Make it a powerful, meaningful event.

October 26, 2019By

This week we met Paul Poletes, Chargé d’Affaires Paul Poletes from the U.S. Embassy. We are grateful to receive the support for our annual IWCR Charity bazaar.

The popular event offers various unique items to shop or to tastes from different national tables. It would not be a Christmas market without the various performances, winter carols, Silent Auction, Tombola, Kids Play Area, Massage Station and so much more to experience a wonderful day with festive atmosphere.

IWCR: Why do you give to our organization? What motivates you to stay involved?

U.S. Embassy: U.S. Embassy staff and their families call Riga home for 2-3 years and being a part of the community means giving back to the community. 

The Embassy is proud to support the annual charity bazaar by participating in the nations’ tables.  The International Women’s Club is a wonderful way for our community to get involved, meet new people, and feel more connected to the place we call home.

IWCR: What are your donations to, or activities at, the bazaar?

We participate in the nations’ table to share some of the finest American cuisine with our friends and guests.  And by finest American cuisine, I mean boxed macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, and other American “comfort food.”             

IWCR: What would you like to pass on to future generations?

A sense of service and community.  Maybe it has become cliché, but I think it’s important to support one another through service and caring for our neighbors. 

I think one of America’s greatest strengths is our ability to join with others to help those in need and to support our towns and neighborhoods, and even strangers far away who are facing a difficult time.  People volunteer to serve others, they donate money, they give back to the less fortunate.

I hope this legacy of service endures for future generations.  

IWCR: Do you have an anecdote about the bazaar/organization that really moved you?

I’m amazed by how the diplomatic and international community rallies around the bazaar to make it a powerful, meaningful event, one that has become something people look forward to all year. 

It’s a fun event and it just keeps growing, which is a testament to the impact the bazaar has for volunteers and beneficiaries alike. 


Chargé d’Affaires Paul Poletes

Paul Poletes joined the Foreign Service in 1998.  Since then he has worked in Athens, Dhaka, Bishkek, Tirana, and Ashgabat.  Paul has also worked twice in Washington, first as the Montenegro Desk Officer, and later as the Deputy Director for Central Asian Affairs, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.  Most recently, Paul worked as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan from 2014-2016.  Paul has masters degrees from the National Defense University and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a BA from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.  Paul speaks Latvian, Russian, Albanian, and Greek.  Paul is married with two children.

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