Creating bears and participating in agritourism activity with us

Hello! I am Anahit Badalyan from Berd, Armenia!

Berd Location
Hi, I am Anahit, I was born in Berd, then I studied journalism in Yerevan, but after years being away from my hometown, I decided to come back and initiate something useful for my community. The center I created is the very first social program in our province and it was primarily created to provide women with jobs. We have been involved in various projects during these years: in the frames of one of these projects, 30 women from Berd learned crocheting and made a series of bear toys that eventually became the symbol of our center. The nature in our area is quite diverse, we have lots of berries growing in the forests and there are many bears that sometimes come closer to the settlements. Now more than 25 women earn their living by creating crocheted colorful animals.

There is a rare type of wild blueberry growing in our province high in the mountains. Now we started growing blueberries in a green house, as the climate here is very convenient for that. We tend to do many experiments here; we use hydroponic bioreactors in our green houses, which greatly attract our visitors. We make our compost too. I do not let my mom throw away anything; I bring all the food waste to our center and feed the worms that fertilize our compost. My mom always teases me, saying, that I studied six years to collect garbage and feed worms now. Well, we learn these things, even though we lived in Berd, we never made compost before. 

Now many locals know about us, and during these years, we have established good connections with many foreigners who visited our center, participated in our works and became our friends. Many of them visit us again. Therefore, we decided to expand our place and add some rooms where our guests can stay overnight. The travelers like to learn crocheting with our women, or work on the land, prune trees or collect harvest with locals. This is kind of a therapy for them. We created a network of places – such as historical sites, places to eat, local initiatives that our guests can explore and spend two full days in Berd. However, these activities are nothing like a traditional tour program; our area is especially interesting for people who are into wild, more rustic experiences and agro tourism. 

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