A Basque in Boise

What’s important?

So I may be laid off at the end of this month. It’s been five weeks since the news broke that my company was being bought out, and I’m still processing. It’s been shitty. It’s been stressful. It is stressful. I’m all over the place. A constant knot in my stomach. At least my clothes aren’t as snug anymore. I’m LinkedIn’s most avid user these days. I feel lost and anxious and nervous. I have no idea what will happen at the end of this month, when my employment ends and I, at 50, face the stark reality of unemployment in an employer’s market. There are jobs out there that pay crappy wages and require years of experience, an MBA, a Ph.D., and your virginity for an entry-level job.

But today I invited myself over to Jesus’ house for wine and chorizo and conversation, and he delivered. And we spent the whole evening talking about our favorite movies (wink, wink). And on the drive home, I started to think that when it comes down to it, I am a lucky girl. I get hugs from my daughter Maitane every day, and messages from her girlfriend Sophia. And a promise from my son Andoni to help me make a video to highlight my strengths to potential employers. And my family in Ortuella, who check up on me and send me videos of Unai Gómez giving an interview in Basque that would make anyone’s pants fall down. And Irune and Laida, who write to me every day asking how I am doing. And Diana, who sends me memes from Portland. And Delfina, who sends jobs postings my way. And Victoria, who calls from Mexico. And my ex-husband, who asks his recruiter friend to talk to me about finding a new job. And Mark, who gives me his insights on the subject. And my neighbors, who make sure I am okay. And Zigor, who writes me on WhatsApp to ask how the job situation is going. And Leire, Terese and Garbine, who have always been there for me since I was 3 years old. And Dunya and April and Maite and Mark and Jaume and María. And my baserritarra, who has turned out to be a really good friend.

And I think, yes, I am lucky. I am going to be okay. I have the best people around me. You all make me so happy.

Jaialdi 2020 has been postponed until 2021 amid Covid-19 concerns

Yesterday morning, Jaialdi organizers announced the postponement of Jaialdi 2020 due to coronavirus concerns. The festival will instead take place from July 27-August 1, 2021. This was a difficult decision, but a necessary one. Coronavirus cases are increasing both in Idaho and the United States at large, and they are acting out of an abundance of love and concern for friends and family around the world.

You can read more about what this means to you as a guest or vendor, please visit Jaialdi 2021 on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or go to https://www.jaialdi.com.


Are you Basque and feeling proud of it? Then help a Basque student with her research project

Jaione Diaz Mazkiaran is a Basque student from Altsasu, Navarre, studying a MA in Intercultural Communication at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is currently doing a research project on the identity development of the Basque Diaspora, and right now she is focusing in the city of Boise, Idaho, and the Euzkaldunak Center. She will visit us this summer to conduct interviews and gather data. She wants to know more about how Basque-American people retain and transmit their identity from generation to generation by attending the Center and its activities. She is also interested in how we spread it using social media and online resources.

Completing the following questionnaire will help her with the research.Let’s give her a hand!

“Ni ere euskalduna naiz eta harro nago”-“I am also Basque and I feel proud of it”



The Basque Run/Walk Korrika will take place in Boise on March 30, organized by The Basque Museum

Date: March 30, 2019
Time: Registration begins at 1030, “run” will start at 11 AM.
Where: Meet at the Basque Museum (611 W Grove St). There will be a Registration table set up outside
Cost: $10 if you register early, $15 if you register the day of the event. Children 12 & under are $5.

LINK TO REGISTER: https://basquemuseum.eus/shop/korrika-2019

Frequently asked questions

What do I wear?
Wear something festive and show off your Euskara and Basque Pride! Get colorful!

How long is the run?
It will be 2.2 miles, and will start and finish at the Basque Museum. We will loop Julia Davis, go up to the Capitol for pictures, and end at the Museum. Expect it to take about 1 – 1.5 hours.

Do I have to RUN?
NO! This is a festive walk/run that is family friendly. Go at your own pace!

Will there be food?
The Basque Museum will not be providing lunch, but they encourage everyone to check out the Basque Market or Basque Block after the race and enjoy the festivities!

Can I bring props?
Sure! Feel free to bring your Ikurrina, signs, or posters!

So, what is Korrika and why should I participate?

Korrika is an event put on by AEK, a Basque organization to revive, promote, raise awareness, and raise funds for the Basque Language. It is an 11 day race that tours most of the Basque country, promoting Euskara. The theme of this year’s race is “Klik”, or making the decisions to participate in your local Euskara programs and actively try to use and grow the Euskara language.

Here in Boise, the Basque Museum has organized a much smaller, festive version of this event. All proceeds go towards local Euskara Language Programs. The aim is to raise awareness and funds for the Euskara language.

You can read more about the 2019 Korrika in the Basque Country here: http://www.korrika.eus/en/who-organizes-korrika.html

If your still not convinced, here is the dance mashup music video promoting 2019 Korrika:

For more information, please email Kylie Bermensolo at Kylieb@basquemuseum.eus.

For more on past Korrika celebrations in Boise: https://weblogs.eitb.eus/basqueboise/?s=Korrika

From this week’s Astero: New book on Basque topography in Boise

Astero‘s weekly bulletin always brings interesting news related to the Basque Country and the Diaspora. This week, we will learn about the new book on Basque topography in Boise.

LEKUAK, the Basque places of Boise, Idaho

The Basque Museum and Cultural Center in Boise will host the book presentation of Lekuak: Basque Places of Boise, Idaho, by local author Meggan Laxalt Mackey, on December 13th beginning at 6pm. The book is a cultural journey through Boise from the point of view of Basques past, present and future. It includes full-color photos, maps and a Basque timeline, and was designed by the author herself. Published by the William A. Douglass Center for Basque Studies, the book is available for purchase on the Center’s website. For more information on the book and its author, click here.

From the Author

Lekuak is a cultural journey through Boise, Idaho from a unique perspective: that of the indelible mark Basque immigrants from Euskal Herria, the Basque Country, and their descendants, have made on the City of Boise. This journey is not only through parts of the city’s landscape, but also through generations past, present, and future.

Lekuak means “places” in the Basque language. It traces how Basque places in Boise reflect the transformation of ethnic identity through successive generations. Today, the Basque places of Boise still remarkably represent Old World values that the first generation of immigrants from the Basque Country brought with them. These unique Basque places reveal at least one common thread: the Basque community or neighborhood, the auzoa. In the Old World, maintenance of an auzoa was highly dependent upon communal work, or auzolan. This principle helped Basque immigrants resettle their lives in new places, or “new soil,” and continues into today.

Event details

Date: December 13, 2018
Start time: 6:00
End time: 8:00
Venue: Basque Museum & Cultural Center
Directions: 611 W. Grove St.
Phone: 208-343-2671
Email: info@basquemuseum.eus

This event is free and open to the public.

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Teachers needed at Boiseko Ikastola in Boise, Idaho

Boiseko Ikastola, the Basque language immersion preschool in Boise, Idaho, is looking for instructors for the 2019-2020 school year. Boiseko Ikastola is a preschool program that prepares students ages 3-5 for Kindergarten using the Basque Country’s Nubaris curriculum. One of the many goals of Boiseko Ikastola is to prepare children for Kindergarten in a safe, creative environment while teaching them a new language, assisting with their developmental and study skills.

Start days will be early August, 2019 and will continue to August 31, 2020. If you are interested, please read the below qualifications and submit the required documents (also listed below) via email to annieg@basquemuseum.eus by January 31, 2019 at 5pm MST.

If you have any questions, please contact The Basque Museum at the email above.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • University degree (or equivalent) in Early Childhood Education, Primary Education or equivalent, or at least 2 years experience in a similar position
  • Fluent Euskara skills
  • Experience in curriculum development and preparation
  • English language skills (needed to communicate with Director and/or parents)

To apply, please send the following documents to annieg@basquemuseum.eus by January 31:

  • Cover Letter stating your interest in the position (in English)
  • CV/Resume (in English)
  • Letter of Recommendation (at least 1 and no more than 3 – all in English or translated and include certificate of translation)
  • Copy of University Transcript (in English or translated and include certificate of translation)
  • Certificates pertinent to Position (in English or translated and include certificate of translation)
  • Photocopy of passport (page with photo)

XXVII Edition of Bergara’s Love Letter Contest and III Edition of the Love Sentence Contest

The Jardun association in Bergara, Gipuzkoa, has put together another edition of the Love Letters Contest, also open to participants around the world. The letters must be written in Basque, original, and unpublished work. You have until January 6, 2019 to email or mail your letters by regular post. The winner will receive 500 Euros, and second place gets 250 Euros.

This year, you can also participate in the Love Sentence Contest. All sentences must be written in Basque, original, and unpublished work. You may submit as many sentences as you wish. You can send your love sentences by Whatsapp or text message to +34 605 71 24 69, or email to amodiozkogutunak@gmail.com by January 24th, 2019. The prize for the best sentence will be 100 Euros.

(If you need to download WhatsApp, go here for iPhone, and here for Android.)

Love Letter Contest Rules:

1. People born in 2004 or before can participate in the contest.

2. All works have to be original, unpublished, and written in Basque. You can submit as many letters as you want, including letters that did not receive an award in previous years.

3. The works have to be written as letters on DIN A-4 paper, whether you are writing them by hand or submitting them by email. The letters cannot be longer than two pages.

4. In order to mail the letter by post, you must place your contact information inside a small envelope (name and last names, age, telephone number, address), then put that inside a bigger envelope together with the letter and send it.

To send your work by email, send the letter in a document with the letter’s title and your contact information on a separate file with your name as the title.

5. Send the letter to the following address:

Amodiozko Gutunen XXVII lehiaketa
Jardun Elkartea, Errotalde jauregia z/g
20570 Bergara – Gipuzkoa

E-mail: amodiozkogutunak@gmail.com

More information on www.jardun.eus, or by phone: +34 943763661 / +34 605 712 469

6. Submission deadline is January 6, 2019.

7. First place will receive 500 Euros, and second place 250 Euros. There is also a 150 Euro prize for the first winner from Bergara, and a 150 Euro prize for the best entry by someone 26 years old or younger.

8. The prices will be given on Valentine’s Day at Irizar’s Palace, on February 14, 2019 at 7 pm.

9. The Jardun association will keep the works and will decide what to publish.

10. The judging panel will be made up by leading people in the fields of literature and culture. The judging panel for the works submitted by the younger participants will be formed by students from schools in Bergara.

Boise State University looking for a Basque Studies Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor – (180682)
Job Category: Faculty
Department: World Languages
Schedule: Full-time
Closing Date: Nov 5, 2018, 12:59:00 AM


Boise State University, powered by creativity and innovation, stands uniquely positioned in the Northwest as a metropolitan research university of distinction. Learn more about Boise State and the City of Boise at https://go.boisestate.edu/join-our-team.

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply for the position of Assistant Professor of Basque. This is a renewable, nine-month, tenure-line contract, with an initial heightened research workload consisting of 50% teaching (15 credits per year), 30% research/creative activity, and 20% service per year. The position start date is August 14, 2019.

You will have the opportunity to:

·         Teach classes on Basque Language and/or Culture and/or History;
·         Publish scholarly or creative work related to Basque Studies;
·         Provide service to constituencies such as the Department of World Languages, the Basque Community in Boise, the College of Arts and Sciences, and Boise State University.

At a minimum you should have:

·         Ph.D. in Basque Studies or a related field (ABD candidates will be considered);
·         Experience teaching Basque language and/or culture and/or history at the undergraduate level;
·         Native or near-native fluency in Basque, Spanish, and English;
·         Ability to incorporate new technologies in the classroom;
·         Commitment to professional development;
·         Dedication to program building, including outreach to the local Basque Community;
·         Cross-cultural sensitivity.

Preferentially, you will have:

·         Familiarity with proficiency-oriented language instruction methodologies;
·         Ability to teach Basque Culture classes in Spanish and Basque History classes in English

To apply, click here.


Salary and benefits:  $53,000 per year, plus an excellent benefits package, for more information visit: http://hrs.boisestate.edu/careers/benefits.

Application Instructions: Please submit your application by clicking the “Apply Online” button on this webpage. Please make sure to attach a cover letter, CV, copies of transcripts, and three confidential letters of recommendation with contact information.

Application deadline: November 4, 2018 at midnight MST.

About the University:  http://www.boisestate.edu

About the City of Boise:  http://www.boisechamber.org

About the Department:  https://worldlang.boisestate.edu

Background Investigations – Any offer of employment at Boise State University will be contingent upon the successful completion of a criminal background investigation and may require a credit and/or motor vehicle background investigation depending on the position. To view the University’s full Background Investigations policy, please go to http://policy.boisestate.edu.

Drug-Free Workplace – It is the policy of Boise State University to maintain a drug-free workplace and campus. For more information about this policy, please go to http://policy.boisestate.edu.

Jeanne Clery Statement – Notice of Availability of Annual Security and Fire Safety Report

The Boise State University 2017 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is provided to students, faculty, staff, and the public as part of the University’s commitment to safety and security on campus, and in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act. Copies of the report may also be requested through the Campus Security and Police Services located at 2245 University Drive, Boise, Idaho 83706, by calling (208) 426-6911, or sending an email to policeuniversitysecurity@boisestate.edu.

The 2017 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report for Boise State University is now available online at: https://security.boisestate.edu/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2017/09/2017-Annual-Security-and-Fire-Safety-Report.pdf

The report includes statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on-campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Boise State; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus. It also includes the annual fire safety report and institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies for sexual assault, drug and alcohol use, and other matters.

Boise State University is strongly committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The University actively encourages applications and nominations of women, persons of color, and members of other underrepresented groups. EEO/AA Institution, Veterans preference. Please go to http://hrs.boisestate.edu/resources/eeoaa for more information.


Boise State University is committed to offering a benefits package that provides health and financial protection plans as well as resources to promote health and well-being. Our program provides flexibility so you can choose the benefits that are right for you and your family. Learn more about our benefit options at https://hrs.boisestate.edu/benefits.


Other than sharing whatever Basque related news I can find, one of my favorite things about having a blog is being able to express my thoughts in writing. Not only am I forced to think about the issue at hand, but it also helps relieve anxiety when I finally get them out in the open. Even if I don’t publish the post and just keep it in my drafts, having to structure the mess in my head has proven to be very useful.

