Chyoger Treks and Khampa Nomad Arts Cooperative are businesses based on the social enterprise model. We work to improve the lives of the people of Kham, and to share this culture with the outside world.
Based in Lhagang in the Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Region in western China, Chyoger Treks and Khampa Nomad Arts Cooperative are owned and operated by Djarga Mira of Lhagang, with help from of his spouse, Angela Lankford, of Westcliffe, Colorado. Djarga and Angela met in 2001 in Kangding when Angela was on vacation in the area; they married in 2006. They have a little girl named Sonam Tsomo, whom you are very likely to meet if you come visit us in Kham!
Chyoger Treks started running tours in January 2003, and has been working since then to make them ever better. We want to help others see and appreciate Tibetan life and land as it is now, and through this help to preserve it and foster its continuation. Our treks are not simply for tourists; they are conceptualized as serious educational and growth adventures.
Khampa Nomad Arts Cooperative is a Tibetan nomadic arts and handicrafts business. The business works as a cooperative which will help nomadic Tibetan artisans increase their incomes without requiring them to drastically change their lifestyles. Nomadic Tibetan products, also, are traditionally very high quality and long lasting, as well as beautiful. We work to bring the best arts, which nomads would normally make only for personal use, to the international market, as well as to encourage nomads to keep up their traditional skills.
The China trek section of Chyoger Treks was originally conceived only as an add-on to the Tibet treks, but they have turned out to be successful in their own right. Angela was a Peace Corps volunteer in Rongchang, Chongqing and there is great opportunity there to see the old China, and to see the countryside. As of 2013, we’ve added China countryside treks to Jiangxi and Hubei, to experience the hills of Jiangxi as well as the flat Yangtze floodplain in Hubei, and to Guizhou, to visit both Miao and Han Villages.