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West Coast Latvian Education Center
Officially founded in 1982, the West Coast Latvian Education Center (WCLEC), or, as it is known in Latvian, the Rietumkrasta Latviešu Izglītības Centrs (RKLIC), is an educational and cultural nonprofit. The West Coast Latvian Education Center’s purpose, and its mission, is to foster, promote, and organize educational and cultural events for all individuals of Latvian ancestry or affinity. It is in Shelton, Washington, in our home nestled in the woods, that the West Coast Latvian Education Center strives to give voice to our rich culture and traditions.
- P.O. Box 1221 W 3381 Dayton-Airport Road Shelton
Shelton, WA, 98584
Museums & Cultural Centers
As Latvians, our cultural and spiritual identity is intimately connected to nature and its many cycles. As an agrarian society, the lives of ancient Latvians very much revolved around the seasons and all of nature’s phenomena. This relationship influenced the Latvian culture and traditions over the centuries, and this is legacy carries on with us today. It is this connection that we find at the heart of our stories, dainas, dances and songs. Natural cycles are the basis for our celebrations; Jāņi, Ķekatas, Mārtiņi, and Metenis are all examples of festivities that correspond to the changing of the seasons. In the summers, the cities in Latvia are nearly deserted, as everyone is out in the countryside.
It is in Shelton, Washington, in our home nestled in the woods, that the West Coast Latvian Education Center strives to give voice to our rich culture and traditions. Whether it is through an informal gathering of friends for a weekend camping trip, one of our more formal and structured summer programs, or something else in between, the West Coast Latvian Education Center’s goal is to provide our community with rich, meaningful experiences. We hope to not only honor our culture, but also provide those interested with a worthwhile education, and provide a means for our community to come together and celebrate that which connects us and makes us unique.