A Basque in Boise

The Bombing of Gernika: 80th Anniversary Commemoration and Exhibit Opening at the Basque Museum & Cultural Center

For Immediate Release
For more information, contact:
Basque Museum & Cultural Center
Annie Gavica, Executive Director
Phone: 208.343.2671
Email: annieg@basquemuseum.com

The Basque Museum will mark the 80th anniversary of a Basque tragedy with a survivor’s discussion panel and exhibit opening

Boise, Idaho (April 13, 2017) — The Basque Museum & Cultural Center is opening a new exhibit on April 26. Gernika Gogoratuz – Remembering Gernika will commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Bombing of Gernika, a horrific event that arguably led to the surrender of the Basque Country during the Spanish Civil War. The anniversary will be marked by a discussion panel let by David Lachiondo, PhD. and will include survivors and eyewitnesses of the day’s horrific events. They will give their accounts of their time growing up in Franco’s Dictatorship and their experiences during the market day on April 26, 1937.

We will follow up the discussion panel with a commemoration of the 80th anniversary at the Basque Museum (611 Grove Street) with participation by the Biotzetik Basque Choir, Oinkari Basque Dancers, and representatives from other Basque organizations in Idaho. Finally, we will observe a moment of silence to honor all those that perished that fateful day and then open the Basque Museum & Cultural Center’s exhibit “Gernika Gogoratuz: Remembering Gernika”.

On April 26, 1937, the small town of Gernika was busting at the seams for their weekly market day when German aircraft flew overhead dropping incendiary bombs on the quiet town. As people were running for cover, planes came back around and gunned those down that the bombs may have missed. It took more than 50 years for Germany to take responsibility of this devastating event, and it is to be argued that Spain have yet to acknowledge their involvement. The city of Gernika is now a thriving city full of vibrant culture & history and is now home to the Peace Museum & considered by some the Peace Capital. Through the exhibit at the Basque Museum & Cultural Center, we will share not only the tragedy & triumph of that small town, but also the impact it had around the world, especially in the United States.

The Basque Museum & Cultural Center’s mission is to preserve, promote and perpetuate Basque history and culture. The Basque Museum also hopes to educate about the Basque history and culture in the Basque Country as well as their migration and influence on both the sheep industry and the general cultures and traditions of the western states they called home. The Basque Museum & Cultural Center is located at 611 W Grove Street in downtown Boise. Hours are Tuesday through Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturday 11am to 3pm. For more information, visit basquemuseum.com.

We invite anyone interested in learning more about the bombing of Gernika and the significance to the culture and this Idaho community to take part in this event.

Boise’s Korrika 2017 in images

The 20th Edition of Korrika has come and gone, leaving millions of memories etched in the minds of participants all around the world. From our little corner in Boise, Idaho, we’d like to share with you our celebration in support of the Basque language.

Special thanks to The Basque Museum and Cultural Center for organizing the event and Maialen Goirizelaia for documenting it.


Korrika 20! BatZuk! Boise, Idaho USA

Posted by Basque Museum & Cultural Center on Saturday, April 8, 2017



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Mark your calendar for the New England Basque Club Jai-Aldi

I would love to make it to New England’s Jaialdi one of these years. Unfortunately, it’s a bit out of the way from Boise. However, if you are luckier than I am ― maybe you live closer or are travelling through Connecticut in May ― stop by and say hi.

All New England Basque Club members and friends are invited to participate in our Jai-Aldi Celebration on Saturday May 20th at Riki Lasa’s farm in Connecticut.

Where: 426 South Grand Street, Suffield CT 06093
When: May 20th, 11am to 7pm

This year’s program will include a memorial to remember our deceased loves ones, an exhibition of Basque rural sports, a Paella Challenge with the participation of the different chapters of the NEBC, and a Mus Tournament.

Dinner will be cooked and served by the NEBC and it will include bread, an assortment of salads, paella, roasted pork, dessert and coffee. There will be also a cash bar run by the club.

All attendees will be asked to make a contribution of 20$ per person (5$ per child).

