Some brief information about Nepal can be found below to provide you with an appreciation and understanding of the country to whom you will be a guest. Many websites are available that cover the areas of Nepal’s political structure, economic issues, the people and its environment. The following is offered as a beginners guide.
Total Area: 140 800 square km
Land Boundaries: China 1 236 km and India 1 690 km
Climate (North): Cool summers and severe winters
Climate (South): Subtropical summers and mild winters
Terrain: Terai or flat river plain of the Ganges in the south, central hill region and rugged Himalayas in the north
Elevation Extremes: Kanchan Kalan 70m (lowest), Mount Everest 8 850m (highest)
Natural Resources: Quartz, water, timber, hydropower, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt and iron ore
Land Use: Arable land 21.68%
Natural Hazards: Severe thunderstorms, flooding, landslides, drought and famine depending on the timing, intensity and duration of the summer monsoons
Current Environmental Issues: Deforestation (overuse of wood for fuel and lack of alternatives), contaminated water (with human and animal wastes), wildlife conservations, vehicular emissions
Population: 27 070 666
Age Structure: 0-14 years: 39.4% (Male 5 500 698, Female 5 151 705)
15-64 years: 57% (Male 7 912 553, Female 503 282)
65+ years: 3.6% (Male 483 998, Female 503 282)
Infant Mortality Rate: 68.77 deaths/1000 live births
Life Expectancy: 59.4 years
Ethnic Groups: Brahman, Chetri, Newar, Gurung, Magar, Tamang, Rai, Limbu, Sherpa, Tharu, and others.
Religions: Hinduism 86.2%, Buddhism 7.8%, Islam 3.8%, other 2.2%
Languages: Nepali is the official language spoken by 90% of the population. A dozen other languages and about 30 major dialects also exist
Literacy: Male 62.7%, Female 27.6% (people aged 15 and over who can read and write)
Thoroughly enjoyed my time as a member of the construction crew with AAA’s Nepal expedition 2012/13. On top of the opportunity to give towards a community that I had never met before, the camaraderie shared between the AAA organisation and other volunteers throughout the trip, during the work, trek and sightseeing stages was a truly fulfilling and humbling experience. This is an experience that I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone, whatever their stage in life!
I loved experiencing a culture that is so strong-willed and determined, yet so easy going and genuinely happy. The adversities faced by the local Nepali people is what keeps them going day in day out, and the generosity of Westerners is a gift well and truly deserved.
A truly inspiring experience watching the participants and Nepali locals working together to successfully complete the Mongoladoya School construction project. The most touching memory was hearing the immense gratitude from the local community and school children throughout the project duration and the celebration ceremony thrown for us after the completion of the works.