Participants and their countries











Agnese Jankuna  – Latvia

Work: Project manager assistant marketing department.

Interests: books, long walk with my wire-haired dachshund ladies and field trips

Bayram Ay – Turkey

I am electrical engineer. I would like to tell you about me a little. I like to meet new cultures, to share opinions and exchange cultures and ideas. I am interested in this topics; eco-tourist and sustainable development in tourism. We should think our worlds as a system.

Cojocaru Cornelia Andreea – Romania

 I like more to be told on the second name, Andreea. I am 30 years old and I live in Bucharest, Romania. I am teaching Romanian Language and Literature at a technical college from this town. I am married and I have a little boy (he is 4 years old). Comunicative and sociable, I like nature, colors and the enthusiastic people. Also, I love traveling, summer, sun, books and music.

 Eleni Dimaraki – Romania

I have graduated from the economic university of Greece and I am working in the IT department of a Greek private bank. I live in Pireaus but I have grown up in Ermioni, a small town which is built across a peninsula embraced by the sea on both sides, 3 hours from Athens the capital of Greece.

Ioanis  Vaina – Greece

 Student of computer programming. Member of non-governmental organization.


Jose De Leon Reynoso – Great Britain

I come from Dominicana, but I have been living in UK for some time now. I am studying business management and working in a bank as compliant handler.

Liliana Nechitoaia – Romania

I am an English teacher. I live in a picturesque and touristic area in the northern Romania.


Maria Kanellopoulou – Greece

I am a Chemical Engineer interested in volunteering service and ecology. I am a positive person who works with high standards and has high expectations. This is reflected in the respect, dedication and communication continually evident throughout my constant need for education. I believe that this seminar will add to my personal develpment.

Māris Krūmiņš - Latvia

Work: IT support, helpdesk

Interests: music, movies, games, bikes, computers, tattoos


Markos Chelios – Greece

My name is Markos Chelios born in Chios island at the east coast of Greece on June 23th of 1983. I grew up in a classic Greek family with it’s ethics and traditions. My father was shipman and my mother housewife. I am the second and last aged child, my sister is three years older than me and is married and live in Chios. I finished school at my seventeen and moved to Piraeus, the seaport of the Greece capital city, in order to study Electronic Engineering at Technical Institute of Piraeus. Since child I was always keen on technology, so these studies were a great change for me to enrich my knowledge on technology. During my studies, on holidays period, I was working as clerk, technician and salesman. In addition, before get graduated I had the chance to attend some courses in Oulu Polytechnic Institute of Technology in Finland in terms of Erasmus program for a semester.

I graduated as Electronic Engineer and worked for a year by Siemens company as a Software Engineer in Fixed Line telecom systems. Then, I realized that I had to extend my educational orients so grabbed the chance to study Financial and Management Engineering at Aegean University while working in parallel as salesman. As long as I got post graduated I had to offer my military services to my country for a year. At my 26 I had finished all my study obligations so moved back to Piraeus to find a job. Since then I work at Nokia Siemens Networks as Software Engineer in Fixed Line telecom systems.

All the above were actualized with my family’s support and within good friends who encouraged me not to give up, nevertheless the many obstacles I was facing. Concerning my interests, I like reading novels, gardening, swimming, enjoying the company of good friends and most of those I love traveling. I like meeting new people while know that we are so different due to our language, culture and ethics but so same whatsoever. Furthermore, I like thinking and acting ecologically by recycling and several other actions. I am volunteer in a forest guarding team as well.

Unfortunately, I realize that world tends to be a huge financial industry by vanishing whatever has to do with traditions, each place’s identification and destroying the nature. I could easily blame the “unanimous” system for our westernization and Earth’s nature violation but this would disorient me from the solution. So, from my point of view, one solution could not only be the individual but the collective actions to retain our traditions and culture identifications. My perception is that the oriented eco-touristic actions could not only mirror our culture and region singleness to the „outside word” but this could rebirth our daily way of thinking, maybe the last way to save ourselves.

Michaela Stefan – Romania

Teacher (Romanian language and literature) at National College „Ion Creanga”, Bucharest.

The motivation to participate in this workshop is supported by the constant need to adapt to the evolution and contemporary society’s demands, in which one of the major concerns is related to the concept of sustainable development.