RSVP before May 6th to nebasque@gmail.com if you are planning on attending. If you are interested in taking part in the Mus Tournament, drop us a line in a different email.

Volunteers to help out during the event are much needed. Reach out if you think that you can give us a hand.

Thank you very much for your support! Looking forward to seeing you.
Check out the NEBC Facebook page for updates.


Korrika 2017 App available for iPhone and Android

As you know, Korrika, the event organized by AEK in favor of the Basque language, started on March 20th in Otxandio (Bizkaia), and will finish on April 9th in Iruña (Nafarroa). Many Basque entities in the Diaspora also organize Korrika events, including Boise and Washington DC.

If you are in the Basque Country or would simply like to know Korrika’s itinerary, you can download the Korrika 2017 app, available both for iOS and Android devices. There, you will find the events schedule, the Korrika map, real-time updates, links with information, and a section to enter a contest for the chance to win prices if you get all the answers right for that day.

Download Korrika 2017 for iPhone

Download Korrika 2017 for Android

Korrika in Boise! Save the date: Saturday, April 8 @ 10am

The 20th Edition of Korrika will take place March 20-April 9th, and this year will travel from Otxandio (Bizkaia) to Iruña (Nafarroa). The event organized by AEK (Basque acronym for Coordinator for Basque Language and Literacy) takes place once every two years to create awareness of the Basque language and raise funds to support AEK centers of instruction.

Many Basque entities in the Diaspora organize Korrika events in solidarity with those in the Basque Country, and Boise is definitely in the list.

When: Saturday, April 8 @ 10 am (Registration 9:40 am)

Where: Basque Center (601 W Grove Street)

Price: $1-$10 donation per adult (children free)

Wear red, white, or green in support of Euskera!



Basque is a language, a culture, a way of life: the language of our land, our cultural heritage – a way of being and living in the world.
For years now, we Basque speakers and lovers have been on a mission to strengthen our language, with our sights set on a better future.


Korrika 20 reaches out to you with an invitation to discover Euskera, the Basque language, and to join us in using it. So that you too can enjoy the wealth of language and universal cultural diversity, by learning, talking, paving the way for others…


AEK has the ultimate aim to see everyone in the Basque Country speak Basque and thereby fulfil its dream of achieving a plural, diverse world. It also wants all languages and their speakers to live in the Basque Country in equal conditions. It’s a question of justice: the survival of minority languages and defence of the rights of those who use them. We believe in the need to take care of and protect Euskera, the Basque language. Basque must be developed in equal conditions, day by day and in all areas of life, so that everyone, men and women alike, may live in equal conditions, every day and everywhere.


I, you, he, she, we, you, they… it’s important to join forces and do your bit: my language, your language, our culture, our cultures, this world, these worlds. At the end of the day, supporting a language means taking a stance in favour of all languages; in favour of universal culture. We invite you to join the celebration for language equality. To help create a more universal world.


Korrika is organised by AEK, an organisation with the mission to recover Basque and revive the language among the people of the Basque Country. To achieve its objective it teaches Basque language and literacy to adults, also working in other areas such as the research and publishing of educational material, teacher training, organising cultural activities and programmes to encourage Basque use, designing and implementing plans for regularised introduction of the language to companies and institutions, and organising awareness campaigns.

The first Basque literacy groups were created around 1965, when the first campaign was launched to recover the Basque language. As more and more groups took shape, while continuing its work in the field, AEK also started to promote teaching for people interested in learning the language. That mission, unchanged today, led, with the backing and support of Euskaltzaindia (Academy of the Basque Language) to the creation of the first evening schools or gau-eskolak, followed by the euskaltegis or Basque language schools. Today, AEK is one of the most important organisations in the field of teaching the Basque language and its literacy to adults, with over 100 schools and more than 500 teachers, offering support in drawing up plans to introduce the language and programmes to encourage its use. AEK also provides a translation and correction service and publishes the magazine AIZU!

