A Basque in Boise

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

Udaleku 2015 registration begins March 1

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nabo_logo_2Every year since the early 1970′s N.A.B.O., in conjunction with one of the Basque clubs, has organized Udaleku, a two-week Basque Culture Summer Camp. Participants have an opportunity to learn more about their Basque heritage while having fun and making new friends.

This year’s edition will be in San Francisco, California. Camp will begin on June 21 and conclude on July 3. Last year, Udaleku took place in Elko, Nevada.

During this time kids will be introduced to Basque language, dance, sports, culture, cuisine, mus, and txistu while getting to know other kids, from not only other Basque clubs, but often from the Basque Country as well. Campers are housed with local families allowing them to get to know how people live in different communities as well.

If you would like your child to participate in Udaleku this year, here is all you need to know.

Udaleku 2015 

Where: San Francisco, California
When: June 21 to July, 3, 2015
Ages: 10-15 years old (must be 10 years old by September 1, 2015 and 15 through August 31, 2015).
Theme: Iparralde
Cost: $375.00
Director: Valerie Arrechea

NOTE: Children must have health insurance through their family.

Camp participants will spend the day learning everything about Basque culture: Dance, Txistu, Euskara, Cooking, Mus, Pilota and Culture. We are planning outings that will include trips to the park, bowling, movie nights, and a picnic mid camp.

Udaleku Applications will be a two part process. Please fill in and submit the form below (Intent to Participate). To simplify the process we request that one Intent be submitted per family. This will create an entry list.





An invoice and full application along with instructions for payment will be sent at a later date.

The cost of camp is $375 per student, paid in full upon receipt of invoice from NABO. Poxpolins will not be provided to students for txistu class. Students should bring their own, or can purchase one from N.A.B.O.

All payments will be accepted through Paypal. Please note that the refund policy has changed for Udaleku.


Valerie Arrechea
NABO President & Udaleku Chair

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Basque soccer friendly coming to Boise on July 29, 2015 at Albertsons Stadium

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Basque-Soccer-FriendlyBoise, Idaho- The Basque Soccer Friendly announces today the official launch of www.basquesoccerfriendly.com, a website devoted to providing information about the international soccer match that will be played in Boise, Idaho, on July 29, 2015 at Albertsons Stadium.

The Basque Soccer Friendly will feature a First Division Basque team from Spain’s La Liga. The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) considers La Liga the strongest league in Europe for the past five years.

The opponent for the Basque team is anticipated to be a Major League Soccer (MLS) team from the Pacific Northwest. MLS is a professional soccer league representing the sport’s highest level in both the United States and Canada.

The Basque Soccer Friendly website provides the latest confirmed information in English, Basque and Spanish. The website will be updated on a continual basis with detailed team information, pre-sale ticket opportunities, where and when to purchase tickets, list of sponsors, additional events and promotions surrounding the game and general FAQs. Join our email list to receive the latest updates and have first access to our sponsor’s promotions and ticket sales.

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

Donostia Language and Culture Program

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Last year, Basque Destination put together an exciting trip based on the successful Spanish Affair’s (Ocho Apellidos vascos) movie. Now, they would  like to introduce you to the Donostia Language and Culture Program (DLC), an intensive language and cultural immersion program aimed at young people aged 13-22 which combines language and culture to give a unique learning experience in one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

DLCThese short, intensive Spanish/French language courses combine learning, trying new activities, with a great “Basque” experience, learning new skills and enjoying new experiences in Spanish, Basque and French.

Students learn and live the language by way of interaction with the city and its people. Carefully programmed cultural and sporting activities every afternoon and evening and full day excursions are all enjoyed with young locals who reinforce the language progress made in the classroom.

The DLC offers a unique multicultural and multilingual experience in one of Europe’s most beautiful and diverse regions. San Sebastian is the European Capital of Culture 2016 and annually hosts a number of spectacular cultural events such as the International Jazz Festival, and the San Sebastian International Film Festival. Its breathtaking natural setting with three beaches and three mountains, its historical heritage, and its astonishing world renowned cuisine make it the perfect place to immerse yourself in its culture and language. Donostia – San Sebastian is situated on the Bay of Biscay, 12 miles from the French border, roughly half way between Madrid and Paris.