Nadia Chafei – Spain

I am Italian but currently I live in Spain, where I study. I am very much interested in eco touristic activities.  I try to travel as much as I can and get to know other countries and cultures. I think that responsible travelling is very important. Another thing is that I will meet a lot of new people interested in the topic. We will learn a lot but also exchange our experience.

Raluca Patrica Stan – Romania

I am teacher of English at group scolar “Costin Nenitescu”



Simon Casail – Spain

I am French, however currently I stay in Spain to get experience in social work which is my interest and I would like to work in this field. I would like to develop skills to be eco-tourist, to respect environment, cultural heritage like parts of a sustainable development of the tourism.

Sultana Vaina – Greece

I am a psychologist. I was working in NGO. Now I want to be a part of that, to help with any way I can, to meet people and see others that I knew from a long time ago. I would be very happy if I can help u with my ideas and my experience.


 Countries of our participants:

Great Britain:

Northampton is a large market town and local government district in the East Midlands region of England. Situated about 67 miles (108 km) north-west of London and around 50 miles (80 km) south-east of Birmingham, Northampton lies on the River Nene and is the county town of Northamptonshire. The demonym of Northampton is Northamptonian.
Original settlements in Northampton date back to the 6th century. Its modern development is largely due to its rapid population increase since the 1960s after a planned expansion occurred under the New Towns Commission in the early 1970s. In 2001, its urban area population was 197,199 while its town population was 189,474, making Northampton the 27th largest settlement in England, and the UK’s 3rd largest town without official city status after Reading and Dudley. Northampton is the most populous district in England that is not a unitary authority, a status it failed to obtain in the 1990s local government reform.
Northampton has a history of the manufacture of boots and shoes yet engineering has taken over as a modern key industry; other industries include food processing, brewing, and the manufacture of shoe machinery, cosmetics, leather goods, and car accessories. At present, the major employers are public administration, financial services, and the distribution trade.


Homer’s island, fragrant Chios as it is called because of the large citrus orchards and the strong scent of mastic and Chios jasmine, is a special place both for its natural beauty and for its rare urban environment inherited mainly by its ancient, medieval and post medieval tradition.

Few words about Chios Island
Chios has one of the best surviving and preserved medieval defense networks in the Mediterranean (castles and towers, watch towers, fortified settlements). In addition, Chios is full of fortified medieval settlements like Mesta, Pyrgi, Anavatos and other medieval villages. The Fortress (Castle) of Chios stretches to the north of the city center and constitutes its walled center from the Byzantine Period to the Genoese rule period. Kambos is in the outskirts of the city (Hora) of Chios is one of the most beautiful areas in Chios.
Chios is primarily known for its mastic and also it’s citrus. Fruit in general constitute the basis for many fine products.

Local Customs
Ø New Year in Chios Island
It is only natural that the relationship that Chians have with the sea has affected their local customs. Hence, during Christmas, children would go round to houses to sing Christmas carols holding onto a boat that they had constructed and would show off with great pride. Instead of Christmas trees, a European custom that has been adopted over the last decades, Chians would decorate boats even inside their homes. After the island’s liberation from Turkish occupation, the construction and display of battleships by the young boys was established as a mark of honour and in memory of the fleet that liberated the island.

 Ø Easter on Chios Island
The rocket war is an old custom of Vrontados that began since the time of the Turkish occupation and it still happens every year in the Easter. Firstly the residents of the two parishes, Panagia Erithiani and Saint Mark’s, which are facing each other, made extempore little cannons. But all these by the time became extempore rockets, fireworks made from niter, sulphur and gun-powder. The amount of the rockets the last years happens to be large, almost few thousands in number and the view of the rockets and the fireworks burning in the air, at the night of the Christ’s resurrection, really magnificent and fascinating.

  • Ø Carnival in Chios Island Mostra of Thymiana is an old custom since the medieval times, without any special date that started. The last Friday of Triodio the young men of the village masquerade. They wear old manly and woman’s clothes and hide their faces with extempore masks. Then, on Sunday they are gathered all together in the center of the village and accompanied with musical instruments, they dance the famous „Talimi”. This dance is particularly fascinating and enacts with dancing movements the fights, face to face, between the locals and the pirates.

Agas Custom At the Carnival, in many of the island’s villages revives the custom of „Agas”. Aga is a very strict judge, who is being assigned by the residents of the village. He judges and condemns the most of the people that are present. Moreover, they are obligated to buy off their sentence. The whole event is humorous and recreational. It is one of the oldest and most interesting custom of Chios Island and is revived in Mesta,

Pyrgi, Lithi, Olympi, Lagada and elsewhere. The first time we met this event was around 1830 to 1840.

