WORK CONTENT AND DESCRIPTION
This project aims not just to restore but to conserve the Buddhist Temple of Banteay Chmar
in its natural state. For the local people, this temple holds a special place within
the community, not only as a place of common ground, but also as a sanctuary, and
of course, somewhere to practice their worship. The commune of Banteay Chhmar (in
Banteay Chhmar Province) contains 14 villages and there are 4 villages around the
temple with 6,312 pleople. The name was taken from the large temple, called Banteay
Chmar, which translates to Small Base.
The massive Buddhist temple of Banteay Chhmar, along with its satellite shrines and reservoir
(baray), comprises one of the most important and least understood archaeological
complexes from Cambodia's Angkor period. There are some other 9 smaller temples
around the Banteay Chmar temple. They all are mostly hidden in the forest and covered
with small bushes and trees because of the lack of conservation from the local people.
Banteay Chmar is one of the main tourist destinations in Banteay Meanchey Province,
but not many people have explored those small satellite temples around this temple,
despite them being really beautiful and having a rather secret history. This project
is important to the local people in this area. By these projects we hope to get
more and more tourists, both Khmer and foreigners, to visit this area so that the
local economy is boosted.
You'll receive instruction while on the project.
TYPICAL SCHEDULE EXAMPLE
Your programme will start with an introduction week where you’ll visit cultural sites in Siem Reap and learn about language and rich culture of Cambodia. It’s a great way to get to the town and everything required to make your stay more comfortable.
After Siem Reap you will move on to the location of your programme where the introduction week continues. If your programme is 2 weeks or less you can choose to do a few days or opt out of the introduction week and go straight to your project. Please let your Project Coordinator aware of this upon booking.
All volunteers will meet up in Siem Reap and travel to Banteay Chmar by taxi or
bus. It takes 1.30 hours from Siem Reap to Banteay Meanchey (Sisophon) and another
1.30 hour from Sisophon to Banteay Chmar. You'll travel to your home stay in the
town and arrive in time for dinner.
In the morning, the coordinator will meet all the volunteers to introduce you to
Banteay Chmar and to explain about the projects. You'll then explore the village
and visit some satelite temples. You'll return to the home stay to have lunch, then
continue onto Banteay Chmar temple (the biggest temple in the area ). You'll visit
the local Handicraft Centre (scarf weaving) on the way back.
Tuesday to Friday:
You'll begin to work on the temple's main renovation and preservation. You work
responsibilities could include:
- Clearing the temples by cutting back overgrown bushes, trees and grass in the surrounding
area within the grounds.
- Cleaning up the temples, picking up trash, removal of some stones.
- Planting trees in the temple compound, making environmental signs.
- Going to a school - to educate students on the importance of protecting the temples.
Saturday - Sunday:
You can stay at the home stay, visit temples and other tourist spots in the region,
or go to some of the cities near to Banteay Chmar to do some exploring.
Please note: Due to small budgets, the restoration and sometimes renovation side of the project might not always be available. You can still help conserve the temples by assisting the community group clean up the temple, plant more trees in the temple area, cutting some small bushes etc.
The project is not available during these dates:
13th - 22nd April 2018 Khmer New Year
8th - 12th October 2018 Ancestors Day Holiday
If your programme falls within any of the dates above, you may join the
Community Construction Programme.