About Sapa Sisters :
We are Sapa Sisters, an ethnic minority Hmong trekking group based in the beautiful northern mountainous highlands of Sapa, Vietnam. We are very proud to be one of the few Hmong businesses that exist in this region – and one that is entirely owned and run by women. We think that this is a significant achievement because Hmong highlanders face much higher levels of poverty and many barriers to accessing capital and business connections. Tourism to our area is providing us with vital new opportunities to earn sustainable incomes, helping our families and our communities to prosper.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
Sapa Sisters was started in 2009 by six friends: Radek Stypczynski, a painter and visual artist from Poland/Sweden, Ylva Landoff Lindberg (www.ylvalandofflindberg.com) , also an artist, with four Hmong women Lang Yan, Lang Do, Cho, and Zao. Radek, having seen and heard first hand the difficulties of young Hmong women, in particular, finding decent jobs and wages in Sapa began collaborating with the Girls on a venture that could be self-sustaining and operated almost entirely independent of outsider assistance. The idea was simple: a Trekking company operated by the girls with no middle-man i.e. tourist operators or hotels; Radek would set up a website that could connect travelers with their guides as well as help communication between travelers and guides as the the girls cannot read or write English (although their spoken English is excellent).