The Story behind the Maya Sherpa Project
Maya Sherpa is a pure American girl, but has family – and friends – on both sides of the world; as such, she comprises the best of two very different, and wonderfully abundant, cultures. Maya first travelled to the Solukhumbu region of the Himalayas, home to the ethnic Sherpas, when she was eight years old. There she met and studied in a local school with children of her own age, and wanted to have fun with the kids there, as she does at home. As a result, Maya asked to build them a playground, bringing joy to others who have less than she does. Her wish was the beginning of the Maya Sherpa Project.
The Maya Sherpa Project (MSP) is now a not-for-profit foundation (501c3) that is dedicated to contributing resources that will sustain the well-being of the Sherpa communities in the Solukhumbu region of the Himalayas. The focus on support is with education, health care and environmental issues. However, its mission is not only to engage peoples in learning about, and upholding, the traditions and culture of the Sherpas in Nepal, but also to create an exchange of cultural resources. To this end, the MSP strives to introduce the Western culture to the many and precious gifts and wisdom of the Sherpas of the Solukhumbu: their openheartedness, determination, compassion, and – most famously – gaiety of spirit.* We believe this will go a long way in cultivating well-being for all.
“ …the temperament and character of the Sherpas …have won them a large place in the hearts of the Western travelers. Their most enduring characteristic is their extraordinary gaiety of spirit.”
~ Eric Shipton, distinguished British Himalayan mountaineer.