Since 2002, SLC-IT has trained over 150 families to offer homestays across Ladakh, and our initiative has proven to benefit not only local communities, but wildlife in the surrounding environment.
By opting to stay at a Himalayan Homestay, you help local people generate income from tourism activities in their area. This income helps in important ways:
Community Conservation Fund: 10% of all homestays income goes into a community conservation fund that supports activities like garbage management, tree plantation, better animal husbandry practices and restoration of cultural and historical sites.
Eco-cafes: Run collectively in villages by women’s groups. Through rotating duties, 2-3 women serve visitors while their household chores are done by their teammates. Emphasis is on use of natural gas or kerosene instead of scarce firewood and the sale of boiled and filtered water to minimize the use of plastic bottles that litter the landscape.
Garbage: We have several initiatives to clear garbage from remote villages and send cans, bottles and similar items to Leh, Kargil or Srinagar for recycling. While trekking or travelling, you can help greatly by carrying your garbage back to Leh, Kargil or Srinagar.
Community Livestock Insurance: Families now get their livestock insured against predator-related losses. Half the insurance premium is paid from the Village Community Conservation Fund, while livestock owners, SLC-IT and others pay a minimal amount.
Predator-proof Pens: SLC-IT assists herders to build predator-proof pens or corrals to protect their livestock from snow leopards and other predators. This stops retaliatory killings by herders. It is estimated that each enclosure saves 2-3 snow leopards!
Solar Showers: For a steaming-hot, eco-friendly shower along your trek, be sure to stop at the solar shower in Kesarvillage . This is an eco-friendly alternative to bathing in streams, which pollutes the water for those using it downstream.