Experience Nepal While Supporting a Worthy Cause

Mountains Healing Minds invites you on a life-changing journey to Nepal, a land of breathtaking beauty and rich cultural tapestry. Nestled amidst the world's highest mountains, Nepal offers a unique opportunity to reconnect with yourself while giving back to the community.

Mountains Healing Minds is a non-profit dedicated to supporting veterans and trauma survivors through transformative experiences. Our Chalk Missions are a carefully designed program for what we call Visionaries – the type of people who have faced challenges and are ready for a breakthrough.

Your Role: As a Visionary, you'll embark on a transformative journey led by a mission commander, two team leaders, and a dedicated mentor. This carefully curated program focuses on Self-Growth, Conservation, and Community.

Mornings Devoted to You: Each day begins with activities promoting mindfulness and personal wellness.  Journaling, meditation, thought exercises, gentle yoga, and cultural experiences – these practices will create a strong foundation for your inner strength. 

Afternoons Dedicated to the Cause: The second half of your day will be dedicated to conservation efforts, working alongside local partners on a project aligned with the region's most pressing needs. Mountains Healing Minds will work closely with the regional partners to identify the current projects requiring the most support. 

More Than Just a Trip:  Your mission is a chance to explore the majestic landscapes of Nepal, experience the warmth of its people, and contribute meaningfully to a cause close to our hearts. It's a chance to heal, grow, and return home with a renewed sense of purpose and a deeper connection to the world around you.

Are You Ready to Take the Next Step?

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Mountains Healing Minds - Kathmandu Valley
Mountains Healing Minds - South Kathmandu
Mountains Healing Minds - Temp in Kathmandu


2017.09 - 2023.10

Mountains Healing Minds - Matt Akers-Grabowski

A Dream is Born:

Many dream of witnessing the breathtaking beauty of Nepal and the majestic Himalayas. In 2017, that dream became a reality for me. Trekking to Everest Basecamp wasn't just a physical challenge; it was a transformative experience. The breathtaking scenery and the genuine kindness of the Nepali people left a lasting impact. It was a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of everyday life back home, and the personal life challenges I was trying to put behind me and move forward. This trip reminded me of what truly matters – peace, connection, and a sense of purpose.

This yearning for peace and a deeper connection is exactly what I wanted to create for myself and future Visionaries. Our Chalk missions offer a unique opportunity to combine self-discovery with conservation efforts in the heart of Nepal.  Imagine experiencing the transformative power of Nepal's natural beauty firsthand, while contributing to a cause that directly benefits the region.  Joining a Chalk mission can be your path to healing and renewal.

Mountains Healing Minds - Usha Chhetri & Matt Akers-Grabowski

Usha Chhetri (Nepal) & Matt Akers-Grabowski (U.S.A) - 2019

The desire to return to Nepal never left me. In 2019, I embarked on a deeper exploration, immersing myself in the rich tapestry of the Kathmandu Valley and surrounding hills.  My travels extended beyond the well-trodden paths, venturing through mountain villages and arriving in Pokhara by way of an arduous scenic overland route. Eager to understand the culture, I listened intently, observed my surroundings with a curious eye, and participated whenever possible. The warmth and generosity of my newfound Nepali friends made this journey even more enriching.

Fate intervened hard in 2021. My attempt to return to Nepal was thwarted by a visa issue and the ever-present COVID-19. Stranded at London Heathrow Airport, I spent a night on the cold floor – a stark contrast to the warmth I'd experienced in Nepal.  Returning home the next day, I endured another long flight, only to be met with lost luggage (eventually recovered, thankfully).  COVID, it seemed, had thrown a wrench in my plans.

Yet, by the beginning of 2023, perseverance paid off. The dream I'd carried for years – a Recon Mission – was finally taking shape. The meticulous planning commenced, and with it, the anticipation for a truly transformative experience...and so, it was time for Recon One.

Reconnoissance - Recon One

2023.11.01 - 2024.02.01

Recon One: A pathway forward

In the military, a reconnaissance mission, often shortened to "recon," is a crucial operation undertaken to gather information about an area, potential challenges, and the overall environment.  The Recon One Mission functioned in this same spirit, serving as a critical first step in establishing a strong foundation for future deployments.  The following report details the successes achieved during this productive quarter in organization history and mission effectiveness.

We fulfilled our governance requirements by holding a board meeting, demonstrating our commitment to transparency and public trust. To enhance our brand identity and operational efficiency, we secured the services of a graphic artist for business cards and an accountant for financial management. 

Solidifying our presence in Nepal was a major accomplishment. We established a temporary forward headquarters in Pokhara and secured extension visas for the Recon One team, ensuring a stable base for future operations. Additionally, we forged a valuable partnership with Mane Monez Pvt Ltd of Pokhara, Nepal, expanding our network and capabilities within the region.

Preparedness is paramount for Mountains Healing Minds. During the Recon One mission, we conducted successful internal testing of critical protocols, including emergency communications, technology setup, international banking processes, and emergency plans for both Kathmandu and Pokhara. We also took important steps towards financial sustainability by enabling the acceptance of donations and filing an application for tax exemption.

