Colorado students hike to Mt Everest region offering help to local communities

KATHMANDU: A group of school students from Colorado has been building foot trails in Khumbu area of Mt Everest region in Solukhumbu district with an aim to help the locals construct the trails.

As a part of their 'learning by doing' initiative offered by Hike for Help Nepal organisation the youngsters have been working hand-in-hand  for the same.

According to Lhakpa Sherpa, convener of Hike for Help Nepal, it’s an annual programme designed for the students studying in different schools in Colorado and it’s a volunteer vacation trek to the Mt Everest region.

“The team also distributed about 400 pairs of shoes imported from the United States for selective low income families in Khumbu region,” Sherpa shared.

The volunteers under the Hike for Help Nepal have contributed a lot in the region in the past three years, according to Nim Dorjee Sherpa, local manager of the project.

The total cash contributed for different projects as of today is about $130,000.00 but it does not include the volunteer times and other materials donation, convener Sherpa said.

According to him, the projects include construction of a hostel building for Pema Chholing Primary school and initiation of Dalit Cultural and Handicraft Workshop among others.

“Hike for Help Nepal also partnered with Mcbride Honor Program of Colorado School of Mines to set up a ‘Dalit owned and operated cultural and handicraft workshop’ along the main trail to Mt Everest, near Lukla,” he informed.

Hike for Help volunteers have already worked hard carrying mason sand from the river bank to the uphill side of the Himalaya to a public restroom system in the Khumbu Valley to protect the mountain environment, reduce pollution, support the local people and bolster the region’s economy, he added. “Building toilets is an important initiative to make Everest region environment clean.”

The profit generated from the public restrooms will be reinvested in the local community, according to Sherpa.