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Founders

Deana Zabaldo

Me at BouddhaDeana 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 continued to inspire her for over a decade as she lived in Kathmandu, taught yoga to Nepali women, guided high-altitude treks, and advised social programs. 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. Deana now spends three months each year in the Himalayas, guiding treks and advising projects. Her professional experience includes training for Lucent Technologies, directing programs for Intrax Cultural Exchange, and teaching psychology for Louisiana State University. She has an abiding dedication to make a positive impact in the world and to inspire people both in the U.S. and Nepal.

Nancy Porten

Nancy Porten

Nancy Porten co-founded Changing Lives Nepal and is actively engaged in its fundraising and management. As a member of the Lake Tahoe community, she is also a yoga/fitness instructor, volunteer, modern dancer, and mother of three. She has a strong business background in marketing and sales, deep experience with entrepreneurial start-up companies, and has been associated with Unisys, Buildtopia, and Porten Homes. Nancy is connected to Nepal through travel, trekking, fair trade export, and her studies with a Buddhist monk.