  • Ø Summer in Chios Island
    Chians have always loved music and dance and that is why each village organizes at least one festival in the village square, usually on the day that the church celebrates its name. The musical instruments that were traditionally played at festivals were the violin, the oud, the lute; the clarinet and the bouzouki were later added. The close relationship Chios has with the east is obvious in its music and dances, although music, dancing and festivities were greatly influence by refugees.


Latvia is one of the three Baltic countries and the European Union. Latvia consists of 4 cultural and historic regions – Kurzeme, Zemgale, Latgale and Vidzeme Latvia is located in the northern part of Eastern and Western cultural crossroads, so it is extensive. Latvia tastes like sour chunk of black bread, Riga Black Balsam blob, like honey and freshly picked cranberry in bog. Latvia looks like the Latvian amber.
Our life is entrained in Riga, the Latvian capital city, which holds more than 1 million inhabitants. Riga is the Baltic Pearl. It is situated at the mouth of the river Daugava, near the Baltic Sea coast of the Gulf of Riga.

Heritage sites:
ü Diverse architecture of Riga especially Art Nouveau buildings and wooden houses collection in Riga’s center;
ü Buildings of cultural heritage definitely are Rīgas castle, Melngalvju house, Freedom monument and Sv. Pētera church;
ü Riga’s central market is like guide in Latvian culinary world. One of the biggest Eastern European markets where you can buy local farmer grown vegetables and fruits;

ü In “Old Riga”, or as we call it heart of Riga, all kinds of traditional holiday celebration activities occur regularly;
ü Riga’s city celebration mostly gets celebrated at the end of august. Several days of free concerts delight city dwellers with musicians and dance groups. At Old Riga tower music celebration, musicians from all over the Europe come to Old Riga and perform in its towers and on terraces. Sports activities occur on all major streets and at evening all people are welcome to participate in Night run. At the end of celebration people can watch firework artist’s compete with their shows on the banks of river Daugava.
ü Staro Rīga is a festival of light that takes place in November. People canwatch their well-known buildings become and art objects that are filled with light and colors.

Green tourism:
ü You can always visit Rigas ZOO or just spend some time watching beavers in center of Riga working hard to build dam on canal. Beautiful woodlands and swamps are just in 20 minutes driving from Riga;
Active tourism:
 One of the well-known activities is vertical wind tunnel “Aerodium”.

Latvian traditions differ in regions, but common features are similar: food (black rye bread, gray peas with bacon, various cereal porridges, pastries, cheese with caraway seeds, cabbage stew), dance, national costumes, traditional songs (folk, example “Suitu sievas” band). Christmas is celebrated with stilts, log hauling and folk games. Easter is the egg-rolling and sway. The nearly three-day long midsummer fest concludes on June 24th, the day known to Latvians as “Jāņi”. Most leave the cities to gather with family and friends around thousands of bonfires, where special foods, beverages, songs, dances and rituals celebrate the movement of the setting and rising of the midnight sun.

 Activities in preserving heritage
ü The famous and well known Latvian Song and Dance Festivalis an important event in Latvian culture and social life. The All-Latvian Song and Dance Festival have been held since 1873, normally every five years. During the festivals exhibitions of photography, art and folk craft, orchestra concerts, and a festive parade also take place. Approximately 30,000 performers altogether participate in the event.
ü All year Ethnographic Open Air Museum celebrate different traditional festivals by Latvian folk traditions.

Local region
Our weekends and holidays we spend in Meņģele, a small parish in Vidzeme region. Meņģele has about 700 residents. Distance by the shortest route to Riga is 102 km
Meņģele significant heritage sites are the Meņģele Manor and the Lutheran Church, located on the left bank of the River Ogre. Near the church is „Siliņi”,” where was born and raised in Sudrabu Edžus writer, who wrote the book „Dullais Dauka”. Now there is styled writer Memorial Museum.
In Menģele center is located “Zibiņa” mill that has been built on Kangarupīte River which runs in to a lake called the “Zvanu ezers”. 145 years old Menģele School is located few hundred meters from lake.