One exciting thing we’ve noticed since the last edition of Korrika is the huge social response to the initiative. On the one hand, more and more people are choosing to use the Basque language in their everyday lives following the call to Basque speakers launched in Korrika 19. But also refreshing is the increasingly greater numbers of people who are coming to our schools to learn Basque. However, as far as public funding is concerned, the euskaltegis still do not receive the financing they need. In the Autonomous Basque Community the situation is not yet regularised, although progress has been made; in the French Basque Country (Iparralde), subsidies have increased, but not to the extent required by teaching Basque to adults, and in Nafarroa (Navarra), despite the darkest years having come to an end, the steps taken to date have been small. It is essential to accelerate the teaching of Basque to adults that is so badly needed, and for greater investment to be made. That’s why all of the funds raised for Korrika 20 will go towards helping the AEK euskaltegis.

For more information, please visit Korrika’s website: http://www.korrika.eus/en.

Basque Culture II. International Summer School in Donostia-San Sebastian

Miramar Palace. Venue for the courses @ ehu.eus

BASQUE CULTURE! More than just a summer school

Would you like to experience a dream summer in Donostia-San Sebastián, one of the most beautiful cities in the Basque Country? The University of the Basque Country, a leader in the Basque university system, is offering you the chance to take part in the engaging course “Basque Culture II. International Summer School“, from 3 July to 14 July 2017. This course, taught by internationally prestigious instructors, offers a unique academic opportunity which will allow you to get to know Basque society first-hand while you study its language and its customs.

But that’s not all, because it will also be an unbeatable opportunity to live in the Basque Country. Try out the sports activities our beaches have to offer or get to know our gastronomy, music and dances first-hand!

General objectives:

  • To learn about Basque culture and identity under the guidance of prestigious international experts in fields like literature, linguistics, history, sociology, anthropology, economics and science.
  • To learn about Basque culture and identity both through fun immersion (visits to the surroundings, practical seminars, and so on) and Basque-language classes, prioritising a practical and cultural focus.

Specific objectives:

  • To reflect on Basque culture and identity and its particularities (whether historical, symbolic, and so forth).
  • To become familiar with the latest academic research regarding the different fields that comprise it, such as language and literature, anthropology, history, economics, etc.
  • To acquire a working knowledge of the Basque language that allows one to communicate in everyday activities.
  • To learn about Basque culture and geography, through excursions and fun activities.
  • To be educated in the contribution that the University of the Basque Country has made to the study of and scholarly reflection on Basque culture and identity.

Your summer begins here!

  • City: Donostia-San Sebastián
  • Course dates: 07/03/2017-07/14/2017
  • Language: English
  • Number of class hours: 45 hours
  • Tuition fees: 580 euros
  • Course reservation from 01/09/2017 to 04/29/2017
  • Completion of registration form 04/30/2017 to 06/01/2017
  • Limited places. For enrolments outside the time periods indicated contact basque.culture@ehu.eus
  • There is an option to reserve accommodation with the special Basque Culture rate at Olarain  Accommodation from 07/02/2017 to 07/15/2017 from 66,90 euros for a single room and 94,05 euros for a double room, both with breakfast included. More information in the Accommodation section.
  • Limited places. Reservation of accommodation is only guaranteed for those registrations carried out before 29 April.

For more information or to sign up, please visit http://www.ehu.eus/en/web/basque-culture/home.

Some movies from the Basque Film Library collection can be seen online

What a cool way to start a Monday! I’ve checked out a couple of the videos from the website, and they are so worth it! I hope you guys enjoy them as much as I did.

Basque Library Film collection | Diario Vasco

Ricardo Aldarondo | San Sebastian
17 marzo 2015

The oldest movie filmed in the Basque Country kept in the Film Library, ‘Irún 1912’; images of Plencia or Mondragón during festivities in the 20’s and 30’s; the little known story ‘Jose Antonio Aguirre in New York’ (1942); films about anchovy fishing in Donostia in the 50’s or the Urola Railway; a testimony of the first Kilometroak celebrated in 1977, or little known documentaries by directors like Pedro Olea, Jose Antonio Sistiaga and Juan Miguel Gutiérrez, are some of the key pieces in the Basque Film Library archives that already can be seen online, at www.filmotecavasca.com/es/fondos.

