Deana Zabaldo has hands-on experience in the Himalayas and a passion for its culture and peoples. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Khandbari village, Nepal, she learned about the complexities of international development, regional politics, caste hierarchy, economic disparity, and modernization—all while hiking through the world’s most spectacular mountains. This experience continues to shape her today: she is now an expert trekking guide and a catalyst for change in Nepal through fundraising, volunteering, and sustainable development.
Deana enjoys sharing her love of Nepal and Bhutan while supporting clients through safe, challenging, and inspiring adventures. Whether drinking yak milk in nomad tents or chatting with street vendors, she is able to create an authentic experience for clients and bring the culture alive through rapport with landless farmers, wealthy factory owners, sari-clad women, and hermit monks. She has explored from rice paddies to mountaintop temples, including Tibet, Mongolia, and Bhutan. Moved by the spiritual and cultural vibrancy of the region, she’s a gifted storyteller about Tantric goddesses, the Maoist insurgency, royal massacres, the realities of Shangri-La, arranged marriages, and secret explorations. She speaks fluent Nepali and is dedicated to facilitating travel that is both meaningful and fun.
Calling San Francisco home, Deana is a small business consultant and works with executives and business owners to improve their strategic planning, organizational management, and operational processes. She also spends 3-4 months each year in the Himalayas, guiding treks and advising projects, including a children’s home and a grassroots tea farmer collective. Deana has an abiding dedication to make a positive impact in the world through transformative travel and sustainable development.
Her professional experience includes conducting education and training for Lucent Technologies, directing cross-cultural programs for Intrax Cultural Exchange, and teaching at Louisiana State University. She holds a Master’s in Behavioral Psychology and is a certified Wilderness First Responder and Yoga Instructor.