A Basque in Boise

Gure Esku Dago 2015: Jostunak

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Most of you will remember last year’s human chain for the right to decide of the Basque Country, a highly successful event organized by Gure esku dago (It’s in our hands), 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.


As the group gears up for this year’s campaign, they would like to share what they are doing in the Basque Country and would like to invite all of you to participate and organize similar activities in your area.


As you already know, last year’s big activity was the human chain. This year’s is going to be a “patchwork”; a patchwork which will be sewn together by all of us on the 21st of June into a massive ballot box. This week we have begun distributing 1ft by 1ft pieces of fabric throughout EH. These individual pieces of fabric will represent your “will” (it’s tricky to translate “borondate” from Basque to English, but an easy way to think about it is “will” as in “the WILL of the people”). On your piece of fabric you’re supposed to write a message, or your “will”, and on April 25th, Joste Eguna(Sewer’s Day), we will get together with our local GED groups to sew our individual pieces of fabric into larger, communal ones. And finally, on the 21st of June, everything culminates with Ehuntze Eguna(Weaver’s Day), where we’ll go to our closest capital city to “sew our future” together. On Ehuntze Eguna, we’re going to fill up the four stadiums from the four capital cities of Bilbo, Donosti, Gasteiz and Irunea, to weave together all of our “wills”. In doing so, we will construct a massive ballot box in the middle of the stadium made from all of our fabrics. For more information: www.gureeskudago.eus.


If you look at our Facebook page(https://www.facebook.com/gureeskudago.diaspora) you’ll see that Argentina’s already started. San Francisco is going to start this Saturday. You too can get started by organizing a Sewer’s Day in your own area. If you like, you can first have a showing of our new documentary Jostunak and then afterwards pass out some fabric for everyone to write their “will” on. You can then send us your fabrics for us to use on the 21st of June. Just an idea.


The diaspora’s involvement is not welcome, it’s ESSENTIAL. We can’t emphasize enough how important your participation is. We need to do all of this TOGETHER. The diaspora is often said to be the 8th province of the Basque Country. Let’s make that clear by having a big hand in all of this. 2015 is an exciting year for the Basque community with Korrika, Amerikanuak’s 40th anniversary, Ehuntze Eguna, and Jaialdi later this summer. Let’s enjoy these activities and also have an active role in them. Let’s use the opportunities 2015 brings to show everybody, and ourselves, how big a part the diaspora plays in the Basque community.
If you’re interested in participating, send an email to Jon Camio know and he will get in contact with you individually. He prefers to explain the process over the phone and he will help you get started with organizing something in your area.

Athletic de Bilbao and Club Tijuana will face off during a soccer friendly in Boise on July 29, 2015

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Athletic vs TijuanaIt’s official! Basque Soccer Friendly will feature Athletic Club de Bilbao versus Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente on July 29, 2015 in Boise, Idaho. Mayor Dave Bieter made the announcement today at a press conference held at Boise’s Basque Center.

This is very exciting news, a great victory for the the Basque and soccer communities in Idaho. As Mayor Bieter pointed out during the announcement, most Idaho Basques come for the Bizkaia region of the Basque Country, home to Athletic de Bilbao, so this is like an early Christmas present for most of us.

Please read on for the official press release, where you will find all the information related to the game, including when the tickets will be on sale.

Scroll all the way down for a few photos and videos from the event.


Basque Soccer Friendly 2015

In their 117 years of existence, Athletic Club de Bilbao has never played a game in the United States so the Basque Soccer Friendly will be a historical game in the heart of the Basque American Diaspora of Boise, Idaho. Athletic Bilbao is one of only three clubs that have never been relegated from the Liga, the others being Real Madrid and Barcelona. In the table of Copa del Rey titles, Athletic is second only to FC Barcelona, having won the Cup 24 times. Athletic Bilbao and FC Barcelona will face each other in 2015 Copa del Rey on Saturday, May 30, 2015.

Club Tijuana is currently ranked first in the 2015 Clausura in Liga MX. Founded in January 2007, Club Tijuana moved into Mexico’s top division Liga MX in 2011. By winning the 2012 Apertura, Club Tijuana became the fastest club to win a championship following promotion to Mexico’s top flight. Club Tijuana has seven American players on their roster, 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 Xolos.

The Basque Soccer Friendly is proud to introduce Kuadrilla, our exclusive membership club. Kuadrilla to the Basque community means a close group of friends. Members of the Kuadrilla will be the first in line and given access to purchase tickets before the general public, receive a limited edition t-shirt, a commemorative poster, and invitations to exclusive monthly events. The opportunity to join the Kuadrilla will only be available from Wednesday, April 8th until Wednesday, April 22nd. Kuadrilla membership is $45 and can be purchased onwww.basquesoccerfriendly.com

Tickets to the Basque Soccer Friendly will go on sale on to the general public on Monday, April 27th. More information at www.basquesoccerfriendly.com

Basque Soccer Friendly Sponsors include Bizkaia, City of Boise, Southern Idaho Toyota Dealers, Holland & Hart, KTVB, St. Luke’s, McAlvain Group of Companies, Capital City Development Corporation, Carew Co., Cinder Wines, Idaho Power, Payette Brewery and Wide Eye Productions.

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

Photos and videos from the event

North American Basque Summer Festivals 2015

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Basque-American PinEuskal Kazeta is right! Time flies, and the 2015 Basque festival season is around the corner. It will start on May 2, with Fresno’s annual party in California. This year will also feature Jaialdi 2015 international festival in Boise, which typically attracts thousands of Basques and others from across the U.S., as well as Europe and Latin America.

If you were thinking about participating in some of the festivals or coming for Jaialdi but haven’t made any plans yet, you better get a move on. You’ll be sad if you wait too long and can’t find a place to stay. I know, it’s easy for us living in North America to urge people to visit, so here you have a few resources to make planning your trip a bit more manageable:

Jaialdi 2015 official website

A Beginner’s Guide to Jaialdi, by Hella Basque

Jaialdi 2015: Plan your visit now, by Euskal Kazeta

Jaialdi 2015: Lodging exchange forum (Foro para búsqueda de alojamiento), by A Basque in Boise

Interactive guide to Basque festivals in the U.S. and Canada, by Euskal Kazeta


If  you’d like to receive Euskal Kazeta updates, subscribe to their email list here.

If you’d like to follow Hella Basque, subscribe to her blog right from the main page.


To all Basques, home and abroad: Aberri egun zoriontsua!

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Aberri Eguna

aberri_eguna_1963Most people will go by our house today and wonder 1) what’s that flag hanging on the door, and 2) why on earth did we put it there. But on a day where people are mostly concerned with the Easter Bunny and hidden colored eggs, I want my kids to remember that, back home, there is another, very important thing to celebrate: my home, their other home, the Basque Country.

Happy Aberri Egun!

Aberri Eguna (“Fatherland Day”) is a holiday coinciding with Easter Sunday which has its roots in the Basque nationalist movement. It was first organised by the Basque Nationalist Party on 27 April 1932 in Bilbao, then consisting of a demonstration of some 65,000 participants which terminated at the Sabino Arana House. It has since become the unofficial Basque national holiday.


The first Aberri Eguna was held to celebrate the anniversary of the concept of political Basque nationalism as put forward by Sabino Arana in 1882, according to his own writings.[1] Some claims suggest that the date was established after Arana’s death.[3] However, its coinciding with Easter is deliberate as it follows the motto of the Basque Nationalist Party Jaungoiko eta Lege Zaharrak “God and the Old Laws and the symbolism of theresurrection of Christ.[1] Ideologically, it follows the examples of the older Catalan and Galician patriotic holidays, the National Day of Catalonia(from 1889 onwards) and the National Day of Galicia (from 1919 onwards). It was then celebrated in San Sebastián in 1933, in Vitoria-Gasteiz in 1934 and in Pamplona in 1935.

From 1936 onwards, the year of the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, it was no longer celebrated in a single location but instead in various localities on a smaller scale and under clandestine conditions as under Franco, Aberri Eguna was forbidden from 1937 to 1975. It was only freely celebrated in the Northern Basque Country under the auspices of the Basque Government in Exile.

Current status

The Aberri Eguna is not an official holiday and main events continue to be organized by Basque nationalist parties. However, the exact format and tone depends on the organiser and thus can vary considerably from a political rally to a cultural picnic. In particular in emigrant communities, the celebration of Basque culture features much more strongly than any political overtones. The cultural element often features events such as Basque music, traditional sports, food and drink, in particular Basque cider.

See more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aberri_Eguna

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Media Alert: Basque Soccer Friendly press conference on April 8 at noon

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Basque-Soccer-FriendlyThe Basque Soccer Friendly has scheduled a Press Conference for Wednesday, April 8th at 12 noon outside* on the Basque Block (Grove Street between 6th and Capitol Blvd) in downtown Boise, Idaho.

The Press Conference will feature the City of Boise’s Mayor Dave Bieter, along with dignitaries from a provincial government in the Basque region of Spain, and a dignitary from the Mexican Consulate.

At the press conference the Basque Soccer Friendly will announce the two professional soccer teams participating, sponsors, launch their membership club called “Kuadrilla” and announce when tickets will go on sale to the general public.

*In the event of poor weather, the Press Conference will be held inside the Basque Center (601 Grove St, Boise, ID 83702).

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 to 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.

The Basque Soccer Friendly’s Point of Contact on the day of the Press Conference is Keegan Dougherty at 703-309-9125 or keegan@basquesoccerfriendly.com.

For more information contact: info@basquesoccerfriendly.com or call Argia Beristain at 703-309-9437 or 208-343-6939

Facebook:           www.facebook.com/basquesoccerfriendly
Twitter:               @BasqueSoccer
Instagram:          basque_soccer_friendly

The Basque Soccer Friendly website is also available in Basque and Spanish.

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Posthumous presentation of military awards to Manuel Aldecoa, the son of Basque immigrants, at the Warhawk Museum

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The son of Basque immigrants Manuel Aldecoa will receive the following awards posthumously, via his surviving family, Benedicta Aldecoa Wilson and Delphine Aldecoa, presented by Senator Crapo: Purple Heart, Air Medal, American Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign medal, World War II Victory Medal, and the Honorable Service Lapel Button.

When: Wednesday, April 8 at 2:30 pm
WhereWarhawk Museum in Nampa, Idaho


MANUEL J. ALDECOA enlisted in the Army after 2 years at the University of Idaho.

Aldecoa Manuel J Lt Photo 2Manuel was one of 5 children born to Basque immigrants in Boise. Juan Domingo Aldecoa Urrusuno (b. in Ea-Nachitua) and Maria Pagoaga Iriarte (b. Motriko). They were charter members of Euzkaldunak – the Boise Basque Center. Manuel is survived by sisters Benedicta Wilson and Delphine Aldecoa, both of whom served as air traffic controllers during WWII. Older sister Maurina Bowles worked in London, England during the war for the OSS, the precursor of the CIA,  Brother Basil and wife Dorothy Aldecoa were generous benefactors to any and all Basque causes in the Treasure Valley.

Second Lieutenant Aldecoa was part of  55th group, 343rd Fighter Squadron. Aldecoa flew a P-38 Lockhead Lightning in the first group to fly P-38s from his base in Wormingford,  England. He had already flown escort protection for heavy bombers in the Wilhelmshaven, Munster and Bremen raids.

He was a 25 year old P-38 fighter pilot when killed in Lille, France in mutual combat with a highly decorated and experienced German Ace who had already downed 56 Allied planes. Neither pilot survived. (Manuel’s opponent was Johannes Seifert who had flown 439 combat missions, and was posthumously given the high rank of  Oberstleutnant ) – Manuel fought to the death with a killing machine and apparently won – but unfortunately Manuel did not survive the parachute down to earth, either a torn chute or killed on the ground).

The accident was on Thanksgiving Day, 1943. A war department letter informed his family. “He continued firing until he had downed the enemy aircraft, and then his own ship went out of control,” the letter said. “His comrades saw him bail out and saw his parachute open.” Manuel was initially reported as MIA but months later, the Army wrote that “he died in an attempt to parachute to safety.”

For his meritorious service, Manuel will receive these awards: Purple Heart, Air Medal, American Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and Honorable Service Lapel Button. Senator Mike Crapo will award the medals April 8,  2015 at the WarHawk Museum in Nampa , Idaho.

See this below link for an idea of who Manuel was up against! This guy had already done 439 combat missions and had 56 confirmed downed Allied planes.

Aces of the Luftwaffe – Johannes Seifert


Dolores Totorica is an in-law to the Aldecoa Family.

She became interested in this project while researching genealogy at the LDS Family History Center in Boise. She was encouraged by the volunteers there and the websites they make available to the general public.

In Dolores’ own words: “We are very proud of Manuel. We are also very thankful to Senator Crapo and staff for facilitating this process. If someone is really interested in attending they should email me (dolorestotorica@gmail.com) since the schedule may change due to Senator Crapo’s availability.

Jaialdi 2015: Lodging exchange forum (Foro para búsqueda de alojamiento)

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(Versión en castellano abajo)

After several years running A Basque in Boise blog, many people turn to me with ideas, requests or suggestions regarding Boise’s Basque Country ties. This year, with Jaialdi coming up in July, has proven busier than usual, especially with requests from Basques looking for a place to stay during the festival.

I always feel bad when I have to tell people I don’t know of families looking to host or people willing to rent out a room during Jaialdi. However, the fact that I don’t know doesn’t mean they aren’t out there. So, after a bit of thinking, I decided to create a forum to give people a chance to connect and work out their own deals.

I’ve never done anything like this before, so please be patient with me, and remember that I don’t personally know the people participating in the forum.

Because I’m super original, I called it A Basque in Boise Forum:

  1. Go here to register: Registration page (follow the prompts)
  2. After you register, you can login here: Login page
  3. Finally, go to the General Board to create a new thread or reply to an existing thread

Good luck!

(IMPORTANT: Please keep in mind that this has nothing to do with the official organizers of  Jaialdi)

Captura de pantalla 2015-03-30 a la(s) 9.53.50 PM

Después de varios años llevando el blog de A Basque in Boise, muchas personas me escriben con ideas, peticiones o sugerencias sobre los lazos que unen Euskadi y Boise. Este año de Jaialdi ha resultado ser más movidito que de costumbre, sobre todo por la cantidad de vascos que buscan alojamiento durante el festival en julio.

Me da pena cuando tengo que decirle a la gente que no conozco a ninguna familia dispuesta a acoger gente o alquilar habitaciones durante Jaialdi. Sin embargo, que yo no las conozca no significa que no las haya. Así que, después de pensar un poco, he decidido crear un foro para que la gente pueda conectarse y hacer sus propios tratos.

Como soy súper original, lo he llamado el Foro de A Basque in Boise:

  1. Regístrate aquí: Página de Registro (siga las instrucciones)
  2. Después, inicia sesión aquí: Página de inicio
  3. Por último, vete al Tablero General para crear un nuevo hilo o responder a un hilo existente

Esta es la primera vez que hago algo parecido, así que paciencia conmigo. Y recordad que yo no conozco personalmente a las personas que participan en el foro.