The website has enabled a new section called ‘Collections’ (‘Fondos’), with about twenty movies at the moment and which will grow at the rate of one movie per month.

“We want the film heritage to be accessible to citizens, Basques and people around the world, in addition to facilitating the work of some researchers, who can avoid displacement,” explained the director of the Basque Film Library, Joxean Fernández, during the initiative’s presentation that is already underway.

“For the time being, films made between the 1910’s and 1980’s have been incorporated, for their historical, artistic or cultural interest, and trying to maintain a geographical balance between the different regions”, said the director-curator of the Basque Film Library, Ion Lopez, who highlighted the uniqueness of the images contained in all these films. The archive has also incorporated two collections, one with titles made by Gotzon Elorza, and another dedicated to films about the Civil War.

This initiative has a non-commercial character, intended for the free viewing of films which are however subject to rights to use of any of the images for other purposes.

These are the films chosen in the first phase:

Irun 1912 (1912): This is the filming of Saint Martial Day on June 30, 1912. It is the oldest film shot in the Basque Country preserved in the Film Library.

Images of the opening soccer match in San Mames (Bilbao, August 21, 1913): Images of the inauguration of the San Mames soccer field in Bilbao. It was inaugurated with a game between Athletic Club de Bilbao and Real Racing de Irun.

The Day of Guipuzcoa (1924): Celebration of the Day of Guipuzcoa during Primo de Rivera’s dictatorship. A celebration designed for the exaltation of the province’s Basque-Spanish.

Festivities in Plencia (1927): Images from the eve of the of San Antolin festivities on September 1, 1927. High quality images of the town of Plencia and its festival.

Experiences of 3D cinema (1930’s): Images of the approach to 3D cinema by the Teofilo Mingueza, from Vitoria-Gazteiz.

Festivals of Mondragon (1933): Images of the festivities in Arrasate/Mondragon. In addition to the images of the population, you can see images of female tennis players of the time.

Jose Antonio Aguirre in New York (1942): A film describing the life of lehendakari Jose Antonio Aguirre and the Basque Government while exiled in New York.

Spanish charities. Caja de Ahorros and Monte de Piedad Municipal de Bilbao (1944): Promotional film produced by the Azcona brothers’ production company, commissioned by the Municipal Savings Bank of Bilbao.

25th Anniversary of the Urola Railway (Zumarraga – Zumaia). 22 of February of 1951 (1951): Commemorative film of the 25 years of the Urola railroad. In addition to the celebratory acts, you can see the train route.

Sea People (1957): Documentary about anchovy fishing at the Donostia-San Sebastian wharf. This is one of the examples of films restoration made by the Basque Film Library.

The town of Vitoria (1968): Images of the day of the blouses of July 25 and the festivities of La Blanca.

Encounters 72-Pamplona-Running of the bulls 72 (1972): Film made by Jose Antonio Sistiaga, which shows the cultural meetings organized in Pamplona-Iruñea during that year.

Kilometroak 77 (1977): Film made by Juan Jose Franco on the first edition of Kilometroak.

Xalbador Gaztain Kormutxa (1981): Movie in honor of bertsolari Xalbador made by Juan Miguel Gutierrez.

Bihotzez (1985): Film by Pedro Olea in tribute to the effort made in the reconstruction of Casco Viejo of Bilbao after the 1983 flooding.

(Original article at www.diariovasco.com/culturas/cine/201503/17/algunas-peliculas-fondos-filmoteca-20150317131320.html)

Opportunity to help with Boise’s Julia Davis Park renovation while commemorating Basque culture

Would you like to honor the Basque Community as it supports the renovation of Boise’s Julia Davis Park?

In 2005, a group formed the Julia Davis Park Second Century Coalition with the idea to plan a public celebration of the park’s first 100 years and to “give Julia a new dress.” After two years of planning, Charles Hummel led a design committee to decide how to renovate and upgrade the park. One of his plans — a new, circular meeting space — is now coming to life, and the Basque community has an opportunity to help build it and commemorate our own culture in the process.

