We are a travel group that strive to create a spirit of community through our work.
Our aim is to facilitate conscientious travellers in creating MEMORIES and unique ADVENTURES whilst supporting local minority tribal people in helping themselves. The experiences are made by you and enhanced by our team of local guides who will use their vast knowledge and skills to support our guests in finding something special in the Sapa area.
We are also creating a programme of voluntarism to help support our developmental aims. Successful volunteers will benefit from free accommodation and food during your stay.
Post 1 - Experienced engineer / builder (s)
Pneumonia is the number one killer in the Sapa area. Homes with poor or none existent sanitation as well as substandard structural walls and mud floors contribute to the damp conditions that make the disease so prevalent. Bronchial problems are the second major issue primarily caused by smoke inhalation from open fires with no existing chimney system. We are looking for a small team to work together with local communities to improve homes using appropriate local technology. Any home improvements need to be as inexpensive as possible and be replicable by others in the local vicinity.
Post 2 - Handicraft Designer / Artist
Sapa is home to a variety of hilltribe groups that produce some of the finest handicrafts anywhere on the planet. Traditional clothes are typically made from hemp and dyed with indigo. Embroidery and batik work also features heavily. We are looking for a creative individual that would be happy to spend some time in the community learning about the traditional skills that are required to produce clothing. We also require the chosen candidate to design a range of internationally marketable contemporary products using local designs as a basis. The outcome of this project is a new product line that will help build capacity for local entrepreneurs to sell their amazing products online to a global audience.
Homestay accommodation is provided with any post.
The homestay has its own kitchen space, shower facilities with hot water and a lounge area. There is a balcony terrace and strong wifi throughout the property.
At 1650 meters above sea level, Sapa, in the north west of Vietnam, enjoys a much cooler climate than the majority of Vietnam.
Sapa has been a major market town in the area for many years, but it wasn’t until it was established as a French hill station in to the early 1920’s, that the town began to really appear on the national map.
Sa Pa lies at the southeastern extent of the Himalayan chain and is home to Vietnam’s highest peak, Fansipan, at 3,143m. The great mountain and the Muong Hoa Ho Range tower above the town, their steep slopes providing an abrupt yet spectacular backdrop to Sa Pa’s swarming streets. Tiny mountain streams and the awesome Thac Bac waterfall merge to produce a meandering river that flows briskly down a narrow steep sided valley. Small huts are littered in sporadic fashion along its banks, and great swathes of rainforest lie under the clouds that carpet the peaks above. The vast areas of woodland are both impressive and intimidating. They are a place where the trees are kings, with epiphytes and beautiful orchids rioting rampantly over them like marvellous jewels. This dazzling forest is also still home to bears and monkeys, making it one of most biologically significant areas of natural wilderness in Asia.
Sa Pa has earned its mysterious reputation not only because of its immense beauty, but also because of this rich ethnic diversity. In recent centuries, a selection of minority groups have settled in the Vietnamese highlands in their own self-perpetuating communities. The zones in which each ethnic group is located are often demarcated according to altitude, for they settled at different heights depending on the order in which they migrate into the country. The ethnic composition of Sa Pa is highly varied and is the single most spectacular feature of the area.
To this day, the town remains a major trading post for more than 30 local ethnic groups, such as the Hmong Dao and Tay people, who live among the rolling rice paddy covered hills that dominate the region around Sapa. Beautifully adorned in their colourful traditional dress. The only thing brighter than the locals' clothes are their never-fading smiles, and a trip into town on market day can feel like stepping back in time.
Trekking is a huge draw for the region and is often the best way to see many of the local villages and the stunning rice paddies. A trip to Sapa can be as relaxed, or active, as you choose to make it. A whole host of half and full day trips are on offer to explore the region, or one can simply relax and enjoy the cooler climate.
Volunteers will benefit by becoming an integral part of a team and the wider community. We have high expectations but will provide willing participants with all of the background information and support necessary to make some real progress in terms of long term and sustainable development in the Sapa area.
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