15th/16th – 22nd April 2023
Spanish and Czech schools travelled to Latvia to take part in Learning, teaching and training activities. The Spanish team arrived on Saturday 15th because of impossible flight connections the next day, the Czech team arrived on Sunday 16th.
We stayed at the Liberty hotel in the centre of the Latvian capital Riga.
There were 14 pupils from each country, 4 teachers from Spain and 5 teachers from the Czech Republic. Even if we got the grant only for 3 teachers per country as accompanying people, we managed to get 4/5 teachers travelling as there were more teachers active in the project and we were able to save some money.
And what was our program?
Monday morning was devoted to the initial ceremony at school. Latvian school prepared a programme full of short videos about Latvia, children sang typical Latvian songs and they even made the audience cooperate and sing, too! We even played a short quiz about Latvia and got to know the Spanish ambassador Manuel Alhama Orenes, who was also invited to the welcoming ceremony, and the chairwoman of the Latvian-Czech society Halina Lapina. After lunch we had a photoorientation game in Old Riga. Pupils were divided into international teams and then in pairs they tried to find some places in the city according to the map and pictures on their worksheets. They practised their orientation on the map and learnt new facts about the history of the city.
On Tuesday we “stuck“ to the name of our project (Hiking…) and went hiking to the area of Sigulda and Turaida. First, at the castle in Sigulda children had two workshops- one half of the group impressed pictures on key tags and the other half made wooden canes typical of this region. Then we went hiking in this region and learnt about its nature.
Wednesday belonged mostly to nature, too. We travelled to the nature park Zilie Kalni by train where we started with a lecture about this park held by Ieva Kraukle – the deputy of the Development Agency of tourism, sports and recreation complex Zilie Kalni. After hiking through the woods (with a surprising picnic in the nature), to a view tower and around a lake we arrived in Ogre where we visited their National Library – a passive house based on energy efficient design standards.
On Thursday we first visited Eiropas Maja (European House) where we had a short lecture about the function of this building and had a look at local exposition of insects pictures.
Later pupils had a sports day at school – they played floorball, “towel“ volleyball or some other fun games. In the afternoon they had workshops where they worked on a final project posters with pictures from the whole week – in the style of a collage.
On Friday we divided into two groups. The Spanish group with a couple of Latvian pupils had a workshop with the artist Anastasia Gaile and made wind bells from natural materials after listening to a legend and their hearts. Then they went to the Spanish embassy, had breakfast with the ambassador and talked about diplomatic relationships. https://www.exteriores.gob.es/Embajadas/riga/lv-lv/Embajada/Paginas/Embajador.aspx?fbclid=IwAR0ITBkt4BtHXfT1PEB7pzVqQjj_6QcSwjgVKsA8fZb_6g000inky4I0YU4
The Czech group with some Latvian teachers and pupils went hiking to Jūrmala, a seaside resort, learning about the history and nature of this place.
In the evening we all joined at a final ceremony and party at school where we got our certificates, had dinner and danced.
Both teams left the country on Saturday, full of new experience, memories and friends.
On behalf of the whole team, Hana Břoušková