Active Hearts Foundation

nepali house large group gathered outside

We are proud to support Active Hearts Foundation - a charity founded by one of our long standing senior guides in Nepal, Dan Keys (DK). After living and working in the Himalayas and spending time in the remote villages of our Nepalese guides and porters, it became apparent to our team in Nepal that more could be done to help the communities than just sharing gifts and smiles. The Nepalese are wonderfully humble and caring folk who constantly make our trekking tours magic by sharing their homes, culture and friendship. Active Hearts Foundation began as a small token of appreciation for the kindness and generosity our friends in Nepal have shown.

Following the devastating earthquake in Nepal on April 25th 2015, all resources were initially channeled towards relief efforts and the rebuild - with the help of generous donations, over $100,000 was raised. Click here to read about the earthquake efforts.


"We are a grass roots, front line aid team focused directly on those that count. As they are family to us we are not bound by politics or red tape and are sourcing all our relief directly from the ground - giving a much needed boost to the now collapsed economy." - DK, May 2015.

 Nepal hikers and locals

Active Hearts Foundation is stepping up its efforts in 2018. Check out their latest project, the Sarsyu Library, set to open November 2nd. Himalaya guides Melissa McArtney and Elder Bejar are running in the famous Everest Marathan as a fundraiser for Active Hearts Foundation.

How to follow Active Hearts Himalaya

For live updates from our team on the ground in Nepal please follow the Active Hearts Foundation Facebook page.

For regular eNewsletter updates register in the footer of their website.

Gareth Leonard, the author of Tourist2Townie has also been involved with Active Hearts Foundation - many of the images you see here are taken by Gareth. Gareth and Clint (TripHackr) actually finished hiking to EBC with us about a week before the first earthquake struck. Gareth then returned to spend time with DK and the team documenting the initial relief work. His photos and stories are excellent.

Background to the earthquake response:

Phase One - Immediate relief

DK, Mel, Gokul, Arjun and friends set about sourcing, packing, transporting and distributing urgent supplies; tarps, ropes, mats, clothing, head torches, medicine, towels and other such items. No small feat considering similar operations were happening all across Kathmandu, making supplies scarce. They also managed to get a generator for lighting and charging for their communal sleeping shelter of 32 people.

delivering rice in nepalJenna, Gokul and Kelsey at Gogane

Over the next week, they delivered 4 Jeep loads to Gogane and saw literally hundreds of patients at their make-shift clinic. The photo above is of Gokul, Kelsey and Jenna. Gokul of course is one of our amazing Active Adventures guides, whilst Kelsey and Jenna are both nurses who've teamed up with Active Hearts Himalaya to help with relief efforts. They have been invaluable in the village, attending to hundreds of injured and unwell Nepalese. They also distributed 4500kg of rice; one bag for each family, which will last perhaps a month. They were the only aid at this village and it's unlikely other aid will reach this remote area.

Field clinic in Gogane

Phase Two - Preparing for the monsoon season

It's difficult to convey the severity of the situation in these remote villages. Even before the earthquakes the villagers prepare to be cut-off during monsoon season, and now they're dealing with a lack of permanent shelter and damage to their vital water source - water that irrigates the terraced fields that feed the entire area.

Using some of the funds raised, the team ordered 20 temporary monsoonal shelters. DK and the team also addressed the destroyed irrigation system; they ran a pipe 1100 metres from the primary water source to the upper village fields. This was a major project that benefits around 2000 people, a committee has been set up and during the project the entire community lent a hand in construction. 

monsoon shelters

nepali boys waiting to be given a ball

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16218 reviews)

    EBC with Dan K

    I had a great time with wonderful team members, guides and porters. I will remember this trip as one of the best and treasure the memories for long, long time.
    Fusa Iwamoto Review Image
    – Massachusetts, United States
    EBC, June 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16218 reviews)

    5 Stars x 3

    I rated this as 5 stars, "Excellent, the trip of a lifetime", but actually that is not totally true. It is actually 1 of 3 trips of a life time. The other two were the AA Jaguar Tour and the AA Condor tour. All three were outstanding and each qualified as a "trip of a lifetime".
    Ted Jacobson Review Image
    – Minnesota, United States
    AST, November 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16218 reviews)

    Couldn't be more pleased

    Pleased especially that I made it to EBC! Out of the 10 of us 5 made it all the way. Can't believe this old man (63) was one of them. I know the only reason I did make it was due to the excellent leaders and sherpas. They were incredibly attentive and professional. We all feel how lucky we were to have the trek leaders that we had, and to have such a fun group. It far exceeded my expectations; the incredible mountains, accommodations, ample food, and exceptional leadership. The acclimation days and the slow steady pace are all that attributed to my personal success. Thank you especially Elder and Argen. I hope to take another of your treks next year, looking at Peru. Thank you to the entire Active Adventures team!
    Mark Steiner Review Image
    – California, United States
    EBC, December 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16218 reviews)

    Have to Experience it to Believe it

    Don't know where to start and don't want to write a book but want anyone who is considering this trek to do it with Active Adventures. Why? I'm 62, still in good health and shape. Have experienced two other treks over the past ten years with other outfitters. Machu Picchu in Peru and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. There was a huge difference in personal care and attention to expedition details. What impressed me the most was the attention to every detail required to make this trek to Base Camp not only successful but an enjoyable one too. There was not one negative experience that Active Adventure was in control over (lodging, food, permits etc). My mind was put to ease every day when our daily heart rate and oxygen levels were tested and medication was made available to you should you experience the effects of altitude sickness. Our guide’s knowledge of the history and culture of the Nepalese people added to the enjoyment of our journey.
    Steven Edwards Review Image
    – Ontario, Canada
    EBC, January 2018
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16218 reviews)

    Can't believe I did it

    Right when we touched down at Lukla airport, I began to get sick. I didn't think there would be any way that I could continue, but my guides were well-prepared with medicine and advice to help get me back on track, and they let me walk at my own pace. Mercifully, I rebounded and made it through some of the most stunning hiking that you can do anywhere on earth. Everyone in my group was positive and a joy to be around.
    Ehren Meditz Review Image
    – Georgia, United States
    EBC, December 2016



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