A Basque in Boise

Basque BSU intern looking for host family in Boise from Sept-Dec 2017


It looks like Boise is becoming more and more popular among young Basque students wanting to round up their education and expand their work experience, while sharpening their English language skills and enjoy all the friendliness and good times the city and its people have to offer.

This time, Miren, a 23 year old girl from Pamplona, is looking a host family that will host her a few months at the end of this year, from September to December 2017.

You can get in touch with her by email at miren.iturri@hotmail.com.

In her own words

Hello families! I am Miren Iturri, 23 years old Basque student from Pamplona (Spain). Actually, I am studying a master called “Spanish like Foreign Language in Professional Fields” in Barcelona.

From September to December I have to do my internship as a Spanish teacher in a college and I have decided to do in Boise. There are many reasons why I want to go there but the most important one is because I am Basque and I would like to live a Basque experience out of Basque Country. For me is very strange that Basque language is spoken in United Stated but at the same time it is awesome to know there is a bit of my culture across the Atlantic.

The only thing that I need is a family that welcomes me at home. I have enough experience living with other family because I have been living three months in Australia like AuPair. I was taking care of three sweets kids and it was an incredible experience. We enjoyed together and sometimes, I teach them some Spanish and Basque. In addition, before studying this master, I have studied Primary Education and I have to tell you that I love kids and also teaching.

If you want to have fun, have a different experience and learn some languages, I am here to teach you. I would love to repeat that experience and to grow up as a person and professional.

Thank you so much!

Real Soccer Club is looking for families to host Basque students this sumer

Summer in Idaho is a great thing to experience. Maybe you’d like to share it with a foreign exchange student with the Basque Country?

Real Soccer Club is looking for three families to host a student. The students come from the Bilbao area in the Basque Country, and they will stay in Idaho from June 29th through July 26th.

So go ahead, read on, and then click on the following link to start the process:

Register Now to Explore Hosting a Student from Spain 

If you have additional questions, please contact Juanjo Carmona Serradilla at 208-713-8924 or kuintela@msn.com.

Real Soccer Club Vison

The Club is committed to supporting and spreading the word about the rich history of the Basque culture in Idaho and in the world. They accomplish this by:

(1) Enabling their soccer club families as well as other members of our community to host students from the Basque Country. (They partnered in 2011 with a Basque organization called Larrabetzu Cultural Exchanges, located in Larrabetzu near Bilbao, to help us implement the Exchanges).

real-soccer-cronw-logo-generic and Larabetzu Logo

(2) Educating interested families about the Basque culture via specific cultural activities during the exchanges, for example visits and guided tours to the Basque Museum in Boise.

(3) Giving opportunities to our soccer players, their families, and other interested member of our community to visit the Basque country so they can experience first hand the wonderful Basque culture and people.

Considerations when hosting a student

  • Hosting families will receive 300 Euros (about $330 — check current rates) to help with their hosting expenses!! Current, or former Real Soccer families or their friends can host!
  • Students are fully insured
  • If you go on vacation or a short trip, they can go with you as well.
  • This is a great chance to expose these kids to the American culture & our incredible outdoors. Experiencing the american culture and improving their English skills are the main objectives of this trip for these students.
  • Our kids will have the opportunity to relate to students from another culture & build new friendships.

Students’ profiles

Ane (Girl, 14)

I’m Ane Goikoetxea, and I´m 14 years old. I live in a house in the Basque Country. My house is not like a farm, but my father has a small vineyard and we have a big garden with different types of flowers, trees and so on…

Read more about Ane

Uxue (Girl, 15)

HELLO, My name is Uxue and I´m 15 years old (This year I´m turning 16). I live in Lazkao, a little town from the Basque Country.
I like to be active. I´ve been attending to Basque dance Classes since i was 5, and I still continue. I also love hiking

Read more about Uxue

Lide (Girl, 15)

My name is Lide Billelabeitia, I am 15 years old girl and this summer I will be traveling to Boise to improve my English and learn about your culture.
I live in a little town called “Mungia” in the Basque Country, which is in the North of Spain (Europe). I know that in the 20 th century, Basque people emigrated to Idaho to work as shepherds and nowadays you have a museum about our culture also.

Read more about Lide

A complete overview of the Exchange Program can be accessed on the Real Soccer Club website.

Boise and Bilbao: A pair of Boomtowns, by Scot Ludwig (Idaho Statesman)

Boise and Bilbao: A pair of Boomtowns

Scot Ludwig |Guest opinion

Scot Ludwig |Guest opinion

What if a technology wiz from Bilbao who fell in love with Boise during a visit hatched the next eBay or Google right here? This is a real possibility, and it is anchored to the historic connections between our two cities and regions. Since 1890, there has been an economic relationship between Boise and the Basque Country, when the valley relied heavily on sheepherders from the Basque region of Spain to work on the burgeoning sheep industry. Over 100 years later, Boise continues to renew those bonds with events like the Basque Soccer Friendly and Jaialdi last summer that celebrated Basque sports, culture and heritage and in doing so strengthened the bridge between our two regions. Today, we stand poised to deepen this longstanding economic and cultural exchange with a partnership dedicated to enhancing the lives of Bilbainos and Boiseans alike.

Recently, a delegation of officials and business leaders from the Basque province of Bizkaia traveled to Boise to champion the past, and more importantly, the future of economic partnerships between Boise and Bilbao. I learned from Asier Alea Castaños, General Manager of the Trade Promotion for the Bizkaian Government, that there are currently one million people living in metropolitan Bilbao and its GDP per capita is an impressive 122 percent of the European Union (EU) average. To support the highly industrialized economy, its universities develop more science and technology professionals than the rest of Europe, and Bizkaia is the top ranked research, development and innovation (R+D+I) region in all of Spain. Bizkaia prides itself on its culture of innovation.

In Boise, it’s clear to see we are experiencing substantial growth of our own with cranes across our downtown cityscape, receiving recognition as a “techy boomtown” with projects like Trailhead and the reality that we provide innovators and entrepreneurs an environment in which the cost of doing business is nearly one-third less than doing so in California or Washington. In Bilbao, some of the main industries are aeronautics, automotive, electronic and information technologies, energy, and maritime. In Boise, our major business clusters are analytics software, environmental technology, advanced energy, hi-tech manufacturing, hardware assembly, national call centers and agricultural technology. With the many corresponding industries and similarly innovative mentalities, the possibilities for economic development benefiting both Boise and Bilbao are endless.

Leaders in both regions also realize that great cities depend upon outstanding universities. Currently, Boise State University recruits and the Basque Government funds Ph.D. students from the Basque Country to study and conduct research in the BSU College of Engineering. Additionally, each year, there are over 600 students who complete coursework focused on Basque related topics at Boise State. The development of an international perspective is quickly becoming an essential element of education in the increasingly interdependent economy. This global emphasis highlights the need to further develop a collaborative network. Recently, university officials and Bizkaia representatives met to discuss potential collaborations to enhance economic development in both regions.

The synergy between Boise and Bilbao is intensifying. This can only mean good things for the boomtowns of Boise and Bilbao. We need to celebrate more than Basque dance, music and sport. Both Boise and Bilbao are entrepreneurial dynamic societies. Economic developments are on the horizon.

Scot M. Ludwig has a law practice based in Boise and is a member of the Boise City Council.

(Original article here)

From the BBC: Basques reinvent themselves as education power

Lately, the world seems to have gone crazy – or maybe it always was, but social media and instant sharing makes it easier to notice now, I don’t know. I get up every morning afraid of reading about the horrible things that happened while I was sleeping. So it was awfully refreshing to wake up this morning to good news for a change, thanks to an article publish on the BBC‘s website.

Education is the key to a brighter future. I’m very proud of the Basque Country and it makes me happy to see that we are on the right track to shinning!

Basques reinvent themselves as education power

Awesome news for Gatibu fans in the US. Get ready, they’re coming this summer!

Today, Gatibu (my favorite Basque music group), announced their Summer 2016 Concert Tour, which includes performing in a few US cities for the first time ever. Sadly, I will cross paths with them – I’ll be enjoying some much needed recharging with my family in Ortuella – but hopefully you won’t have to miss out.


Gatibu, Basque rock band from Gernika, Bizkaia

Next concert dates

06/11/2016, Sala Kubik (Vitoria – Gasteiz) – Buy tickets

06/18/2016, Plaça del Diamant (Barcelona) – Buy tickets

06/27/2016, The Basement (Brooklyn) – Buy tickets

06/28/2016, Centro Vasco Euskal Etxea, A.C. (Mexico City)

06/30/2016, Basque Cultural Center (South San Francisco) – Buy tickets

07/03/2016, Southern California Basque Club (Chino) – Buy tickets

07/07/2016, Folklife Festival (Washington, D.C.) – Buy tickets

A bit of background

Gatibu, one of today’s most recognized rock bands in the Basque Country, is deeply rooted in the history and culture of Gernika, Bizkaia. In 2000, Gatibu’s lead singer, Alex Sardui, and guitarist Haimar Arejita, joined their musical interests and started the band. They chose to name it Gatibu, which means “Captive” in Basque.

In my opinion, the most important attribute that sets Gatibu apart from the rest of Basque-language artists – whether rock bands or folk singers – is that they made a point to sing in Biscayan Basque, a dialect of the language unique to that part of the Basque Country and very different from the euskara batua (unified Basque language) taught in schools and used in Basque radio, television and newspapers.

In 2002, they released their first album titled “Zoramena” (Craziness), which turned out to be the best name for the album as the band sold more than 20,000 copies, something unheard of for a group that sings in Biscayan. Gatibu’s first album put the band at the forefront of rock & roll in the Basque Country. They performed their first concert on March 7, 2003, at the “Revolution” club in Gernika. They haven’t stopped since then!


Zoramena (2002)

Disko Infernu (2005)

Laino Guztien Gainetik, Sasi Guztien Azpitik (2008)

Zuzenean Bizitzeko Gogoa (2010)

Zazpi Kantoietan (2012)

Euritan Dantzan (2014)

Interested in helping spread the Basque culture this summer? The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is looking for volunteers


Visitors to the 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival will explore the Basque Country’s unique language and distinct cultural heritage. The 2016 Folklife Festival will take place Wednesday, June 29, through Monday, July 4, and Thursday, July 7, through Sunday, July 10. It will be located on the National Mall, between Fourth and Seventh streets, adjacent to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Air and Space. Admission to the Festival is free and hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, with special evening events beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Festival is co-sponsored by the Regional Government of Biscay and presented in partnership with the National Park Service.

Volunteers are critical to the success of the Festival and work closely with the Festival staff and participants. Volunteers contribute to a variety of duties, which include conducting surveys, assisting stage managers, audiovisual documentation of performances, and general administrative and production support. These are just a few of the opportunities available. Year after year, volunteers return to the Festival because it offers great fun, great people, and lots to learn.

Please follow the link to apply. Not all opportunities are posted yet; please check back soon for a complete list. Applications are due June 12.

If you already have a Smithsonian EVANS Volunteer Account, you will not need to fill out the application, but you will need to update your Festival availability and job preferences. Log into your account and look under Volunteer Menu in the left column. Select My Profile, where you will be able to fill out your Festival volunteer job preferences and availability.

Contact volunteer coordinator Michelle Banks at CFCH-Volunteer@si.edu or call 202.633.7488 for more information.

Related posts:

Today is the last day to register for the summer course “Excellence in Basque Studies VI” held in Donostia


The registration period for the summer course Excellence in Basque Studies ends today, Tuesday, May 31st. The course, aimed to current or future readers of Basque language and Culture abroad, will be held in Donostia from 7 to 8 July, and has been organized by the UPV-EHU and the Etxepare Basque Institute.

This course provides training for current and future lecturers of universities around the world, and for this purpose, expert speakers in different areas of the Basque language and culture have been invited.This edition will deep in topics such as translation studies, identity, diaspora, gastronomy, sports or cinema.

Registration is open to anyone who wants to participate in the course, and those who do so before May 31 will benefit from a lower price. You can check all the information on the website of the Summer Courses or follow this link to sign up: Registration.

Watch Euskal Selekzioa vs Corsica soccer friendly today on ETB1/eitb.eus

Today, Friday May 27 at 12 pm MST, the Basque soccer national team will play against Corcega in Ajaccio. The game will be broadcast live by ETB1 and eitb.eus (commentators will speak in Basque).

Players for Euskal Selekzioa include: Gorka Iraizoz, Carlos Gurpegui, Gorka Elustondo, Ander Iturraspe, Mikel Rico, Javier Eraso, Markel Susaeta, and Sabin Merino from Athletic; Joseba Zaldua, Mikel González, Yuri Berchiche, David Zurutuza, and Xabi Prieto from Real Sociedad; Asier Riesgo, Ander Capa, Jon Ansotegi, and Dani García from Eibar; and Javi Garrido from UD Las Palmas.


