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LCO restoring two historical Armenian sites

Pasadena, CA – In its 34th year, the Land and Culture Organization (LCO) is returning to Armenia again this summer to continue restoration work on two historical Armenian sites.

Last year, 37 dedicated volunteers from Armenia, Canada, England, France, Syria and the United States spent their summer restoring their Armenian legacy.  This summer's campaign is gearing up, and volunteers from several countries have already begun to join.

LCO Renovating 17th Century Sourp Astvatzatzin Church

This upcoming summer, LCO will finalize the renovation of the 17th Century Sourp Astvatzatzin Church in Yeghvard.  The Yeghvard village is located in the southern Syunik Province on the border of Armenia and the liberated areas surrounding Artsakh.  The project began in 2007, and the church will be consecrated this August.  A second group of volunteers will work on the Tchitchkhanavank Monastery in the Shirakamut village in the northern Shirak Province near Spitak.  Shirakamut was completely destroyed during the 1988 earthquake.  This caused further deterioration of the ruins, which built on the plan of a Christian cross from the era of the 6th and 7th centuries.  This project began in 2008 and will continue for the next few years.

In Yeghvard, volunteers will be completing the surrounding walls and repositioning the gravestones and memorials on the church grounds.  Construction of Tchitchkhanavank's foundation walls will continue to be rebuilt. Architects, historical experts, skilled craftsmen, and LCO Board Members oversee all restoration projects.

This summer's Land and Culture campaign will be from July 18 until August 12.  In addition to the work, volunteers will enjoy weekend excursions throughout Armenia.  Volunteers will have an opportunity to extend their stay and participate or attend the pan-Armenian games being held in Yerevan on August 13-21.  To participate in this exciting opportunity, applications must be received on-line or via mail by June 1st.

  • "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