On August 25th, in the remote village of Agarakadzor of Vayots Dzor region, a festival featuring rural life & traditions, the AgarakFest took place.
Participants from Yerevan & other Armenian cities, tourists from Poland & Georgia, as well as guests from neighboring villagers got acquainted with peculiarities of village life in Agarakadzor, local traditions, agro-products of villagers created within the project & tourism products.
“The Festival is unique for being organized in a remote village of Agarakadzor and is based solely on the skills & knowledge of villagers received during the project consultations and now they market their products, arts & crafts locally during the Fest. A very important factor to us is that villagers utilized the knowledge of their ancestors, that had had long helped them to live in harmony with nature”,- FPWC’s Project coordinator, Arevik Mkrtchyan said.
Due to the festival, the picturesque village of Agarakadzor is now known to masses, both for talented inhabitants, as well as for its cultural & natural heritage paving a way for new perspectives of development.
“At the end of my journey in Armenia, I am pleased to be able to explore a new village such as Agarakadzor. The European Union believes that rural Armenia holds a lot of tourism potential and we currently invest a lot in enhancing knowledge and developing destination concepts”.
Thanks for inviting me to open this first Agarak Fest – I hope you will invest in similar fests the next 4-5 years to develop a unique brand for this village festival”, – said Ambassador Switalski in his opening speech.
The festival featured a number of activities & workshops, each of them contributing either to healthy lifestyle or promoting environmentally responsible attitude.
Young participants enjoyed the paper & cloth recycling workshops, that was combined with useful knowledge on the use of natural resources by humans.
«The objective of World Vision Armenia is to boost the economic growth in this community, which is possible only due to tourism development, activation of cultural life, & empowering youth. This event will certainly contribute to reach this objective»,-said World Vision Armenia director Mr. Zhirair Edilyan.
Locals of the village, Hrach Manukyan & Zaqar Mkrtchyan held master-classes of pottery & woodworking, attended & complimented by visitors of the Fest.
“I enjoyed my participation at AgarakFest, as I learned so many new things! It was one of the best leisure’s in my life and I do not regret a second for passing that long road from Chambarak village to reach Agarakadzor. I learned so many new things I never knew before and for this I can’t thank enough all the organizers & people who made the festival happen,- said 13 year old Sokrat Danielyan.
The objective of the Festival was to activate rural life, promote local products and contribute to sustainable development of the community. The community members highly appreciated the Festival’s results & made a commitment to organize the Festival every year themselves in the coming years.
The project is implemented within the framework of “EU for Tourism: Community-Based Rural Tourism and Cultural Events in Gegharkunik and Vayots Dzor Marzes” project, funded by EU and jointly with World Vision Armenia