Profession: Transportation Analyst, Drummer in Penzionāri
Hometown: Toronto, Canada
Years at Kursa: 2005-2008
Because of Kursa I met new people and made friendships that have lasted long since I left and will continue for the rest of my life. Kursa enabled me to stay connected with my Latvian heritage, improve my language skills and has left me with friends that I can reminisce with like no time has passed and visit in their own hometowns from Riga to Seattle to San Francisco and beyond!
Profession: Musician (trumpet, piano)
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Years at Kursa: 2006-2009
There no better place in the world where you can soak up Latvian culture, walk in Washington’s wide, green nature, learn the strategies of chess from an American master, be two hours from the ocean or volcanoes, eat the freshest pīrāgi in the world and make life-long friends in a few weeks’ time. I love Kursa!
Profession: Bioinformatics student
Hometown: Morgan Hill, California
Years at Kursa: 2004-2007
Kursa was the thing I looked forward to most every year. Many teenagers count down the days until their summer vacation starts; my countdown wouldn’t end until the day I would leave for Kursa. I loved reconnecting with my Latvian heritage and with other Latvians who quickly became some of my best friends. Over the next few weeks, I learned the history behind Latvian traditions like song festivals and Jāņu diena, and I experienced Kursa’s traditions like coming together every night in a big circle to sing “Pūt, vējiņi,” and having a slumber party in the kamin telps on our last night together. I found my voice singing traditional Latvian folk songs every morning and belting out the lyrics to my favorite hits (American and Latvian) at dances every Saturday night. Kursa was where I grew to be a stronger, more confident person, thanks to the friendships I made there and the tight-knit Latvian community that we were all a part of. It continues to hold a very special place in my heart.
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Years at Kursa: 2009-2011
Kursa was a place for me to grow and learn about Latvian history and culture. Kursa allowed me to form my own Latvian path. It helped me to understand how valuable our Latvian roots and family really are.