President meets with ‘Sveika, Latvija!’ tour

Thirteen teenagers from the United States and Australia, participants in a two-week tour of their ancestral homeland, met June 22 with Latvian President Valdis Zatlers, according to the president’s press office.

The youths, ages 13-15, are participants in the “Sveika, Latvija!” tour organized by the American Latvian Association (ALA). The tour is for students who have finished a Latvian supplementary school.

Zatlers told the youths that he hopes during their visit they have learned about the country’s people, land and state institutions, and that their hearts have been warmed, according to his press office.

“Latvia is so diverse and beautiful,” the president said. “It is a good place to live and to visit.”

The youths toured various sites around the country and also met with students from Valka and Rēzekne.

This year, the ALA is overseeing two “Sveika, Latvija!” tours, from June 11-25 and from Aug. 10-24.

The ALA also organizes the English-language “Heritage Latvia” tour for teenagers. The trip, scheduled July 1-14, will include a visit to the Youth Song and Dance Festival. For adults, the ALA organizes the bilingual “Hello, Latvia! / Sveika, dzimtene!” tour, which this year is scheduled at the same time as the “Heritage Latvia” tour.

Zatlers ar jauniešiem

President Valdis Zatlers meets with 13 youths from the United States and Australia who are touring Latvia. (Photo courtesy of the Chancery of the President)

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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