Corsican, Basque national football teams to play friendly match

A friendly match between the Corsican and Basque national football teams will be held on May 27 in Ajaccio, Corsica, the first time ever that the two teams face each other. Part of the money raised from ticket sales will be donated to the University of Corsica sudents’ unions.

As the match was unveiled, the President of the Assembly of Corsica, Jean-Guy Talamoni, pointed out that one of football’s “great virtues” is to gather people “around their identity.” Talamoni recalled that Corsican team players will be “carrying the message of a people that is seeking sovereignty.”

Corsican and Basque football federations hope that one day the two national teams receive official recognition allowing them participate in the UEFA and FIFA competitions. So far, however, the teams are only allowed to play friendlies.

Corsican President Gilles Simeoni recently proposed to organize another friendly match between the Catalan and Corsican national teams in a meeting with Catalan President Carles Puigdemont.

The Corsican team played its most recent match against Burkina Faso on 29 May 2015. The Corsicans defeated the African team 1-0.

The Basques played Catalonia on 26 December 26 2015 in Barcelona. The Basque team won 0-1.

You can click below to watch the game online:

University of the Basque Country summer course : The (New) Rol of the Basque Diaspora in 21st Century Euskadi

After 20 years in Boise, it is hard to believe that there was a time when I had no knowledge of the Basque Diaspora. I think I was the first person from Ortuella to move to Idaho, and there was no subject in school – it’s still lacking, I think – that taught Basque kids about Basque emigration. For this reason, I’m grateful for people like Imanol Galdós, who work hard to give the Diaspora the place in the world it deserves.

If you want to know more about Basques abroad, you can’t miss his course this summer. Check it out below:


The University of the Basque Country is offering a summer course on July 18-19, called “The (New) Role of the Basque Diaspora in in 21st Century Euskadi.” The course is organized by Imanol Galdós, and it will include several experts and voices from the Diaspora who will analyze its current role. Some of the presenters will include:

  • John Ysursa (Boise State University)
  • Xabier Zubillaga from Necochea, Argentina (former director of the Basque-Argentine Institute of Cooperation and Development)
  • Aitor Arruti (Barcelona Euskal Etxea)
  • Marian Elorza and Asier Vallejo (representatives of the Basque Government)

For complete information on the course, or to enroll, click here. Donostia will be a great place to be this summer, especially as it celebrates being one of this year’s European Culture Capitals.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival upcoming Basque events

You have probably heard by now that the Smithsonian in Washington DC is set to explore our Basque Culture during the 2016 Folklife Festival in July. However, there are fun events and activities in May, leading up to the big event.

So, mark your calendars! Plans for community engagement activities are pretty much locked in. I wouldn’t miss it if I lived a little bit closer by.


Basque Journeys: Stories in Film

Part 1: Zuretzako by Javi Zubizarreta and Song of the Basques by Emily Lobsenz. Q&A with the filmmakers. Sunday, May 15, 1-4:30 pm, Warner Bros Theater, National Museum of American History. See it on Facebook.

Part 2: Asier ETA Biok by Aitor Merino and Amaia Merino. Q&A with artists and scholars – Aitor can’t make it in from Spain, but we’re hopefully going to Skype him in. Saturday, May 28, 1-2:30 pm, Warner Bros Theater, National Museum of American History. See it on Facebook.

These two events are FREE to the public.


Third (and final) Installment – $25 TICKETS for unlimited cider – tickets not yet available, but will be in a few days. Sunday, May 22, 6:30-9pm, Colony Club, 3118 Georgia Ave NW.

Mercedes Mendive, Basque American accordionist, will be our guest performer in from Elko, NV. She’s been studying the accordion since age 10, and traces her musical pedigree back to a very unique and rare musical style from the Basque Country of the mid-20th century. She’s innovated this style, which she describes as “clean, happy and light” with her own touches inspired by the American West. Meanwhile, Anxo will be offering their usual suite of Basque small bites or pintxos, plus unlimited cider in the txotx activity.

Basque Untapped: Ciders of the Basque Country

Guided cider tasting and talk with small edibles hosted by Smithsonian Associates – $50 TICKETS. Tuesday, June 21, 6:45-8:45pm, Castle Commons, Smithsonian Castle.