Nepal is a beautiful land! It’s surrounded by snowcapped mountains strung with prayer flags, and filled with peaceful people.
Nepal is also a land that has suffered some horrific tragedies in its recent history. The massacre of nearly the entire royal family in 2001, didn’t just rip apart the government, it obliterated the tourism industry that so many Nepalese depend on for a living. Foreigners didn’t feel safe visiting a country under such political turmoil. Men were forced to seek work in places like Saudi Arabia, Dubai, and Singapore in order to provide for their families. Eventually people felt safe visiting Nepal again, and little by little Nepal rebuilt their tourism industry.
Then on April 25, 2015 a 7.8 earthquake rocked Nepal. Nearly 9,000 people lost their lives, 22,000 were injured, and 3.5 million were left homeless. Foreign countries weren’t just issuing travel warnings to Nepal, they were sending flights to retrieve their citizens whom happened to be there. The tourism industry came to a complete halt. The economy was at a standstill. Forcing men, yet again, to leave the country in order to find work.
Now, 2 years later, Nepal is still slowly rebuilding their homes, schools, cities, and lives. However, the damage left in the wake of the earthquake and its subsequent aftershocks will take many years to fix. The western world has forgotten what Nepal is going through, but they still need our help.
When a natural disaster hits, no matter where it happens in the world, it takes over the western world’s airwaves and newscasts. We’re inundated with horrific images and sad stories. You can’t help but wish you could do something and wonder “how can I help?” There are a number of great organizations out there that you can donate to, which is of course super helpful. But, you don’t really know where your money goes and perhaps you don’t truly feel like you contributed. Because we happened to be in Nepal when its natural disaster struck, we were able to stay around and physically offer emergency relief to remote villages. Sure we helped thousands of families, but after 6 weeks, we still barely made a dent in the problem. Do you really want to know what you can do to truly help Nepal in its time of need?
Help Nepal, Then Thank Yourself!
GO THERE…NOW! DON’T WAIT! I PROMISE YOU’LL ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!
It’s that simple. Go and spend your money there. Your dollars will directly help Nepal and start to bring jobs back home.
Be a part of rebuilding the tourism industry. Give money to local guesthouses and restaurants simply by staying and eating there. Hire local guides (even if you’d normally do it on your own) so they can put food on their family’s table. Shop in local markets and buy local goods. Your dollars will directly improve Nepalese lives.
If you go, and this inspires 2 other people to go, which inspires 4 more people to go, etc. suddenly the tourism industry is back on track. Just like after the royal massacre, many people are afraid to go to Nepal: afraid the buildings aren’t secure; concerned there could be another earthquake; worried they won’t have as good a time in a land full of destruction.
We’re here to tell you: Don’t be afraid. It’s safe! It’s wonderful! You’ll fall in love with it! Sure, there is still a lot of destruction. and some of the major tourist attractions are no longer. But, the mountains are still beautiful and the people are still lovely. There are still rivers to be rafted, rhinos to be spotted, peaks to be conquered, lakes to be paddled, food to be eaten, and culture to be enjoyed. There’s also still a lot of rebuilding to be done. Set aside a part of your trip for some voluntourism. There are many reputable organizations to help you go work in harder hit villages for a couple days or even a few weeks.
The bottom line is get there! Go to Nepal and experience the splendor for yourself. You’ll have a journey of a lifetime, and in doing so will help Nepal recover.
Get inspired! Go help Nepal!
Check out some of our other articles about out time there:
The Day of the Earthquake – 4/25/15: Living Through The Nepal Eathquake
The Day After the Earthquake – 4/26/15: Surviving Another Disaster
The 6 Weeks Following the Earthquake – Relief Work in Nepal: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
2 Years Later: 12 Lessons Learned From Surviving a Natural Disaster
For even more inspiration to get you to go help Nepal, here are a couple of great books to check out:
The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen
Forget Kathmandu by Manjushree Thapa
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It’s Win-Win type stuff. Cheers!