The DLC is an all inclusive language and culture program that ensures a deep and meaningful learning experience by involving its students in the vibrant life of the city. The teachers are highly qualified and experienced professionals who understand that a language is learned through a combination of academic rigor and intensity, and innovative fun. The immersment of the students in the social, cultural and sporting life of the city through day to day contact with experts and local students of their own age guarantees that they are exposed to a wide range of cultural and sporting experiences which reinforce what they have studied in the classroom.

The DLC is looking for reliable organizations, consultants, agents and educators to promote their program around the world. We offer full logistical support, publicity material and a generous commission.

Please visit their website, Basque Destination, for more detailed information and if you have any questions please contact Lorea Uranga at info@basquedestination.com.

Donate to Basque Tribune and win a magnificent sculpture

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You can help Basque Tribune showcase the Basque Country to the world and win a magnificent sculpture by the prestigious Basque artist Anton Mendizabal.

Basque Tribune provides information on the Basque Country, in English, but in a little different way than other sites; it doesn’t provide everyday news, but instead pieces of interest written by experts and specialists in various fields including: politics, economy, culture, sports, history, society, and Basque language and a special section on the Basque Country.

How to make a donation?

Make a deposit in one of the options offered here. (Visa, Mastercard, or Paypal).

For every 10 Euros donated you will receive one raffle number for the drawing.To complete the donation process for the drawing, please send an e-mail to sculpture@basquetribune.com with your name and reference of deposit. They will immediately send you your raffle number(s) for the drawing.

What can you win?

Esculturas de Antton MendizabalThe winner will receive a magnificent work of art of the Basque sculptor Anton Mendizabal, called “Ezkerrez Txokora.” This sculpture is a part of the well known project “Pilotaz,“ in which the artist offers the systematic study and aesthetic analysis of the game of pelota in its various forms.

Remember that you will earn a raffle number with each donation of 10 Euros to Basque Tribune.

Promotion runs from October 20, 2014 to February 11, 2015. The drawing will be held on February 13, 2015 before the Notary Public Mercedes Hernáiz Gómez-Dégano. 

Related posts:

Online dating: The joys

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Several months ago I thought it might be a good idea to give online dating a chance. I started by creating an account on Plenty Of Fish, which turned out to be pretty slimy, actually. I ended up closing my profile because I would have cut my wrists if I saw one more photo of a guy holding a fucking fish. Someone should tell them not to take the name of the site literally.

However, not everybody in POF was looking for the female version of Crocodile Dundee:

“Are you itching for a new career? Try escorting, and you will!”

Wanna be an escort?

A few months and several counseling sessions later, I felt confident enough to take another crack at dating, this time by signing up with OK Cupid. The site looked less trailer-trashy than POF, and some of the guys there even had college degrees, which was an encouraging and welcomed change. I put a lot of thought into hatching out my profile because I thought that men would read it before messaging me. How naive! Girls, take my advice: Don’t even bother! Just put up a couple of pictures, with some cleavage if possible, and you’ll be set.

The only guy that actually took (what I thought to be) a genuine interest on me was an ex-Mormon father of six who wanted to start dating again – except on Mondays and Thursdays, as he was busy those days fucking his married ex-neighbor. But hey, it’s all good. They had straightened it up with the husband previous to making the schedule so he could stay home with the kids while his wife took a break.

I’ll illustrate my point with a few examples (all screenshots painfully acquired by personal experience). After putting that much effort into describing myself, I really, REALLY did not appreciate one-liner messages that didn’t touch on anything mentioned in my profile. Jesus Christ! I’m from another country, how hard is it to break the ice? I even brought up the issue to my suitors’ attention:

*PLEASE READ* Avoid a first message that only says “Hey baby” or “You’re hot”, “Whassup,” and shit like that, because the first thing that comes to mind is “WTF?”, and then I won’t answer.

All wrong 1

I also made it extremely clear in my profile that I am one of those people bothered by spelling mistakes or reading “How r u?” on a text message – hell, on any kind of message – and I urged my potential dates to please write out their words correctly.

All wrong 2

One of the things I loved the most about online dating is how sensitive and understanding men are.

And what about those who think they just logged on to WebMD? Apparently, no issue is big enough to share on a dating site. Or not big at all.


Othertimes, they are simply bat-crazy.

I’m sure you’ve encountered your share of shitty situations if you’ve ever dared to date online. For those of you girls that haven’t but are thinking about it, don’t say I didn’t warn you. However, I would like to end this post on a high note. Not everything sucks in the online dating world. I was able to find those well-acquainted with my culture, something that is extremely important to me.

We are all terrorists