Learning about the national economy of Latvia with all five senses: acquisition of the second module of “Living in Latvia 4”

Learning about the national economy of Latvia with all five senses: acquisition of the second module of “Living in Latvia 4”


As the participants of the project “Living in Latvia 4” admitted the second module “Topicalities of the economy and social system of Latvia: possibilities of people’s and society’s development and progress” was a good example how to speak about key things in a concrete and understandable way applying all human senses- listening, seeing, touching, smelling and tasting Latvia though diverse products.

Participants during the seminar learned about economy and economic activities of Latvia, the people’s possibilities to join the labour market as well as how to be wise consumers who are able to make knowledgeable and healthy choices supporting the local producers and using to their benefit the diverse knowledge, entertainment and recreation possibilities which, too, are part of the national economy of Latvia. The project participants acknowledged that “being employed would help integrating in the society”; however, not always the present education and work experience in the particular field can be directly applied here. Therefore they understand that they have to learn actively the language and have to think about other possibilities, for instance, starting their own business. As regards this, the project participants are praising Latvia admitting that administrative issues can be solved easier and faster here; much could be done electronically. “The inhabitants of Latvia actually are not aware of how well they are doing,” the project participants joke.

The presentation of the representatives of „Amber Puzzle”, Ltd., Agita Šmitiņa and Līga Griķe on how an idea can turn into a successful business caused great interest. They also mentioned the advantages and disadvantages of the family business. It seems that Agita’s aim to encourage others that it is possible to start and manage one’s own business successfully was reached because there were many questions and discussions after the seminar would not stop. „This was an inspiring female experience of developing a business”, said one of the participants who as Agita some time ago has to think how to combine the care about her children and the growing business.

The sweetest part during the acquisition of the second module was getting acquainted with the chocolate factory „Laima”, which is one of the rare chocolate factories in Europe where the processing from the cocoa beans till finished chocolate is performed entirely by themselves and at the same place. The history of „Laima” is largely also the history of Latvia, and we can learn from it how to follow the course of time and keep restoring all the time. The modern „Laima” chocolate museum, in its turn, really made us apply all our senses because it gave a possibility not only to see and hear but also taste, smell, touch and make photos and even dance. Trying to adjust to the needs of project participants as well as to involve the whole family as much as it is possible in the process of getting acquainted with Latvia both during the seminars and practical activities the participants’ children are always welcome and for them the chocolate museum was especially exciting.

The acquisition of this module will finish with a travel through Vidzeme to Gulbene region where we will meet with local craftspeople and small business owners and learn how to use historical and cultural monuments for the needs of the contemporary man; however, the most important will be the meeting with local people who will share their experience and, who knows, they may become cooperation partners or friends.

Aija Tūna,

Cooperation, monitoring and publicity coordinator of the project