Volunteer FAQ’s

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What is a typical volunteer assignment at Porters’ Progress?

Volunteer assignments in our Kathmandu and Lukla offices include English and other language teaching, first aid training, database and administrative support, trekker outreach and marketing of our cottage industry products. In the past volunteers have also taught porters how to rock climb, record folk music, and create sculpture. We also accept project proposals that seek to promote the safety and empowerment of porters in some way and demonstrate a basic understanding of the role porters play in Nepal. For a complete list of current volunteer assignments, please contact info@portersprogress.org


What is the duration of a typical volunteer assignment?

In Nepal, we have a strong preference for volunteers who can make a time commitment of at least four weeks and as long as three months or more. Ideally we are looking for volunteers that will be available for an extended period and who will can pre-plan their time with us well in advance (6 months or more).


What kind of support and training does Porters’ Progress provide?

Porters’ Progress can help you find a homestay or other accommodation in Nepal, arrange for transportation in-country and give you unique insights into the local culture through the eyes of porters. We can also arrange for Nepali language lessons and a glimpse of Kathmandu or the Himalayas with a local PPN member. The volunteer is responsible for all of their living, training, and travel costs.


What if I want to volunteer and trek too?

To understand the mission of Porters’ Progress, you need to see porters at work. There is no better way to do this than to trek in Nepal. We strongly recommend that all of our volunteers do at least one trek with a porter and we guarantee you will come back informed, energized and inspired. If it’s your first time or your 10th time in the Himalayas, a trek alongside your porter will provide you with incredible insights into the local culture and make your volunteer experience even more rewarding. A sample itinerary for a 6-week volunteer assignment might be one week in Kathmandu for orientation and language lessons, a 1 week trek with a porter, and 4 weeks in Lukla completing your volunteer assignment.


Do I have to speak Nepali?

No, you do not need to speak Nepali to volunteer with Porters’ Progress, but even a basic vocabulary of key phrases is an asset. We can arrange for you to receive Nepali language instruction from professional tutors in Kathmandu and we highly recommend this as a way to make the volunteer experience more rewarding. Volunteers with Nepali language skills are always needed and will in most cases be given preference.


Does Porters’ Progress provide language lessons, housing or other living expenses?

Porters’ Progress is not able to provide funding for your time in Nepal but we can arrange for language lessons and homestays with local families in both Kathmandu and the Everest region. Living costs in Nepal vary depending on your preferences. Living like a local can be very reasonable in Western financial terms while mid-range and high-end housing and food options are available as well. This is a matter of personal preference and we can assist you with finding a living arrangement that suits your needs.


Is there a volunteer fee?

A volunteer fee of a US$100 donation to Porters’ Progress, USA is required and helps us cover the cost of delivering our programs and keeping our doors open to porters. For US volunteers, this fee is tax-deductible. We are unable to issue tax-receipts for international donations at this time. You will receive more details about the volunteer program fee donation when you receive your volunteer assignment.


Do you provide academic credit?

To date, we have not provided academic credit to volunteers. If you would like to receive academic credit, please contact info@portersprogress.org with the pertinent details from your academic institution.


Do I have to be in Nepal to volunteer for Porters’ Progress?

No, you can help Porters’ Progress from anywhere in the world. Host a Porters’ Progress fundraising event, help us raise funds throughout the year, collect gear for our clothing bank, raise awareness by recommending the work of Porters’ Progress to other travelers, and help us cultivate friends and allies. For more information about what you can do in your country or community, contact info@portersprogress.org