Hike for Help is a student organization that travels to Nepal to conduct humanitarian work with different projects to help the local impoverished communities.
This last winter break, the members traveled to Nepal with the help of Lhakpa Sherpa, the owner of Sherpa House, to build restrooms along the heavily used trails leading up to the base of Everest.
The international experience provided a stark contrast to the world we live in and insight regarding the impacts our technical skills can have on society.
Patrick Consalvi, on the student board and a part of the winter break trip, said, “The trip definitely added to my perspective and world understanding. The trips we take to Nepal are pretty unique. We are doing home stays, literally sleeping on the floor of the local sherpa people’s homes. And it’s not an experience that you get with many other clubs.“
Hike for Help creates an immersive experience where members can learn about the community to develop perspective and self-identity.
Consalvi said, “The immersion experience is huge, experiencing the poverty first hand is extremely eye opening in regard to what we take for granted.” He went on to say, “I feel like I have an obligation now. I know what is going on, and I know how I can help. I feel that I need to stay involved in development projects even after graduation to continue to do what I can to help.”
The experience provided invaluable context to the technical skills develop through Mines coursework, “It’s interesting, at Mines we have this four year plan where you go to school, get your degree, you come out, and you get a job in industry or you go to graduate school,” said Consalvi. “Either way it’s very streamlined and set in stone. A lot of time it feels like everyone is doing the same thing. To see how other culture progress through their young adulthood, and seeing the different options that you can do with your life after Mines is very big. It lets people know that they do have other options other than industry or graduate school.”
Hike for Help is planning to construct beehives for communities in Nepal this upcoming summer, and is looking to expand the trip to better serve the impoverished communities.