• LCO_2010_2_WEB
  • Tatev

  • church edifice
  • shepard
  • Error loading feed data


Clearing around Church grounds

Pasadena, CA - This past summer, 20 LCO (Land and Culture Organization)/OTC (Organisation Terre et Culture) volunteers from Canada, France, Switzerland, the United States, and local Armenians participated in two historical preservation campaigns in Armenia.

In the southern Syunik village of Shikahogh, near the lush Shikahogh forest preserve, the renovation of the 16th Century Sourp Stepanos Nakhavegah Church entered its second year. In 2013, volunteers conducted the initial phase of archaeological digs with an Armenian archaeologist. This summer, under the direction of a historical architect, volunteers prepared the foundation, strengthened compromised walls, removed artificial additions, and stripped the church down to the original stonewalls. In 2015, the restoration will begin.


In the northern Shirak region, work on the final phase of rebuilding Shirakamut’s 7th Century Tchitchkhanavank Church quickly progressed. The village of Shirakamut is located a few miles from Spitak, the epicenter of the 1988 earthquake. During the summer of 2015 campaign, volunteers will carry out finishing touches on the project in anticipation of the completion and consecration of Tchitchkhanavank in August 2015.

Tchitchkhanavank Construction Phase
Tchitchkhanavank Construction Phase

2015 will mark the 38th year LCO/OTC and its volunteers have been conducting or participating in historical renovation projects throughout historical Armenian lands in Iran, Syria, Armenia, Artsakh, and Turkey. The re-opening of Tchitchkhananvank will mark over 20 completed projects by LCO/OTC of Armenian historical value or fulfilling community needs.

In the summer of 2015, volunteers will have an opportunity to participate in three campaign sessions during the months of July and August. Final campaign dates will be announced in spring. For interest in becoming a volunteer, visit www.lcousa.org for further information.

For over 35 years, LCO has been one of the earliest volunteer groups in Armenia and Artsakh. It continues to be the only Diaspora non-profit organization devoted to restore, renovate, and rejuvenate the historical monuments and sites of our nation. It has performed this mission through its summer campaigns, by volunteers of every age from the Diaspora, Armenia, and Artsakh. To help our mission or join in our summer volunteer program, you may reach us at www.lcousa.org.www.lcousa.org.


  • "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