A little about ourselves
10 years ago, ARK's founder, Armen Kazaryan, was the finacial director of a big aviaholding in Moscow. But at the age of 30 as a result of a serious genetic eye disease his eyesight became very poor and he became disabled. No longer able to continue his desk job, he was at a crossroads.
What followed was a spiritual journey that took him back to his his native Armenia. There, Armen met Siranush, now his loving wife. The two resettled in Armen’s hometown of Kapan. It was in Kapan, surrounded by some of Armenia’s most breathtaking landscapes, that Armen realized, perhaps, he had gained more than he had lost. His senses rejoiced in the healing powers of nature and he reconnected with the people and landscapes that so profoundly shaped his youth.
Realizing the incredible potential of Southern Armenia to provide joy and healing to others, it wasn’t long before Armen and Siranush made the bold decision to start an initiative that would share Syunik's natural beauty with the world. This initiative turned into an NGO called ARK Armenia, the first organization devoted solely to the development of ecotourism in southern Armenia.
ARK Armenia is building the capacity of rural communities to adopt environmentally-friendly practices. In particular, we believe that ecotourism is a viable economic alternative for the region that can be built on a sustainable platform that involves the full participation of stakeholders and other committed NGOs.
ARK Armenia is made possible by a small, but enthusiastic team of staff and volunteers located in both Kapan and Yerevan. Everyone brings something different to the table, but each of them has contributed a piece of themselves to make the organization what it is today. At the bottom of this page, we've included a list of volunteers and donors that we hope will keep growing because we firmly believe that no contribution is too small and we appreciate every ounce of thought and effort that our friends and supporters have invested in us and consider them a part of the ARK family.
The Brand of ARK appeared not long ago and very quickly gained popularity in environmental and ecological circles not only in Armenia but also abroad. The main component of our brand is ARK Eco Camps for Silk Road travelers and a base camp for ARK volunteers who help ARK to realize community based projects in eco, agro tourism and sustainable living in general. The legal entity of ARK Camps is ARK LLC a social enterprise in the focus of which is developing eco and agro tourism infrastructure and spreading ideas of sustainable living. Besides eco touristic services ARK provides rehabilitation services – massage, wellness, breathing exercises, yoga and pilates. This kind of rehabilitation center is vital for Kapan but for the center to operate at full blast we need training apparatus.