As travelers ourselves, we care deeply about our far-flung destinations. Our goal is to benefit and protect our favorite places, supporting and building the communities we care about. MIR fosters sustainable travel practices that help to preserve cultural and natural heritage.
In addition to contributing our time and resources to programs that benefit the peoples at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, MIR Corporation will donate all profits from the sale of gear in our Travel Gear Shop towards cultural and conservation projects we support.
We are proud to have supported a number of projects and organizations connected in some way to our destinations, such as:
Snow Leopard Trust
With programs and staff in five countries in Central Asia and support from around the world, the Snow Leopard Trust is a leader in the effort to secure the future of the snow leopard.
The Snow Leopard Trust aims to better understand the endangered snow leopard, and to protect the cat in partnership with the communities that share its habitat.
STOP Girl Trafficking
Every year, as many as 20,000 girls from the poorest parts of rural Nepal are trafficked: coerced or tricked with false promises, then sold into brothels, indentured servitude, or forced into child marriage. The way the American Himalayan Foundation combats this modern-day slavery is surprisingly effective: we prevent it.
MIR became involved in supporting this effort through the great photography work of Suresh Mehta who has traveled extensively with MIR, and is a long-time supporter of the Foundation’s work.
OneWorld Now! Russia Study Abroad Program
MIR was a supporter of a 2016 study tour to Russia for underserved Seattle high school students offered by OneWorld Now! The students studied Russian language, history, and cultural cross-cultural leadership in St. Petersburg, Moscow and an internationally recognized artists’ community in rural Nikolo-Lenivets.
In the last 14 years, OneWorld Now! has sent over 300 low-income high school youth abroad on language, culture, and service programs around the world. MIR also contributes to their scholarship fund.
Seattle Asian Art Museum’s Ikat Exhibition
MIR worked with curators at Seattle’s Asian Art Museum several years ago, sponsoring the popular exhibition, Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats. The exhibition featured 65 gorgeous antique hand-woven robes from Uzbekistan.
Seattle-Tashkent Sister City Association
In 2017, MIR was a sponsor of the Seattle-Tashkent Sister City Association’s Navruz celebration. Navruz, the spring equinox festival, is celebrated throughout Central Asia, as well as other Islamic countries. Seattle’s popular Navruz event features music and dance performances, authentic Uzbek dishes, such as plov, and a Central Asian Fashion Show.
“The event unites people from our community, regardless of their cultural, religious, or ethnic background, and celebrates the rich culture of Central Asia,” a spokesperson said.
The non-profit Seattle-Tashkent Sister City Association was founded in 1973, when Uzbekistan was still a part of the Soviet Union.
“45 years later, in 2017, the mission of our organization has gained a new meaning. The Soviet Union is long gone, but we are suddenly faced with the need to build new bridges that show that a Muslim immigrant is a friend, not an enemy. As the Central Asian immigrant and refugee population has continued to grow, our organization has been faced with a growing demand from the community for assistance and support, especially on issues stemming from the increasingly anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant sentiment. We, the volunteers of the Seattle-Tashkent Sister City Association, are rolling up our sleeves during these trying times…”
Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS)
In October of 2017, MIR was a sponsor of the 18th Annual Conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society (CEES), which took place at the University of Washington, Seattle. The mission of the society is to “facilitate communication and interaction among scholars of the Central Eurasia region… to promote cooperation among persons and organizations concerned with the scholarly study of Central Eurasia, and to promote general knowledge of and public interest in Central Eurasia.”
The four-day 2017 conference featured hundreds of papers and presentations on topics such as nomads, education and health care, cultures and languages, and environmental preservation, as well as a cultural program that included films and musical performance.