Nepal Himalaya, porter assistance efforts. If a snow-covered pass at 4500m is difficult to a Western trekker outfitted with the latest combination of fleece, Gore-Tex, ice axe, crampons, and plastic boots, what is it like for a porter using a bamboo basket, rubber sandals, and cotton trousers? Ill- equipped porters have risked life and limb for the equivalent price of a pint of beer, suffering miserable conditions in the Himalaya, which can result in injury or death. In response, the Himalayan Explorers Connection (HEC), working in partnership with the International Porter Protection Group and Porters’ Progress (an initiative of the HEC and a Nepalese registered NGO) has established the HEC Porter Assistance Project. The project seeks to accomplish a number of objectives:
1. Toprovide independent trekkers and small trekking companies with a convenient and inexpensive means of equipping their porters.
2. To educate the tourist population about acceptable standards of porter treatment.
3. To motivate and empower porters to determine their own means of assistance through offering English language, first aid, and empowerment classes.
Our Kathmandu and Lukla offices (with plans to expand to other Himalayan areas) stockpile water- and wind-resistant jackets and pants, quick-drying synthetic base layers, gloves, socks, hats, sunglasses, and footwear. The equipment donated from manufacturers, ski resorts, and individuals can be borrowed for porters by trekkers and small trekking companies in exchange for a small, refundable deposit. If you would like to donate clothing to the program after a trek in Nepal, drop it off at the HEC Kathmandu office in Thamel, next to the KEEP office on Jyatha (tel: 259 275). To make a similar donation in the USA, contact HEC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Himalayan Explorers Connection is a non-profit organization with a mission to promote a better understanding of and respect for the environment and cultures of the Himalayan region. The HEC coordinates education, assistance, and cross-cultural experiences for members, volunteers, trekkers, and Himalayan residents. To learn more about this project and other HEC programs please visit our site at www.hec.org or send email to email@example.com.
Scott Dimetrosky, Executive Director of HEC, and Ken Stober, Volunteer Development Director and coordinator of programs for the HEC Porter Assistance