Beyond the realms of discovering and exploring lies a whole world of immersive experiences that let you truly connect with a destination. Take these conscious travel projects in the Himalayas for example. By Rashima Nagpal

Protect Livestock With Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust (SLC-IT)

 

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The snow leopards of Ladakh are notoriously famous for killing multiple livestock at night. When such incidents take place, affected farmers often resort to retributive killings of these magnificent predators. SLC-IT, led by its director Tsewang Namgail, sprang into action when they discovered the high rate of livestock losses and consequent retributive killings in Hemis National Park in the year 2001. They haven’t looked back since. Volunteering with SLC-IT means getting a chance to be involved in a variety of conservation projects, including conflict mitigation, ecotourism, livestock immunisation, community homestay development, handicraft development, environmental education, camera trapping, the survey of prey species, and mapping of snow leopard habitat.

Be a Guest Manager at The Goat Village (TGV)

 

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Feel like taking a sabbatical from work? Use the opportunity to be a guest manager with TGV! With its presence in eight far-flung locations in the Indian Himalayas, TGV is a bouquet of farm retreats and homestays managed by the Green People. As part of their ‘Be My Guest Manager’ programme, they welcome top-end professionals to volunteer for their services as a Manager while on a self-actualization sabbatical for one to three months. You also get to don the role of a trainer and marketing advocate — all while waking up to the mountains every day.

Volunteer From Home with Spiti Ecosphere

 

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Led by founder Ishita Khanna, Spiti Ecosphere has a knack for mixing travel with responsibility. The fact that they’ve been creating sustainable community-oriented opportunities in the region for 12 years says some more about it. They let you explore Spiti in ways that you can also help conserve its uniqueness. From building greenhouses to enhancing healthcare to reducing, recycling and upcycling waste, and conservation of indigenous crafts such as Zama pottery, Ecosphere works on numerous initiatives, some of which have been initiated with the help of volunteers.

Learn Earthen Masonry at Dharmalaya

 

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Dharmalaya, based in Bir, Himachal Pradesh, is a rare organisation that apart from the environmental aspects of conservation also focusses on the inward journey that comes with it. All their programmes have something unique to offer and require different levels of commitment. The Earthern Masonry Training Programme, in particular, is a certificate course that demands a minimum of six months. It is a formal, hands-on training course covering the masonry aspects of earthen building (including adobe brick-making and bricklaying, cob, mud renders, stonework, etc.). Alternatively, you could also look at their short-term volunteer work programmes that will give you a taste of the methods of sustainable living in the Himalayas by indulging in activities related to earthen building, organic gardening, natural landscaping, and more.

Related: 5 Green Trips For The Conscious Traveller