive change in Nepali people’s lives. Something that should inspire each one of us travelers to follow in their path and make a difference in the world, whether it be a financial donation, volunteer work or simply a smile. I believe that sharing our unique cultures, respecting and learning from other cultures, and helping others, all go hand in hand to make the world a better place!
To learn more about Earthbound Expeditions and their work please see their website:
Adventure travel and treks:
Other awesome non-profits working to help Nepal: