A Basque in Boise

Event list for Jaialdi 2015

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Jaialdi 2015 is finally here, along with so many activities and events that it’s hard to keep them all straight. I heard from a few people that they were not sure about all the stuff going on this week, so I spend part of my weekend checking different sources and websites and compiled a list with all the events, dates and times I was able to find, including the NABO Pilota Finals and a series of Basque short films at MING Studios.

To download a PDF of this list to your computer, click here.

For the 2015 NABO Pilota Finals schedule, click here.

For the session of Basque short films presented by 39 Rooms at MING Studios from July 30 to August 1, click here.

Please make sure you check the website for the specific event you want to corroborate the information before you go:

Jaialdi 2015

Cenarrusa Foundation

Boise Basque Museum and Cultural Center

BSU Basque Studies

Preservation Idaho

Gure esku dago


Event list for Jaialdi 2015

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

2015 NABO Pilota Finals



Agirre Center, Columbia University and Gure esku dago organize in Boise a conference on the right to choose

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GURE ESKU DAGO” (It’s in our hands), a movement in favor of the right to decide in the Basque Country, will be in Boise for Jaialdi and would like to invite you to attend their conference on July 30th at the Grove Hotel. During the event, Boise’s mayor Dave Bieter will present Ibarretxe’s new book, The Basque Experience: constructing Sustainable Human Development. Juan Jose Ibarretxe is the former President of the Basque Country. Ibarretxe (Agirre Center) will be a main speaker, along with Jon Camio (GURE ESKU DAGO), and Dr. Joshua Fisher (Columbia University).

jaildi talk

The event will be hosted by Boise’s Mayor Dave Bieter. Representatives of Pete Cenarrusa Foundation and Xabier Irujo (Center for Basque Studies, University of Nevada) will also take part in the conference.

During the first part of this meeting Juan Jose Ibarretxe will present his research on the extraordinary transformation of the Basque Country from the recovery of self-government in the eighties up to now, and specifically in the period 1998/2008, in three relevant but traditionally unrelated fields: economics, social balance and peacemaking.

On Saturday and Sunday, CenturyLink Arena will be hosting a variety of vendors, including one manned by the “GURE ESKU DAGO” organization. Stop by and get to know them better.


The group is a citizens initiative that began on June 8, 2013. Their main goal is to achieve citizen support for the Basques’ right to decide. The movement is all-inclusive, as it extends to everybody its invitation to participate.

The group stands on three basic ideas:

1. The Basque Country is a nation
2. Basques have a right to decide
3. The future is in the hands of the citizens of the Basque Country

Last year’s big activity was the human chain. This year the organized a “patchwork”; a patchwork which was sewn together on the 21st of June into a massive ballot box.

For more information: www.gureeskudago.eus/en.

Beyond the Friendly, Two Idaho Immigration Stories, by Mark Bieter

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The Basque Soccer Friendly between Athletic de Bilbao and Xolos of Tijuana has come and gone, leaving the city of Boise and its community filled with wonderful memories that will be treasured for years to come. Much has been said about this match, both in the months leading up to the event, and specially during the three magical days since the teams arrived in Boise on Thursday and Friday. However, nobody can take a story and twist it like Boise native Mark Bieter. In his latest article for the Blue Review, he goes beyond the surface and brings us a closer, more personal approach to the teams, their history and their fans.

Beyond the Friendly, Two Idaho Immigration Stories

It’s a professional soccer game in a college football town played in a U.S. stadium by two non-U.S. teams who have never faced each other and might never face each other again. It was practically an impossible dream. For example, one basic requirement was trucking in  85,000 square feet of Kentucky bluegrass to be placed over plastic decking and two layers of tarp to cover the Boise State  field, which is artificial turf colored blue and trademarked so no other university can copy it. When the game is over, all that grass will be rolled up, shipped away and planted in a park.

The original cocktail napkin plan hadn’t anticipated all that. The only idea then was to bring Athletic Bilbao to Boise for a game during Jaialdi, the massive international festival Idaho’s Basque community holds every five years. Athletic is an iconic team, founded in the 1890s in Bilbao, the Basque Country’s largest city. It’s ranked among the top 30 soccer teams in the world. Athletic plays in 53,000-seat San Mamés stadium, which was built in 1913, remodeled a century later, and is now one of the premier soccer venues in Europe. They’ve been champions of La Liga, Spain’s top professional division, eight times, and winners of Spain’s most prestigious cup competition, the Copa del Rey, 23 times, the most of any team besides FC Barcelona

Like it so far? You can read the article in its entirety on the Blue Review website: Beyond the Friendly, Two Idaho Immigration Stories

Mark Bieter is an attorney and writer in Washington, D.C.


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Last minute update: Watch the Basque Soccer Friendly live or On Demand!

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Albertsons Stadium

Can’t make it to the game tonight? No problem! We’ll miss you, but you won’t have to miss us.

Watch the BSF live on your phone, computer, or TV + on-demand for a week after the game!

For those unable to make it to the game today in Albertsons Stadium, the Basque Soccer Friendly featuring Athletic Club Bilbao and Club Tijuana  at 7:00pm will be available via live stream for $10! To watch online, visit the Basque Soccer Friendlywebsite, www.basquesoccerfriendly.com and click the button on the homepage that says “live stream”. Following the live broadcast, the ability to watch the archived game on demand will remain available for one week for those unable to watch the game live.

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Athletic de Bilbao sticks to its Basque-only policy: An Idaho Statesman article by Michael Lycklama

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Athletic Bilbao sticks to its Basque-only policy

mlycklama@idahostatesman.com | July 14, 2015

Athletic Bilbao drew an average of 43,454 fans to its matches this season, fourth most in La Liga behind Barcelona (77,632), Real Madrid (73,081) and Atlético Madrid (46,603). MARIELI OVIEDO — Photo courtesy of Athletic Bilbao

Athletic Bilbao drew an average of 43,454 fans to its matches this season, fourth most in La Liga behind Barcelona (77,632), Real Madrid (73,081) and Atlético Madrid (46,603). MARIELI OVIEDO — Photo courtesy of Athletic Bilbao

The history of professional soccer teams developing players mirrors its American counterparts. Both originally developed their own players within the organization to fit their system.

Today, highly-paid players from Spain play in the English Premier League, French players suit up in German Bundesliga and Latin American players are scattered throughout top European leagues.

But one club has resisted globalization.

Athletic Bilbao, which takes on on Mexico’s Club Tijuana in the Basque Soccer Friendly at 7 p.m. Saturday at Albertsons Stadium, remains true to its historic principles, fielding only Basque players.

“There are a lot of fans (of the team) that are not Basque because they like the philosophy,” said Henar Chico, the president of Boise’s Athletic Bilbao fan club. “They see that it’s getting out of hand in teams like Real Madrid. I mean, who is from Spain there?”

The club originally only fielded players from the city of Bilbao. But it has since expanded its home base to include all of the Basque country in Spain and France, a semi-autonomous region with desires to become its own country. Meanwhile, Real Sociedad, its rival, abandoned its Basque-only policy in 1989.

Players are considered Basque if they were born in the Basque country or if the team developed them in its envied youth system. That has produced a bounty of world-class players despite drawing from a region with the population of the San Diego metro area (3 million) that covers a land mass slightly larger than Owyhee County (8,000 square miles).

Chico points to the rising commercialism in sports and the example of the Utah Jazz, originally from New Orleans, playing in Salt Lake City. Athletic’s policy ensures the team on the field mirrors the fans in the stands.

“It gives people a sense that they really belong to you. They’re really from where you’re from,” she said. “When you cheer for them, you’re cheering for people like you.”

But the policy also comes with its detractors, who claim it limits the club’s competitiveness.

The club dominated Spanish competitions in the early 1900s but hit hard times in the 2000s, flirting with relegation to the second division of La Liga, a fate only it, Real Madrid and Barcelona have avoided in league history.

Athletic didn’t field its first black player, Jonas Ramalho, until 2008. And defender Aymeric Laporte, inked to a $55 million release clause this summer to ward off interest from Manchester United, is only the second French-born Basque to suit up for the team in its 117-year history.

Chico says she’d rather watch the team fall into the second division of La Liga than watch it field a foreign player, not that anyone expects change soon.

Joe Lasuen, vice president of the Boise fan club, says the policy speaks for itself in Bilbao’s results.

“To be able to hold their own in upper division of La Liga is amazing,” Lasuen said. “The fact they still can cultivate that kind of talent and remain where they are in La Liga, it says a lot about the team.”

Read the origina article here.

8 Herrialdeak Zuzenean (8HZ) celebrates ten years on the air

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Bayonne, at the heart of the Diaspora

Affiches 8HZThe 8 Probintziak association will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its radio show, 8 Herrialdeak Zuzenean (8HZ), on June 7, 2015. A live radio broadcast in 4 languages, and interactions with Basques from around the world.

The radio program will begin on Sunday, June 7, 2015 at 8:00 pm (Basque Country time), presented by Benoit Etcheverry, Robert Acheritogaray, and Julie Faxel.

The 8 Probintziak association’s work has been about and with the Basque diaspora since May of 2005. It is composed of a 12-member board of directors, 5 of which are in the northern Basque Country, and the other 7 are active in the Basque diaspora.

The association has been part of several projects and is at the origin of many:

  • Diaspora Bidaian with the the Théatre du Versant
  • Partneship with the platform EuskoSare from 2004 to 2009
  • The project for the International Center for the Basque Diaspora in Ascarat from 2006 to 2009
  • Facebook in Basque in 2008
  • The radio show 8HZ (10 years in June 2015!)
  • Conferences in different Basque Centers (Bordeaux, Paris and Montpellier)
  • Help and support of the start of the Basque Center of Marseille in December of 2014
  • The largest datebase of contacts to date ( approximately 150,000 individuals outside of the Basque Country)

The association 8 Probintziak was created on May 25, 2005, in association with the federation Euskal Irratiak, the only radio program on air in 4 languages, and which is broadcasted in FM radio in the Basque Country, and via the Internet for the Diaspora.

Come to participate with us on this June 7, 2015 when the city of Bayonne will be at the heart of the Diaspora.

For more information, contact Benoit Etcheverry, President of the association 8 Probintziak, at irratia@8probintziak.com.

Association 8 Probintziak

11bis, rue Georges Berges
Tel : +33 (0)635492833
E-mail: benoit@8probintziak.com

The Cenarrusa Foundation for Basque Culture presents: A Night with the Basque Chefs and Basque Wine Tasting and Education

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A Night with the Basque Chefs

Chef Aitor Elizegi, Chef Josu Ibarra, Chef Beñat Ormaetxea and Sommelier Mikel Garaizabal Pildain will travel to Idaho to prepare a meal you will not soon forget.

A six course dinner with wine pairings will be offered on August 1, 2015 from 6:30 to 11:00pm at the Boise Arid Club. The dinner will include 6 courses and 6 wine pairings.

Pre-paid reservations only; no tickets at the door. Tables of 8 or 10 also available for groups.

Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Cenarrusa Foundation for Basque Culture.

For information and advance ticket purchase only:
http://anightwithbasquechefs.brownpapertickets.com or call 1-800-838-3006


Basque Wine Tasting and Education

Learn how to smell, taste, pair and buy wines from the Basque Country’s best Sommelier, Mikel Garaizabal Pildain. Enjoy tasting a variety of Basque wines including Txakoli (pronounced cha-co-lee). Txakoli is a clean, naturally effervescent dry white wine. It has an herbaceous and citric quality, making it perfectly refreshing to sip with seafood, cured meats, and hard cheeses.

For information and advance ticket purchase only:
http://basquewinetasting.brownpapertickets.com or call 1-800-838-3006

Wine Tasting

The Basque Soccer Friendly retail shop opens today in Boise, plus the Toyota Car Giveaway

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Basque Soccer Friendly retail shop opens in downtown Boise

The Basque Soccer Friendly is opening a downtown Headquarters and retail store this Friday, May 29th at 401 S. 8th Street, Boise, ID 83702. Store hours will be 11am to 9pm from Wednesday through Sunday. Basque Soccer Friendly and team merchandise from Athletic Club Bilbao and Club Tijuana including jerseys, t-shirts and scarves will be available for purchase. The Headquarters will also serve as the main meeting place for staff and volunteers working on the event. The Basque Soccer Friendly’s Headquarters is made possible thanks to the support of the Capital City Development Corporation, furniture courtesy of RC Willey Home Furnishings and signage from Signs Now.

Also, the Basque Soccer Friendly will be giving away at halftime a brand new 2015 Toyota Corolla in partnership with the Southern Idaho Toyota Dealers Association. Starting in June, people will be able to enter to win at either Peterson Toyota or Tom Scott Toyota where two winners will be drawn to win a pair of tickets to the game and a chance at winning the new Corolla during halftime of the game. Basque Soccer Friendly attendees will also have a chance to sign up to win the car the day of the game near the entrances to Albertsons Stadium.

About the Basque Soccer Friendly

The Basque Soccer Friendly LLC is a partnership between the Basque Studies Foundation and the Idaho Youth Soccer Association. Together they are working to bring this unique community event to Boise, Idaho and create greater awareness for both organizations. All proceeds from the Basque Soccer Friendly will go the Basque Studies Foundation to support scholarships and Basque Studies programming at Boise State University and soccer scholarships for Idaho youth provided by the Idaho Youth Soccer Association.

Basque Soccer Friendly Sponsors include the Provincial Government of Bizkaia, Southern Idaho Toyota Dealers, the City of Boise, Holland & Hart, KTVB Channel 7, St. Luke’s, McAlvain Group of Companies, Albertsons, Capital City Development Corporation, Carew Co., Cinder Wines, Idaho Power, Payette Brewing Company, Wide Eye Productions and Double R Ranch.