 Tourism in our region
The biggest wealth of Menģele parish is beautiful nature. A key role in the natural splendor is playing “Ogre” river. Throughout whole our parish it stretches for over 36 kilometers forming numerous bends and bays well suitable for water tourism in spring time with its fast speed and deep waters.
We have local enthusiast who provides canoeing and hiking tours on river “Ogre” as well as a variety of sporting events – skiing, tourism, orientation, etc.
Country house named “Ogrēni” provides place for relaxation in sauna on the river bank.

Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at 44°25′57″N 26°06′14″ECoordinates: 44°25′57″N 26°06′14″E, and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River. Bucharest was first mentioned in documents as early as 1459. Since then it has gone through a variety of changes, becoming the state capital of Romania in 1862 and steadily consolidating its position as the centre of the Romanian mass media, culture and arts. Its eclectic architecture is a mix of historical (neo-classical), interbellum (Bauhaus and Art Deco), Communist-era and modern. In the period between the two World Wars, the city’s elegant architecture and the sophistication of its elite earned Bucharest the nickname of „Little Paris” (Micul Paris).[6] Although many buildings and districts in the historic centre were damaged or destroyed by war, earthquakes, and Nicolae Ceaușescu’s program of systematization, many survived. In recent years, the city has been experiencing an economic and cultural boom.

According to provisional data from 2011 census, 1,677,985 inhabitants live within the city limits, a decrease from the figure recorded at the 2002 census. The urban area extends beyond the limits of Bucharest proper and has a population of 1.93 million people. Adding the satellite towns around the urban area, the proposed metropolitan area of Bucharest would have a population of 2.2 million people. According to Eurostat, Bucharest has a Larger Urban Zone of 2,151,880 residents. According to unofficial data, the population is more than 3 million. Bucharest is the 6th largest city in the European Union by population within city limits.
Economically, Bucharest is the most prosperous city in Romania and is one of the main industrial centres and transportation hubs of Eastern Europe. The city has a broad range of convention facilities, educational facilities, cultural venues, shopping arcades, and recreational areas.
The city proper is administratively known as the Municipality of Bucharest (Municipiul București), and has the same administrative level as a county, being further subdivided into six sectors.

Suceava County seat in Bukovina, Moldavia region, in north-eastern Romania. The city was the capital of the Principality of Moldavia from 1388 to 1565.

Granada is a city and the capital of the province of Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalucia, Spain. Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, at the confluence of three rivers, the Beiro, the Darro and the Genil. It sits at an elevation of 738 metres above sea level, yet is only one hour from the Mediterranean coast, the Costa Tropical. Nearby is the Sierra Nevada Ski Station, where the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 1996 were held.

In the 2005 national census, the population of the city of Granada proper was 236,982, and the population of the entire urban area was estimated to be 472,638, ranking as the 13th-largest urban area of Spain. About 3.3% of the population did not hold Spanish citizenship, the largest number of these people (31%) coming from South America. Its nearest airport is Federico García Lorca Airport Granada-Jaén Airport.
The Alhambra, a Moorish citadel and palace, is in Granada. It is the most renowned building of the Andalusian Islamic historical legacy with its many cultural attractions that make Granada a popular destination among the touristic cities of Spain. The Almohad influence on architecture is preserved in the area of the city called the Albaicín with its fine examples of Moorish and Morisco construction. Granada is also well-known within Spain for the prestigious University of Granada which has about 80,000 students spread over five different campuses in the city. The pomegranate (in Spanish, granada) is the heraldic device of Granada.

Istanbul (historically Byzantium and Constantinople) is the largest city of Turkey, home to a population of 13,483,052 in 2011. A megacity, it is the nation’s cultural, economic, and financial center.

Located in the northwest of the country, it lies on the Bosphorus strait and encompasses the natural harbour known as the Golden Horn. Extending both on the European (Thrace) and Asian (Anatolia) sides of the strait, Istanbul is the only metropolis in the world situated on two continents. It covers 39 districts of Istanbul province. The greater Istanbul metropolitan area held 18% of Turkey’s population in 2010. It ranks as the world’s 7th fastest growing metropolitan area in 2011.
During its long history, Istanbul has served as the capital of the Roman Empire (330–395), the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922). When the new Republic of Turkey was proclaimed in 1923, Ankara was chosen as its capital.
Istanbul’s historic areas were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.[6] It was named a joint European Capital of Culture for 2010 and the European Capital of Sports for 2012. Istanbul is currently bidding to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.