(IMPORTANTE: Este foro no tiene nada que ver con los organizadores oficiales de Jaialdi)

Basque Run/Walk Korrika coming up in Boise on April 25, 2015

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Boise Korrika – The lowdown

Korrika 2015When: April 25, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.
Where: Basque Center (601 W Grove)
Cost: Adults $5, children free (checks ok)

Boise’s Korrika is a two-mile social walk to raise awareness and promote Euskera. This year’s theme is Eusk-AHAL-dun = euskaldun, “you can speak Basque and “Basquenize” yourself.” We believe you CAN too! All the proceeds will go to help the future Basque language instructors. Please dress in white, red and/or green.

There will be food at the finish line, as well as water bottles available for purchase.

Come and bring your friends!


Korrika is the Basque name of a countrywide race in the Basque Country. Its objectives are to enhance awareness of Basque language and to raise funds to carry out Basque literacy programs for adults.

Since the first Korrika took place in 1980, the race has become one of the major events in favor of Basque language. Korrika 2015 will celebrate its 19th edition, which will begin on March 19h and will last 10 days non-stop. The run will start in Urepele and end in Bilbao. As in previous editions, hundreds of thousands of people of all ages and fitness levels will be taking part.

A hollow baton is carried during the race and exchanges hands at each change of kilometer. Inside there is a message which will not be made public until the Korrika ends, when a well-known Basque personality will read it out loud.

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Basque Soccer Friendly update: The opponent will be a team from Mexico’s Liga MX

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March 15, 2015

Boise, Idaho- The Basque Soccer Friendly will feature a La Liga team from the Basque region of Spain and now a top ranked Liga MX team from Mexico for the July 29 matchup in Boise.

Originally the organizing committee of the Basque Soccer Friendly was negotiating with opponents from Major League Soccer (MLS). The MLS scheduled their All Star Game for the same night as the Basque Soccer Friendly on July 29th in Colorado. The All Star Game would mean that any MLS opponent would be without their best players hindering the quality of the game the Basque Soccer Friendly was trying to host. The Basque Soccer Friendly organizing committee decided to consider other options in order to provide the highest quality soccer friendly possible in Boise.

Liga MX is generally considered the strongest professional soccer league in North America and among the strongest in all of Latin America. The organizing committee is very excited to welcome one of their top ranked teams to Boise this summer. The Basque Soccer Friendly leadership expects to announce the teams from La Liga and Liga MX in early April.

While time and ticket cost are also still being confirmed, the match is expected to begin at 7 p.m. and tickets should cost $40-$90 for general seating, $140-$250 for suites. These and other details are expected to be finalized by the time tickets go on sale in mid-April.

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 to 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.

The website is also available in Basque and Spanish.

For more information contact: info@basquesoccerfriendly.com or call Argia Beristain at 703-309-9437 or 208-343-6939

Facebook:           www.facebook.com/basquesoccerfriendly
Twitter:               @BasqueSoccer
Instagram:          basque_soccer_friendly

Basque teenage girls looking for host families this summer, maybe yours?

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Last month I received a couple of requests from young girls in the Basque Country who are looking to further their knowledge of English, as well as the US way of life, in exchange for au-pair and language services. Judging by the presentation letters I asked them to send me, both have a great command of the English language, so communication with your family will be a non-issue.

Leire Romero is a 16-year-old girl from Ibarra, a small town of 4,500 people in Gipuzkoa. Her mother tongue is Basque, but she is also fluent in Spanish and English. She would like to spend 6 weeks with a family in the summer, mid June to the end of July. You can email her at leireromero99@gmail.com.

Garoa Angiozar is a 17 year-old from Berriz, a great little place in Bizkaia. Garoa also speaks Basque, Spanish, and English. She would like to spend the month of June in the United States. Her email address is garoa.an98@gmail.com.

But hey! Why not hear from the girls themselves? Go ahead and clic on the photos to get all the details.

Hopefully something works out for them. They both seem like awesome young little ladies!

Leire Romero

Leire Romero

Garoa Angiozar

Garoa Angiozar