The disparity between the wealthiest and the poorest is obvious in Nepal. In the southern jungle areas, in the northern Mustang region, for the Sherpas, and in the cities especially. The caste system is very much in tact. Interestingly, religious practices meld together seamlessly.
Yet, most see Nepal as a destination. Its lush southern jungles. The birthplace of Buddha. The incredible ancient temples. And of course, the Himalayan Mountains.
But the truth is that most people in Nepal struggle. For water and food. For clothes and shelter. Some of the hardest hit are Nepal's women, who are not only stuck in their caste position, but are marginalized within that.
My month was spent in teaching facilities and factories with women. Women who, mostly, had broken the mold and learned a handicraft skill. These women began to have their own income, giving them agency and freedom.
While most of my time and effort was put into these women, I too succumbed to the tourist adventures in Nepal. And, despite wanting this to not be true, accepted that tourism is the tiny nation's primary source of income. And realized that the country as a whole depends on granola tourists filling up their towns and adding to their economy.