The meeting space is located between the rose garden and the zoo, situated on the allee that bisects the park. A coalition of eight Rotary clubs has made a generous $150,000 gift for this Rotary Grand Plaza, designed by the award-winning Jensen-Belts firm.

The Basque community has the opportunity to fund a decorative pillar in this meeting space, featuring a beveled face with artwork representing the Basque Community. The Basque presence in Boise is significant and is currently represented at the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial and through public art: “Laiak” on the Basque Block, the Basque Mural, and interpretive signs on buildings on the Basque Block and two buildings on Idaho Street. This will be one more way for visitors to learn of the Basque contribution to the history of Boise and is a wonderful way for the Basque community to support another location that will remain an important public space in our city.

If you would like to contribute, The Basque Museum & Cultural Center (611 Grove Street) can take your donation and answer questions. All donations should be in by April 1, 2017. The goal is to raise $10,000, and there are different ways to help reach that goal:

  • Send a donation to the Community Foundation (www.idcomfdn.org/funds/JuliaDavisParkFund)
  • Mail the donation to Julia Davis Project 3100 W Crescent Rim Suite 408 Boise, 83706 and specify “Basque”
  • Drop off your donation at the Basque Museum or the Basque Center (601 Grove Street) and specify “Basque Pillar.”

Eskerrik asko!

Acclaimed documentary ‘Las pelotaris’, free online from March 8 to the 12

‘Las pelotaris – A girls game’

‘Las pelotaris – A girls game’ is a short documentary film by Andrés Salaberri Pueyo and Daniel Burgui Iguzkiza about women who play the Basque sport of pelota. It tells the story of a group of enthusiast women who try to make, with enormous sacrifices, their way of life in a sport which they feel true passion: the Pelota or Jai Alai. Despite their achievements in the court and championships, it is hard for them to gain recognition in a narrow universe predominantly ruled by and for men.

I’ve been wanting to watch this documentary forever. What a wonderful topic! But most importantly, my great friend Esther Ciganda is in it!

In honor of International Women’s Day, you can get a FREE PASS to see the documentary online from the 8 to the 12 of March. Just follow these steps:

  1. Visit www.feelmakers.com OR www. bit.do/laspelotaris
  2. Login: Just choose a valid email and a password
  3. Choose your subtitles, play the film, and enjoy!

The 2017 program of the Eloise Garmendia Bieter Chair will start in Boise this week

Iñaki Goirizelaia, BSU’s first Eloise Garmendia Bieter Chair (photoBoga)

The program of the Eloise Garmendia Bieter Chair that the Etxepare Basque Institute inaugurated at Boise State University will be launched on March 4 and 11. The first person to teach in the program will be Iñaki Goirizelaia, former president of the University of the Basque Country, who will impart classes to 35 students at the city with the widest Basque diaspora.

The course will explore the historical efforts that the Basques —a nation though not a nation state— have made to re-establish themselves after forty years of dictatorship in Spain. Their project to create a comprehensive political entity entails the creation of a successful and modern educational system and public media structure within Europe.

In addition, the aperture of the chair will be held on March 8. The Boise State Choir and the Boise Basque Choir will perform a selection of Basque songs followed by the opening of the photograph exhibit at the SUB titled: “Inner Strength: Portraits of Basque Immigrant Women.”

The Eloise Garmendia Bieter Chair was created through the agreement signed in July 2015. Thanks to this Chair, a visiting professor is invited to offer teaching to graduate students every year, with the aim of increasing studies and research on issues related to Basque language and culture.

This chair is named after the mother of the Mayor of Boise —David H. Bieter, the only Basque-speaking Mayor outside the Basque Country—for her commitment to Basque culture and her prominent role in the community. This Chair reinforces the teaching of Basque language and culture in Boise State University and strengthens the academic presence of Basque culture in a strategic city like Boise.