Juris was born in West Germany in 1949. His parents are Latvians who fled their home country, when it was occupied by the Soviets in 1945. After finishing school he studied English and History to become a secondary-school teacher. Because of his growing interest in the countries behind the Iron Curtain he studied Slavonic languages and Eastern European history. In 1988 he completed a master’s degree in Russian philology at the University of Hamburg. Following Latvia’s reestablishment of independence in 1991, Juris decided to move to Riga where he became a certified guide for Riga and various other places in the Baltic States. Currently Juris guides foreign tourists and journalists not only through the Baltic States but also through the Western parts of Russia, including the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.
Juris first joined ASA in 2015 as co-leader for our tour to the Baltic States:
- Heritage Cities of the Baltic: Vilnius, Kaunas, Riga, Tartu & Tallinn (2015-2018)