Helambu is a region of highland villages in Nepal which is widely famous for trekking. It lies about 80 km from Kathmandu. Helambu, on the other hand, is also referred to as Hyolmo. The government has recognized the Helambu region as an indigenous population comprised of 59 communities from the region. The place is very popular for trekking purposes. It is also famous for natural sight and Buddhist pilgrimage. For instance the months of March-April, there are beautiful rhododendrons in the Himalayas with the panoramic view of Langtang range, Mt. Dorje Lakpa and Mt. Bhrami. This place is also famous among Buddhist pilgrims because it has relics recording the arrival of Guru Maha Padmasambhava. There are many pilgrims site in Melamchigyang including the oldest one from the region called Chiri Gumba.
The region is rich with Sherpa culture and lifestyle. There are various places one can visit like Ama Yangri, Tarkhejhyang Melamchim, etc to see the mesmerizing views of the snow-clad mountains. One can experience the true rural life of Himalayas. The place is also famous for kiwi production in autumn and apples in the rainy season. Guests will enjoy organic vegetables like potatoes, green vegetables and radish with Nepali dal bhat. The trekking in helambu region will give you a life-long memory of the beautiful Himalayas. Guests can not only enjoy the food, view, and service but also they can purchase local products. It has been a source for the locals to learn the English language.
It is a belief that eliminating poverty starts with removing the obstacles to markets and barriers to participation and offering tools and training for families to succeed. Aythos, a US-based charity organization, is supporting the locals of Helambu with their homestay and charity trek projects.
After the earthquake of 2015, many people in this region have lost their homes, family and their only source of income. Homestay and charity treks are the main sources of the rebuilt community by Aythos. People are rebuilding their homes and plan to establish 40-50 homestays in the region. With that, they will be able to serve 150-200 guests at a time.
Kiwi farming has been an important innovation for the area and it is becoming an important source of revenue for rebuilding their communities. The locals are learning how to make kiwi jam, wine, and nachos. This has helped them to earn a bit extra. Its currently served to visitors and guests. Someday in other locations, these products can be sold too.
All the profit generated from homestays, trekking and kiwi products are reinvested to build the community. Aythos has been providing training to the local farmers on how to farm for kiwis. As a result, it’s helping the community to build in a more sustainable way rather than being dependent on others. Aythos has been helping communities moreover Helambu for livelihood improvements and rebuilding their community.