Unfortunately, there is a not-so-wonderful side to keeping a record of your past experiences. I don’t usually go back and read my old posts —I get embarrassed and I have to fight the urge to delete them— but I did today. It was quite the eye-opener. You see, I thought of myself as someone who always marches ahead, who does her best to change the things in life that don’t bring joy or are stressful.

As it turns out, though, I’m still dealing today with much of the same shit I was struggling against a couple of years ago. I had to do a double take on the dates, as some of the posts I could have written this week, pretty much word for word. Apparently, I am not as good at changing as I thought I was. I’ll have to change that too. Crap.

September 8: Basque Diaspora Day

I’m quite ashamed to say I didn’t know about September 8th being Basque Diaspora Day until earlier this week. Oops! I’m losing my touch! Luckily, I caught wind of it in the nick of time thanks to this week’s edition of Astero, a weekly bulletin always brings interesting news related to the Basque Country and the Diaspora.

The Basque Government chose this date after receiving several suggestions from Basques around the world, and because it coincides with the first circumnavigation of the globe, in 1522, by a crew led by Juan Sebastian Elkano who was from Getaria, Gipuzkoa. Hopefully, celebrations organized for this day will make the Basque presence around the world more visible.

Below the official Basque Diaspora Day video, you will find a list of the different events and activities planned for this first Basque Diaspora Day.


Boise’s Basque Museum & Cultural Center

The Basque Museum will celebrate Basque Diaspora Day for a little longer than just one day. Visit the Museum or leave a comment on the Museum’s Facebook page. Tell them where your family is from and they will mark it on the map for you!

Basque Club of Utah

Ziriko BestaThe Basque Club of Utah is hosting a Zikiro Besta or lamb BBQ to celebrate. The event begins at 4:30pm at the Bywater Park Pavilion (3149 E. Banbury Rd.). Cost of the meal is $5 and $3 for children. BYOB and RSVP by emailing Catherine Barajas.

Basque Delegation of Euskadi

In New York, the Basque Delegation of Euskadi invites you to happy hour and a book presentation byBasque Country Marti Buckley. Buckley, American chef, journalist and “passionate Basque transplant,” will present her book Basque Country: A Culinary Journey through a Food Lover’s Paradise. For complete information, contact the Delegation or click here.


Basque Educational Organization

The Basque Educational Organization will hold the next installment of its Basque Film Series with a special screening of Handia this Friday, September 7th at 7:30pm at the San Francisco Basque Cultural Center. Aitor Inarra will present the film and provide the film’s historical context. He will also moderate discussion about the film afterwards. For more information about Handia, or to watch the trailer, visit their website.


Center for Basque Studies

The Center for Basque Studies in Reno has organized a walk from sheepcamp at Rancho San Rafael to the Sheepherder’s Monument, approximate 2.4 miles. After the hike, stay and share some refreshments and each other’s company. The event starts at 10am.

Colorado Euskal etxea

The Colorado Euskal Etxea in Denver invites you to join them for their annual picnic on September 8th at Clement Park (shelters 7 & 8). The day will be full of good food and friendship with performances by the Gauden Bat Dancers from Chino, California. The event will run from 12:30-5pm. For complete information, see their flier.


Marin Sonoma Basque Association

Marin-SonomaIn the Bay Area, the Marin Sonoma Basque Association will be holding its annual picnic on Sunday, September 9th at Penngrove Park. Lunch will be served from 12:30-2pm and costs $20 for adults and $5 for children. Everyone is welcome. For further information, call (707) 792-9258.

New England Basque Club

Basque fishermanIf you are on the east coast, please join the New England Basque Club for its Marinela Day Celebration paying tribute to “Basque fishermen and where we come from,” in conjunction with Day of the Basque Diaspora. The event will take place in Bridgeport Connecticut at the Dolphin’s Cove Restaurant & Marina with Basque style pintxos, paella, coffee and dessert to enjoy. Festivities begin at noon and cost of the meal is $30 for adults and $10 for children. For complete information, visit them on Facebook.


Santa Rosa Basque Club

Santa RosaIf you are near Winnemucca, NV, join the Santa Rosa Basque Club for its two-day event. The festivities begin on Friday  night with the Muma Scramble at the Winnemucca Golf Course, followed by pintxos, drinks and dancing to the music of Jean Flesher at Ormachea’s Dinner House at 8pm. Saturday events begin with mass at 10am at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Paradise Valley celebrated by Aita Antton. After mass, there will be food, fun, dance performances, herri kirolak, vendors and more. The day will conclude with more dancing to the sounds of Jean Flesher and Mercedes Mendive. Cost of admission is $5. For complete information email: srbc.paradise@gmail.com.


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