The Global Basecamps Blog

Social Responsibility: Tiger Tops Swissair Pre-School

7.14.2011
by ali
Tiger Tops Swissair Pre-School

Tiger Mountain Properties, our in country partner in Nepal, has demonstrated a commitment to sustainable travel and ecoturism. They support a wide range of local programs, in addition to creating their own community projects throughout the country. These focus on health, education, and conservation, and illustrate Tiger Mountain’s concern for the environmental and human needs that exist where its lodges, camps and trekking routes are located. Global Basecamps is happy to be contributing to the Tiger Mountain Properties’ school programs.

Tiger Tops Swissair Pre-School

The Tiger Tops Swissair Pre-School and library, located on the edge of Chitwan National Park in the southern Terai, Nepal, is now in its 15th year. In collaboration with the Swissair Staff Fund for Children’s Relief, the school was created for underprivileged children who were unable to afford government school fees; it provides free education, meals and health care. The free head start program was developed for young children of poor families near the Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge. The students are selected from the different ethnic communities in the area, Mushahar, Bote, Tharu, Kammi, Damai, Gurung, Kamal etc., based on their financial and nutritional needs. The school strives to provide the children with the skills necessary to prepare them for further education, and then funds their onward education in government school when they complete the 4-year program.

Climbing El Pico de Orizaba

7.12.2011
by temo

One of our interns, Temo, recently traveled to Mexico and climbed the tallest mountain in the country, El Pico de Orizaba. Below he shares his experience with us. Thanks Temo!

Mexico has been receiving some terrible reviews and travel warnings for tourists because of the violence and insecurity issues it is currently facing. But the reality is that the violence has seldom been directed to Mexican tourists and even less towards international tourists. The social situation has led to a major decline in tourism across the country and at the same time it has created some great opportunities for the savvy traveler and the budget conscious adventurer. Many small hotels and tour companies are eager to give special discounts during almost any season. This is how I found a great deal for my Mexico ecoturism adventure.

Teotihuacán

Last winter break (December 2010) I decided to rediscover some of my heritage and also challenge myself physically and mentally on a journey of self discovery. So, on my Mexico tour I decided that I wanted to climb El Pico de Orizaba, also known as Citlaltepetl (which means the Star Mountain). At 18,800 feet it is the tallest mountain in Mexico and the third tallest in North America, only after Mt. McKinley and Mt. Logan in Canada. It is located in between the states of Puebla and Veracruz, almost a 3.5 hour bus ride from Mexico City.

Since I am based out of San Diego the easiest way to get there was to fly out of Tijuana International airport towards Mexico City’s Benito Juarez International Airport. Upon arrival, and prior to the 3 hour bus ride to Puebla, I wanted to make a quick day trip to the beautiful ancient Holy city of Teotihuacán just an hour drive from the airport. The immense and beautiful temple pyramids of the Sun and Moon are one of my favorite places to visit in Mexico. It is said that ceremonial rituals were carried out at the tops of these perfectly constructed engineering marvels and were coordinated with the movements of the sun, moon and stars.

5 of the World's Best Treks

7.12.2011
by ali

Inca Trail, Peru

The Inca Trail Trek is one of the most famous treks in South America. The 26 mile hike offers travelers natural beauty, culture, and adventure. Hikers will experience beautiful mountain scenery, lush cloud-forest, subtropical jungle, and of course an incredible mix of Inca ruins. Culminating the challenging trek is the arrival at the ancient Inca site, Machu Picchu. Travelers should anticipate spending at least 2 full days in Cusco prior to the hike in order to adjust to the altitude. The best time of year to hike the Inca Trail is during the dry season, which lasts from May to October or November. The rainy season is from December to April, and the trail is closed in February due to heavy rains. However, light rain at Machu Picchu is not uncommon year round. Day time temperatures can range anywhere from 50-82ºF, with night time temperatures from around 32-50ºF.

Inca Trail Trek

Know Before You Go: Egypt

7.6.2011
by ali

Egypt tourism has experienced a major lull in the recent months following the country’s turmoil. However, as we recently wrote about on our blog, Egypt is Back and Even Better. Now is a great time to visit the unique country. As mentioned in our previous Know Before You Go blogs, researching cultural norms and practices of your host country is an essential part of trip planning. Whether you are already planning your Egypt custom tour or just hoping to someday visit the Pyramids of Giza here are a few tips for being culturally responsible in Egypt.

Egypt

Egyptian Society and Culture

Muslim is the dominant religion in Egypt and it plays a major role in the society’s values and practices. Muslims pray five times a day, at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and evening. Also, Friday is the Muslim holy day, and therefore everything is closed. In contemporary Egypt the two-day weekend is often Friday and Saturday. During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk and work shorter days. During Ramadan, each night at sunset, family and friends celebrate the breaking of the fast. The family is of major importance in Egyptian society, and the individual is usually considered subordinate to the family or group. Younger generations are expected to show respect to their seniors, they will not raise their voice to elders and should not remain seated while an older person is standing. Additionally, an individual’s honor and esteem is directly tied to the reputation of the family.

10 Tips for a Green Fourth of July

7.1.2011
by ali

Whether you are traveling this Fourth of July or spending time with friends in your home town here a few tips to make your holiday celebration more eco-friendly!

1. Enjoy the Outdoors

Hopefully you will be enjoying this holiday celebration outside. By taking the party outdoors you can reduce the amount of energy used and cut the energy costs of utilizing indoor facilities.

Fireworks
2. Eat Local

Consider hitting the farmer’s market this weekend and purchasing locally grown organic food to cook on the Fourth. Locally grown and organic foods are not only good for you but the environment too, as they help reduce chemicals used in processed foods and pollution caused by transportation that is necessary to ship non-local food products.

3. Avoid Using at Home Fireworks
Fireworks are definitely not environmentally friendly. They contain hazardous chemicals that pollute the atmosphere. Avoid doing fireworks at home this Fourth of July and head to your local beach or park to enjoy a nearby fireworks show. You may want to consider talking to your local officials about more eco-friendly fireworks, or fireworks alternatives.
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