The American Latvian Association (ALA) is organizing a two-week English-language educational tour of Latvia for 13-15 year olds of Latvian descent from July 1-14.
The program parallels the well-established ALA Latvian-language trip “Sveika, Latvija!” that last year marked its 21st and 22nd trips to Latvia. In the “Heritage Latvia” trip all information and group discussions take place in English, thereby ensuring total participation and communication. However, every effort will be made to provide participants the opportunity to learn Latvian words and to experience the language. “Heritage Latvia” is available to all young people with an interest in Latvia and their Latvian heritage. Participation in Latvian heritage schools is not a prerequisite.
The trip will also serve to provide an alternative for young people who have attended Latvian heritage schools but who would gain more from a trip conducted in English. ALA will provide its customary support for students who have graduated from Latvian school in 2010, regardless of whether they participate in the “Sveika, Latvija!” or “Heritage Latvia” trip.
This year’s “Heritage Latvia” trip will include concerts and activities related to the Latvian Student and Youth Song and Dance Festival to be held July 6-11, when young people from all over Latvia will gather to perform in Rīga. Other trip activities will include hunting for amber on the Baltic Sea shore, trying one’s hand at amber polishing and jewelry making, baking Latvian rye bread, and making pottery in Latgale. Participants will see the cultural, geographic, and historical highlights of Latvia as well as experience an authentic country sauna, swim in the Baltic Sea, meet teens at two schools in Latvia and, we hope, visit the president’s palace and the U.S. Embassy.
The cost for a “Heritage Latvia” tour is USD 3,000 (USD 2,000 for 8th grade graduates of Latvian heritage schools) and includes air fare from either Chicago or an East Coast gateway airport to Rīga and back, all meals, hotels, transportation, guide services, and full-time adult chaperones from the United States. Participants must be or become members of the ALA to go on the trip. The maximum number of participants is 15, and participants will be registered in the order their USD 500 deposits are received.
For more information, including a sample itinerary, contact Program Coordinator Anita Juberts, American Latvian Association, 400 Hurley Ave., Rockville, MD 20850, tel. +1 (301) 340-8719, email@example.com.
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