• LCO_2010_2_WEB
  • Tatev

  • church edifice
  • shepard

LCO CONTINUES HISTORICAL RENOVATIONS IN NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN ARMENIA

Volunteers Ready To Renovate
Volunteers Ready To Renovate

Pasadena,CA - On March 14-16, the Union International de Organisation Terre et Culture (UIOTC)/Land and Culture Organization (LCO) chapters from France, the United States, United Kingdom, Belgium and Armenia held this year’s annual meeting in Lyon, France. 2013 projects and plans for the upcoming 2014 campaigns were reviewed. Members of the Lyon Armenian community attended a fundraising cultural program at the AGBU Armenian Center for a presentation about the OTC/LCO mission and its projects.

The board discussed the status of ongoing projects, including Syria. In the 1980-1990s, OTC/LCO restored Karadouran’s village church and three traditional Armenian dwellings in Kessab, one of which is used as the Kessab ethnographical museum. During this current crisis in Syria, Armenian refugees from Aleppo, Yacoubiyah, and other areas found shelter in these homes until the recent attack on Kessab.

 

During the 2013-summer campaign, 20 volunteers from Canada, England, France, Russia, and the United States launched a new project in southern Syunik region in Shikahogh. The village of Shikahogh is located in the dense Shikahogh State Reserve, Armenia’s second largest forest reserve. Volunteers lived in the village while renovating the 16th century Sourp Stepanos Nakhavegah Church with inscriptions from the 13th century. The church is in a state of collapse from years of neglect during Soviet times. The 2013 group cleared the site and conducted archaeological excavations. Swords and artifacts from the 17-18th century era of David Beg were discovered during the digs. In 2014, a new group of volunteers will start on the restoration phase of the project.

Tchitchkhanavank Construction Phase
Tchitchkhanavank Construction Phase

Another ongoing project is the 7th-10th century Tchitchkhanavank in Shirakamut, in the northern Shirak region near Spitak. LCO already completed archaeological excavations in 2011 and 2012 with the restoration phase beginning this summer. Completion date of this historic site is expected to be summer of 2015. This summer’s campaign dates will be July 20-August 17. More campaign information can be found at www.lcousa.org.

As the Armenian nation continues to struggle with many challenges in Syria, Karabagh, and Armenia, LCO strives to be diligent in solidifying Armenian historical presence and remains committed to the restoration of Armenian cultural heritage. These landmarks are the only tangible, physical proof of Armenians existence on the land. The LCO mission is to preserve our past and secure our future.

For over 36 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