For more information contact: info@basquesoccerfriendly.com

Argia Beristain at 703-309-9437
Website: www.basquesoccerfriendly.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/basquesoccerfriendly
Twitter: @BasqueSoccer
Instagram: basque_soccer_friendly

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Boiseko Athletic Club Peña launch party announced for Saturday, May 30

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LogoBoiseko Athletic Club Peña will hold its official launch party on Saturday, May 30, starting at 1:30 pm MST at the Basque Center (601 W Grove St), during Copa del Rey finals. where Athletic will take on FC Barcelona.

Boiseko Athletic Club Peña is the only fan club established in Idaho, and one of only five officially recognized by Athletic Club de Bilbao in the United States. Boise and its surrounding communities is home to a large concentration of Basques, in particular Basque families from the province of Bizkaia, of which Bilbao is the capital.


Although there are a few Real Sociedad and Eibar followers, most people in Boise’s Basque community come from Bizkaia, so naturally, they root for Athletic de Bilbao. So much so, that Athletic announced they will be wearing their home jerseys during the Basque Soccer Friendly on July 29 in Boise, because this is their home away from home.

The Peña was formed last year by a group of eleven Athletic fans: Henar Chico (President), Joe Lasuen (Vice President), Annie Gavica (Secretary), Mary Lasuen (Treasurer), Argia Beristain, Josu Zubizarreta, Alaina Gavica, Teresa Franzioa, Ryan Boyd, Johnny Boyd, and Martin Bilbao.

Even though the group kicked around the idea of forming a Peña in Boise three or four years ago, it wasn’t until the Basque Soccer Friendly got closer to being a reality that they really decided to push forward and make it happen. They realized it was crucial to show Athletic how much they’re loved, even thousands of miles away.

Athletic belongs to the Basque people, and that’s what we are here in Idaho. So block your calendar and join us at the Basque Center to watch the game and sign up! Additional details can be found at http://boisekoathleticpena.weebly.com/launch-party.html.

For more information contact: boisekoathleticpena@gmail.com

Henar Chico at 208-353-8490
Website: http://boisekoathleticpena.weebly.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BoisekoAthleticClub

The Basque Soccer Friendly between Athletic Club Bilbao and Club Tijuana will kick off at 7:00pm MST

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Basque Soccer Friendly

The Basque Soccer Friendly featuring Athletic Club Bilbao versus Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente on July 29, 2015 in Boise, Idaho will kick off at 7:00pm MT.

Boise, Idaho- The Basque Soccer Friendly announces today that the highly anticipated matchup on Wednesday,  July 29 will kick off at 7:00pm MT in Albertsons Stadium on the campus of Boise State University. The kick off time for the Basque Soccer Friendly had not previously been announced and it has now been finalized for 7:00pm MT.  The friendly match will feature Athletic Club Bilbao from the Basque region of Spain versus Club Tijuana Xoloitzuintles from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico.

The Basque Soccer Friendly will be a historical game in the heart of the Basque American Diaspora of Boise, Idaho featuring Athletic Club Bilbao. Athletic Club Bilbao is one of only three clubs that have never been relegated from La Liga, the others being Real Madrid and Barcelona. In the table of Copa del Rey titles, Athletic Club is second only to FC Barcelona, having won the Cup 24 times. Athletic Club Bilbao and FC Barcelona are scheduled to face each other in the 2015 Copa del Rey on Saturday, May 30, 2015.

Club Tijuana became the fastest club to win a championship following promotion to Mexico’s top flight Liga MX in 2012. Club Tijuana has seven American players on their rosters, five of which are age 20 or younger and have played for the U.S. Youth National Teams. The most notable American is 24-year-old midfielder Joe Corona, who has two goals in 14 appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team. Corona has spent his entire professional career with Club Tijuana.

Tickets to the Basque Soccer Friendly are on sale now via Ticketmaster.com, by calling or visiting the Boise State Athletic Ticket Office on the west side of Albertsons Stadium (208-426-4737) or by visiting select Walmart locations with Tickemaster retail outlets including the Walmarts in Boise on Cole Rd; Meridian on Fairview Ave., or in Nampa on Franklin Rd, 12th Avenue or S. Middleton Rd. More information including Ticket Prices, Parking Map and Tailgating information available at www.BasqueSoccerFriendly.com

Basque Soccer Friendly Sponsors include the Provincial Government of Bizkaia, Southern Idaho Toyota Dealers, the City of Boise, Holland & Hart, KTVB Channel 7, St. Luke’s, McAlvain Group of Companies, Albertsons, Capital City Development Corporation, Carew Co., Cinder Wines, Idaho Power Company, Payette Brewing Company, Wide Eye Productions and Double R Ranch.

For more information contact: info@basquesoccerfriendly.com

Argia Beristain at 703-309-9437
Website: www.basquesoccerfriendly.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/basquesoccerfriendly
Twitter: @BasqueSoccer
Instagram: basque_soccer_friendly