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LCO Campaign Kicks Off


2010 Volunteers at the Yerevan LCO office

The Land and Culture (LCO) campaign is in full swing. The volunteers started arriving in Yerevan on July 2nd and were met by our local Armenia LCO coordinator. Upon arrival, the volunteers stayed at the Envoy Hostel in Yerevan, where they enjoyed the opportunity to explore the city while awaiting for the rest of the volunteers to arrive.

The 12-member July group is diverse consisting of one volunteer from Armenia, one from Paris, one from New Hampshire (who speaks no Armenian), two from Canada, and the remaining seven from California. Among the California contingency is a remarkable and truly inspirational young lady who insisted on participating in this campaign despite her physical disability. It’s a fairly young group with the medium age being 19 consisting of four males and seven female volunteers. Accompanying the volunteers are LCO Board Members Haig and Hilda Manjikian and Nazareth Kevonian.


Toros Ishkhan's grave site
The volunteers will officially embark upon their trip towards Yeghvard on July 6th, where they will work on renovating the interior of the village’s 17th century Sourp Astvatzatzin Church. Yeghvard is located in the southern Syunik province on the border of Armenia and the liberated areas surrounding Artsakh. Of historical note, Toros Ishkhan, the famous lieutenant of David Beg is buried there.

On their way to the village, they will visit the Khor Virap Monastary overlooking Mount Ararat and Noravank Monastary.  This is expected to be a full day of sightseeing on their drive to the southernmost region of Armenia. 

To follow their trip, please continue to monitor the news section and visit our gallery where we will post pictures as they become available.
  • "There are experiences you shape and then there are experiences that shape you. The LCO Campaign of 2007 in the village of Azat offered me invaluable perceptions into the realities of my fellow Armenian brothers and sisters in a way only a true immersion program can. I urge everyone and anyone who might feel an inkling of belonging to this fascinating country, people, and history to sign up with the campaign immediately. I smile just thinking about what you have yet to experience."
    Noushig K, Azat 2007, CA, USA

  • "Coming back from a 4-day trip to Kharabagh really felt like coming back home, with our family waiting to greet us outside our house. That's when I realised just how attached we'd grown to the place, to our family, to the other volunteers"
    Anoosh Gasparian, Azat 2009, London UK

  • "I went to this trip with no expectations, and came back with a great appreciation for our country.  Life in the village is surreal, the food is beyond delicious and the people are incredibly nice. It was a once in a lifetime experience I will never forget!"  Sam Tahmasian, 2009, CA, USA
  • "LCO is an amazing concept. It introduced the deprived Diasporan to their land and their people. It is a wonderful introduction to Armenia and something every young man or woman should experience."
    Madlene Minassian Ispirian, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, Yerevan, Armenia

  • "My most memprable experience was being so warmly taken care by an old village couple, receiving gifts from them, giving them gifts and establishing bonds."
    Naira Der-Kiureghian, Ayroum 2003, CA, USA

  • "...I know that when I reflect back on this experience I will feel ecstatic about the work we accomplished, the things we saw, and the bonds we forged."
    Hovig Saghdejian, Ayroum 2003, California, USA

  • "Dolma is made with mum's careful instructions, grandmothers eyes found on the faces of children, songs of Ararat are as familiar as the Khachkars dotting the landscape. If it smells like home, looks like home then it must be home."
    Datevig Simonian, Shadvan 2004, California, USA

  • "LCO experience was a revelation for me. It gave me the opportunity to expand my horizons both personally and professionally. One of the most important experiences of my life and an important factor in determining my future goals."
    Lara Aharonian, August 1999, August 2001, Montreal, Canada.

  • "I formed strong bonds with my volunteers, and the difference in backgrounds was refreshing. It was interesting to hear the points of view of different Armenians from other areas of the Diaspora."
    Aramazt Kalaydjian, Shoushi 2003, NY, USA

  • "I loved the simplicity of life in the village, the fresh homemade food is wonderful; that people are the friendliest and most hospitable... the children have the most beautiful faces..."
    Sophia Balakian, Shadvan 2004, New York, USA