YEREVAN — Edison Berrio is in Armenia on a quest. Originally from Armenia, Colombia, he has long dreamed of making it to the ‘real’ Armenia his hometown was named after. It’s taken a few years for the 57 year old high school counselor and avid traveler, but after a trip to Russia last year, he decided that 2017 would be his year of Armenian discovery. As he started planning and researching his trip, he found Armenian Volunteer Corps (AVC) and that clinched it for him. Edison and his family – all educators – are devoted volunteers, active in their community, giving their time to those less fortunate whenever they can. Immersion through service + host-family living seemed like the ideal recipe for this special journey.
In Armenia at last, Edison is volunteering at Ghoghanj Children’s Center, where he is supporting the summer school program, working with children age 7 to 12. In his free time, Edison is learning as much as he can about this ancient and culturally rich place, and also sharing information about Colombia, trying to dispel the negative stereotypes that seem to pervade our consciousness. Edison, who is a history-buff and big believer in citizen, grassroots diplomacy, is also intent on creating linkages between two nations that were both devastated by earthquake in the not-too-distant past. Mid-way through his service term now, Edison is already planning his next trip to Armenia, this time with his wife.