It’s hard to describe in words how I feel here and how beautiful and enchanting is Ventspils, a small town in the small northern part of Latvia. Here as a joke, I came on April 1. I’m here for one year as a volunteer working at the Youth Center of my organization. The project is exactly what I wanted- creative and interesting for young people. Here are created and implemented various activities, events and projects that contribute to the development of youth in the city.
For a long time, I wanted to go to another country on European Voluntary Service, and here I am, I prepared all the papers, packed my bags and I’m here in a new home. Here I am with my roommate and colleague (Carlotta from Portugal) on the work ground – in the Youth House.
Latvia … An interesting and diverse country with a population of about 2 million and territory – 65,000 km2. I had heard of the capital Riga, but I had not heard of Ventspils. It itself is like a small and marvelous state. The motto of the country is “Enjoy without hurry!” I follow it … Every day I learn or face something different, innovative and unreal. I started learning Latvian lessons, it is quite difficult, but I already know some words and expressions I need in my everyday life.
I made an event – Bulgarian evening, I made a poster and I was looking forward to the guests to show them some of our traditions and customs, food and dances and interesting facts. I made a workshop where I taught them how to make martenitsi, there was a huge interest, and they all made a few. They all continue to carry them!
Two Guinness records made me an impression:
- for the longest carpet of flowers (1600m, width 1m);
- simultaneous planting of snowdrops (by three indicators – time, participants and quantity).
Ventspils is the capital of flowers and fountains, full of parks and green areas, situated at the mouth of the Venta River, where its name comes from. The motto of the city is “Town with Future”.
Unique as an infrastructure is the port city Ventspils (40,000 population), the capital of Latvia’s business transit with its non-freeze free port, terminals for processing and storing petroleum products, grain, coal, timber, container and ferry terminals. Ventspils is located on the Baltic Sea coast, the beach is clean and full of diverse entertainment for young and older, the water is crystal clear and the sea throws beautiful stones and amber.
Quite strange here is a mountain – artificial – from construction waste (concrete, bricks – over 1 million m³), a height of 58 m, working as an amusement park all year round. About 60 km of equipped bicycle paths, everywhere! It is quite interesting to me that there is no asphalt here, nowhere, pavers everywhere! And cows, cows are everywhere – that’s the symbol of the city! These are original or relatively standard scribes with names like donations, by organizing the Cow Parade event.
Playing various games online I earn money, it’s their own domestic currency – ventures – marketing action to promote local business and tourism. There are 47 sites where this money can be used, such as museums, spa, hotels and more. Unbelievable!
Weather is relatively cold and humid, but the warm days are coming soon and we are starting even more expeditiously to organize events, campaigns and activities to help young people focus on different issues and challenges such as environmental protection, healthy lifestyles, globalization, migration, etc. My main activities are related to informal education for young people and young people with special needs.