Local mountain guides, cooks and porters: The Tourism Council of Bhutan have trained more than 50 people, villagers from Merak and Sakteng as cooks and porters. We know how valuable it is to use local knowledge on this tour to make sure that our trip runs safely and smoothly. Therefore we truly enjoy engaging the local folks who make our program so successful and in return we provide them with a means in the form of good wages to help address the needs of local communities.
The Tourism Council of Bhutan also trained six high school professional minded graduates each from the villages of Merak and Sakteng as tour guides. The training included investing in professional instruction courses, first aid management, and a dedication to learning the hard-skills necessary to conduct safe tours. This makes us very comfortable knowing that our staff is prepared to handle whatever comes their way. We also know that hiring locally means another important source of income for the villagers and therefore most gladly employ the young generation of local guides on our treks in Merak and Sakteng villages. So while our guests enjoy a song, or a dance or a story with our educated community guides, we help make the nomadic way of life economically and socially attractive for the younger generation of educated nomads by paying good wages for their services on the Merak and Sakteng Trek.
Horse Contractors: A committee of horse con≠ductors has been formed to ensure a smooth arrangement of ponies in Merak and Sakteng. A list of contractors along with individual contact information is available on the Tourism Council Website. On our tours and Treks to Merak and Sakteng we make contact with local horse contractors from the list available and hire their services for a good rental fee that helps supplement income for nomadic groups through rentals received from animal pottering services during the trekking season.
Community owned Camp sites: The guesthouses in Sakteng and Merak is run by the community and provides services to trekkers in Merak and Sakteng. We use the community campsites for safety and also for cooking classes for guests who want to learn more about Eastern Bhutanese cooking. We rent space at these community sites because The campsite has created local jobs and shared benefits equitably to participating communities and through payment of camp fee we help out in meaningful community efforts.
Buying Locally: Our meals on the Merak and Sakteng trek is prepared with organic produce, including milk, butter, cheese, flour, and vegetables, direct from the village. The farmer gets full retail price for the goods. We do not have to bring food stuff all the way from the town engaging extra vehicles. By buying locally we conserve the energy that is used for transport.
Art and craft made by local Artisans: To promote local income generating activities we encourage our guests to buy authentic arts and crafts made by local artisans from small Private and community-owned enterprises involving the sale of local products and services like weaving, yak riding, milking, renting of traditional dress for photographic purposes, handicrafts and sale of organic vegetables like cabbage, radish, saag, potatoes and turnips etc.
Community distinctive cultural programs showcasing nomadic culture and heritage in an authentic setting is arranged at a fee paid to the community and helps put together a bonus income. Our Merak & Sakteng tours also promote income generation opportunities through sale of local agricultural products, livestock products and handicraft retailing. Community identity and pride is generated through our community based tour programs in Merak and Sakteng. We have been successful in reinforcing a positive sense of community identity.
See the highlights of magical Bhutan in just over a week
From £1868 7 days excluding flights