Project Maya Affiliate
Devendra Babu is the owner and founder of Mango Tree Resort in Lamjung district in Nepal (around 5 hours drive away from Kathmandu). He moved to the UK to pursue his education in Business Studies at 18. After couple years he realised he was more interested in building, nature and travelling. He later trained as a builder, spending 12 years working and studying in the UK. At the same time he developed a keen interest in permaculture and adventure. He decided to go back to his village, to his roots, a small village called Chiti and his family's land and to begin setting up the Mango Tree Resort, experimenting with natural building techniques using local material such as adobe, bamboo, stone, timber, thatch etc all with the help from his family, local workforce and wwoofers.
As the region is so rich in natural beauty its potential for eco tourism and adventure activities like canyoning, rafting, kayaking remains huge, as a result he soon began promoting the region and his village as an Eco adventure destination encouraging and introducing locals to home stay concepts and agri-tourism, helping them earn extra income, as traditional methods of farming are currently not sufficient.
At present, alarming numbers of young Nepali adults are taking menial jobs abroad and in cities, creating a negative impact on rural communities and the nation by reducing the workforce available to work the land. Recognising that the area is rich in bio diversity with beautiful trails to the mountains higher up and that they are dependent upon these resources, such as the forest, streams, springs and rivers for their daily livelihoods Devendra is also working to raise local awareness of the importance of conservation and trying to lead by example that you do not need to leave the country to make ends meet.
Alongside permaculture Dev's other passions are trekking in his beloved Himalayas, canyoning for which he is an experienced guide, and working within his local community. In 2012 and 2013 Mango Tree Resort helped organise the annual honey hunting festival in various villages around Lamjung raising awareness of the impact of climate change on the Himalayan cliff bees and promoting honey as a local eco-product whilst keeping the age old tradition of harvesting the honey alive. Also this year Mango Tree Resort organised a canyoning guide training with the American canyonnearing academy as well various other organisations in Nepal to train local youths to become canyoning guides. After the canyoning course Devendra and his team of trained guides went on to organise the first rock climbing festival in the local village of Puranokot, which has a huge natural rock climbing wall and potential for tourism. Devendra takes an active role in promoting villages like Puranokot in the Lamjung region. His vision is to continue to promote Eco tourism in Lamjung and to build Mango Tree Resort as a permaculture demonstration site running courses, training and adventure activities, where people of all ages and backgrounds can come together to learn, enjoy and be inspired to live in harmony with Nature.