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Land and Culture and Armenia Tree Project Plant Trees in Shirakamut 


Land and Culture and the Armenia Tree Project (ATP) joined forces for a tree planting project at one of our current campaign sites in Shirakamut, Armenia.  A total of 330 evergreen, shrub, and decorative trees were planted at the 7th Century Tchitchkhanavank Monastery and at the village's administrative/community center building.  LCO Armenia volunteers and ATP personnel together with Shirkamut residents braved the cold to beautify and preserve the natural surroundings. 
This summer the Tchitchkhanavank Monastery restoration, in Shirakamut village, will be completed and consecrated in August.  

 For more information and all the pictures please visit the ATP Facebook page.


LCO and ATP planting trees

LCO and ATP planting tree



Shikahogh Village - Sourp Stephanos Nakhevegah Church

This is the third year that LCO will work in the village of Shikahogh (sheg hokh/red soil) in the southern Syunik region near the city of Kapan and the Armenian-Artsakh border. Shikahogh is mentioned in the 13th Century historian Stepanos Orbelian’s “History of the Sisian State”. It is located by the dense Shikahogh State Reserve, Armenia’s second largest forest reserve. The area has a mild climate with streams, forest and ecotourism adventures. Volunteers will live in the village while renovating the 16th Century basilica style Sourp Stepanos Nakhavegah Church with inscriptions on the altar from the 13th Century. The church was in a state of collapse from years of neglect during Soviet times. Restoration work will continue, fortifying the crumbling outer walls and rebuilding the interior church altar.

To see more about the village and the area, you can view the following video.

Shikahogh Sourp Stephanos Nakhavegah Church
Shikahogh Sourp Stephanos Nakhavegah Church Project

Shikahogh Summer 2014
Shikahogh Sourp Stephanos Nakhavegah Church Project


Shirakamut Village - Tchitchakhanavank Monastery

LCO will be continuing work on the Tchitchkhanavank Monastery located in the village of Shirakamut in the northern Lori Province near Spitak.  Tchitchkhanavank was built on the plan of a Christian cross, typical to the sixth and seventh centuries.  This church was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1926, neglected during the Soviet era, and again suffering destruction by the 1988 earthquake. In 2008 and 2009, LCO began the archaeological excavations, which revealed the church’s foundation along with ancient tombstones and objects of archaeological interest. 2015 will see the end of this historical restoration project. Volunteers will assist in the final phase of the reconstruction in preparation of the consecration in August 2015. August volunteers will participate in the celebration of this historic event. Historical experts, skilled craftsmen, and LCO/OTC Board Members are overseeing the work on both projects.

Shirakamut before renovation
Tchitchkhanavank Before Renovation

Shirakamut Summer of 2014
Tchitchkhanavank During Renovation



The belief that a national culture can best flourish and bear fruit on its own land is the mission of the Land and Culture Organization. Each nation has the privilege of dwelling on its ancestral lands, struggling for its preservation. The commitment of the LCO is to gain and disseminate an intimate knowledge of the land and its rich culture; to raise international awareness that the treasures of the Armenian heritage are at the mercy of an indifferent world, to rescue these treasures from total destruction, and to assist in the social and economic developments of communities living in historic and present-day Armenia.

The LCO is a grass-roots organization founded in France in 1977; its American affiliate was incorporated in 1987 as non-profit organization. It was born on the premise that Diasporan Armenians not only have a moral responsibility to preserve their ancient culture and heritage, but that they must also take an active role by physically working on the lands of their ancestors. Since 1977, the LCO has organized summer campaigns whereby volunteers from around the world can come to work on their ancestral lands. They come to give their time, talents, energies and resources. In return, they gain the knowledge that they have not taken the heritage given to them by their ancestors for granted, but have insured its continuation for the next generation to come.

The goals are ambitious, but the LCO brings these goals to concrete fruition through its work.

The Land and Culture is a 501c(3) non-profit organization.


Please select the campaign you'd like to participate in and click the Paypal button to proceed to Paypal's website where you can make payment for your trip. Please be sure to keep your Paypal receipt for proof of payment

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You can also find us on Facebook

  • "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