Organization will donate a portion of net proceeds to Tamang’s Nepal FREED (Nepal Foundation for Rural Educational & Economic), which raises money to build schools in the remote villages of Nepal.

A series of photos from Jay Tamang’s trips to his native Nepal, including the school he helped build in lower Bhalche, at center. Courtesy images.

In the years since Jay Tamang, a longtime clerk at Whole Foods Market on East Blithedale, left his native Nepal in 2004, his thoughts have rarely strayed from his home country.

Tamang, who spent years there earning $2/day as a trekking guide in Katmandu before eventually moving to the United States with his wife Biba and their two young children, has maintained strong ties in Nepal, regularly visiting and donating his time and money to lift his former friends, family and neighbors. That was never more true than in April 2015 in the aftermath of the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal, which sent Tamang and his family reeling. 

In the two-plus years since, Tamang has leaned heavily on Nepal FREED (Foundation for Rural Educational & Economic Development), the organization he founded in 2009 to raise money to build schools in the remote villages of Nepal. With the help of his then fellow Park School parents, Nepal FREED has built a school in lower Bhalche, a library in nearby Kahule and paid for teachers to educate children at both facilities. 

Now Tamang is looking to further deepen the ties between his adopted hometown and native country. He created Mountain Culture Tours, a tour operator that will take groups on trips that mix volunteering with mountain treks in the mountainous region.

“My goal is to introduce people to the diverse world we live in, and partnering with them to benefit underprivileged children, and serve schools in the remote areas of Nepal by donating a portion of our net proceeds to Nepal F.R.E.E.D,” Tamang says. 

Mountain Culture Tours’ first such trip is set for April 2018. The 16-day trip kicks off with a volunteering stint at a school in Bhalche before heading onto “a most astounding spiritual journey of the Himalayas for the next eight days,” he says. “It’s a trekking experience of spectacular views that people won’t soon forget. I hope to share my vast knowledge and experience of these mystical places.”

The 16-day trip includes four nights at a hotel in Kathmandu, three days volunteering in Bhalche and transportation and eight days trekking including food, permits, guides and porters. The cost is $2,700 per person.

The 411: MORE INFO on Jay Tamang’s Mountain Culture Tours. Email him with questions.

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