About Bhutan
About Bhutan

A Spritual and ecological wonderland

Amicus in Bhutan

Just the Facts

Bhutan Map
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Life is hard for the Bhutanese people. The average yearly income in Bhutan stands at only US$450 per year. Most people live without any electricity or plumbing. For many, owning a pair of shoes would be considered a luxury.

While 72% of the the country is covered by forest, the area suitable for agriculture is limited, mainly due to very steep terrain and high altitude. Only 7.8% of total land is used for agricultural production. Most Bhutanese (85%) are subsistence farmers, and still live in villages in an extended family system.


Before 1960 there were only 11 schools with about 400 students in all of Bhutan! Today there are many villages that are still without schools.

“My village is very far from the town, it’s takes five hours walk from road end to my village.

That’s why it is hard for children to get education or even clothes. We don’t have any new technology in my village to study, no electricity. Only for farmers hard work and it’s just enough to eat and hard to get clothing, shoes and medicine. We do work by sunlight and moonlight too, and time-to-time the birds sing and we know it’s time to get up and eat.” —Ugyen Wangchuk, Tamji Bhutan


While many Bhutanese dream of becoming a monk or nun, sadly it is often impossible. The poor Bhutanese people can hardly pay for their children’s clothing, not to mention the cost of entering a life of religious practice.

Furthermore, monks and nuns receive hardly enough to live. Nuns, for example, receive only US$7 per month. High school students who become monks or nuns often give up because life in the monastery is so hopeless.

“If you could see the monasteries yourself, tears would come to your eyes. You would know why officials don’t send their children. At Tashicho Dzong, which is supposed to be the most prestigious monastery, there is no room for the monks, who have to build their own rooms in the attic! It is so sad. It is the same at other monasteries and nunneries where they don’t have enough to eat or wear”—Monk from Bhutan