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Campaign News 2011

Artsakh Road Trip

Khor Virab

During their stay in the village of Shirakamut, all of the weekend excursions had been in the northern regions of the country. Now, as they returned to Yerevan after completing their village campaign, their excursions traversed the southern and eastern regions of Armenia into Artsakh.

Last Days at Shirakamut

Holy Rock Peak

The work of digging a new wall and clearing out bones and rocks continues,but as our group is finishing it's last days of work, there are still some more adventures to be had.

Our undaunted volunteers climbed up a hillside, to a high rock peak considered holy by the villagers.
There, they encountered a stunning 360 degree view of the surrounding villages and area.
The locals had made a shrine at the top, where there were many burned candles and offers of prayer.

Excavations and Excursions

Shirakamut, Armenia



The 19 LCO/OTC volunteers have been busy working and excavating the Tchitchkhanavank Monastery and its grounds. After clearing the ruins of brush and grass, volunteers leveled the area and turned over the tombstones.  They got to perform real archaeological work using tools and a sieve to discover ancient artifacts. It was exciting when they found two gold rings and a human skull.  Now, archaeologists and historical experts will further analyze those artifacts.  Volunteers are really feeling exhilarated and fulfilled in the work they are doing and connecting to Armenian history as they work on this ancient monument. 

LCO-OTC Volunteers Visit Ancient Sites

On Sunday, the entire group went on a journey back in time to three historical monasteries. Our volunteers filled up a van and were driven to the city of Vanadzor, Armenia's third largest city. They had stopped for some minor shopping, to get the sounds and sights of city life after their village stay, before heading off into the past.

LCO-OTC Adventures in Armenia

Picnic by Waterfall

After three days of intense and satisfying work on the church in Tchichenavank, on Saturday, the group  took an excursion to a nearby waterfall, the third largest in Armenia. They took a picnic lunch and prepared for a restful day. The volunteers, along with group leaders, piled into two open trucks and headed uphill to the waterfall, an hour away.  The recent rains had made the road difficult, but the experienced local drivers navigated with unbelievable skill.

  • "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