Beyond these primary objectives, the Recon One Mission made significant strides in establishing operational infrastructure within Nepal. We secured reliable transportation options between Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) and Thamel in Kathmandu, as well as between Kathmandu and Pokhara. Comfortable billet accommodations and catering services were arranged in both locations, ensuring a smooth and comfortable experience for future deployments. 

To further enhance the Visionary's experience, we developed a transformative itinerary and identified cultural activities in Nepal. Finally, we ensured smooth operations by successfully testing our Front Country Teammate & Mission Overwatch systems to ensure support during travel is highly available. In the event of an emergency, we tested our ability to respond with swift and meaningful protocol.

While the primary and secondary objectives focused on establishing a strong foundation, the Recon One Mission also laid the groundwork for future endeavors. We initiated the search for a clothing supplier, paving the way for future branded merchandise sales through our website.  This aligns with our long-term goal of sourcing our merchandise production from Nepal, infusing purchases equally into the Nepal & American economies.  Technology development efforts continued forward, increasing internal management systems selections and positioning the release of our new app, Barista, in the summer of 2024. These initial steps position Mountains Healing Minds for continued growth and success.

Mission: Chalk One - Lead by Example

October 2024

Chalk One - A First of Its Kind Healing Experience

Mountains Healing Minds is committed to providing life-changing experiences for veterans and trauma survivors. To ensure the program's effectiveness, our leadership team, comprised entirely of veterans and/or trauma survivors, will be the first to embark on a groundbreaking mission – Chalk One.

The All-Up Test

Chalk One serves as an "All-Up Test," a comprehensive trial run of the program designed to identify and refine every aspect of the Visionary experience. Just like future participants, our leadership team will undergo the same process from selection to return home, ensuring a well-rounded perspective.

Building on Resilience

The leadership team embodies the very spirit of resilience we aim to foster in our Visionaries. Their mission in Chalk One is to meticulously iron out the program's finer details, from logistics to activities. As the sole chalk mission scheduled for 2024, Chalk One will focus on gathering valuable feedback and data. This information will be directly integrated into our program and procedure, ensuring a seamless and impactful experience for future Visionaries.

Leading the Charge: A Chalk of Humans

In the world of airborne military operations, "chalk" refers to a group of soldiers deploying from a single aircraft.  Similarly, our Chalk One mission will be comprised of a single "chalk" – our dedicated leadership team.  These driven humans will experience the program firsthand, providing invaluable insights from the perspective of future participants.  

By prioritizing a leadership team that understands the challenges and potential of our program firsthand, Mountains Healing Minds demonstrates its dedication to providing the best possible support for veterans and trauma survivors.  

Looking Ahead: Expanding Our Impact

Building upon the learnings from Chalk One, Mountains Healing Minds is committed to expanding our reach. Looking towards 2025, we strive to send two Chalk Missions, doubling the number of Veterans and trauma survivors who could benefit from this transformative experience. 

A Ripple Effect of Healing

We envisioned Chalk One as the catalyst for a ripple effect of healing.  The insights gleaned from the leadership team's experience will pave the way for future Missions.  By 2025, with our aim on 2 Chalk Missions, we hope to support an increased number of veterans and trauma survivors.  This growth of the program reflects our unwavering commitment to providing a program grounded in real-world experience and proven effectiveness.

The Future Beckons: A Strategic Next Step

Building on the momentum established in 2025, Mountains Healing Minds will set its sights on the next step for program expansion in the coming years. Our vision is to create a sustainable model for healing that empowers a growing number of veterans and trauma survivors.

2026: Three Chalks, Amplified Impact

In 2026, we will aim to significantly increase our reach by sending three Chalk Missions. This expansion signifies our unwavering commitment to serving those who have served and been through a lot. Each Chalk will be meticulously planned, incorporating the invaluable feedback and learnings from previous missions. 

Three distinct Chalks will be formed, each comprised of veterans and trauma survivors possessing a unique set of strengths and experiences. This diversity will ensure a well-rounded approach to the program, catering to the varied needs of our Visionaries. 

2027: Reaching New Heights with Four Chalks

By 2027, Mountains Healing Minds aims to reach even greater heights by sending four Chalk Missions. This attempt at growth reflects our unwavering dedication to creating a lasting impact. 

The four Chalks will be meticulously formed, ensuring a perfect blend of experience, expertise, and diverse perspectives. Each mission will maintain the high standard developed for a truly transformative experience for an expanded group of Visionaries.

Beyond the Numbers: A Commitment to Positive Experience

While increasing the number of missions is a key objective, our primary focus remains on delivering the highest quality program possible.  The knowledge gained from every Chalk Mission will be instrumental in refining each aspect of the Visionary experience.  We aim to stimulate the healing process and kick off a lifetime of renewed purpose.

Building a Sustainable Future for Healing

The expansion to four Chalk Missions in 2027 represents a significant milestone in building a sustainable future for healing.  This growth will allow us to reach a vastly greater number of veterans and trauma survivors, offering them the opportunity to embark on a transformative journey.  Mountains Healing Minds is steadfast in its commitment to providing ongoing support and building a lasting multi-national community.


Chalk Two / Three

February & October 2025

Chalk Four / Five / Six

Febaruary, October, November 2026

Chalk Seven / Eight / Nine / Ten

February, March, October, November 2027