Gabi's Blog posts

With the Basque Americans in Boise, Idaho

I only realized how close Boise is from home when Greg told me a couple of weeks ago that he was driving to Idaho. I then knew I’d go to Boise soon. This Thursday at 3pm aprox, I called the Basque Museum in Boise to ask when was the best weekend in summer to visit. They told me to go this one, they were celebrating San Ignacio with lots of activities, the Oñati dancers were visiting, etc.

From there, everything went fast. I called María and at around 6pm we took the decision to go. At 7pm we were on the road, with a 10 hour-drive in front of us, with no hotel for that night nor in Boise. The weekend turned out to be amazing!

According to Wikipedia, no state in the Union is more associated with the Basque than Idaho. Basques today are an integral part of the social fabric, especially in Boise. The Secretary of State, Pete Cenarrusa, is himself an Idahoan-Basque. Since 1990, Boise and Gernika have been sister cities. Idaho achieved statehood in 1890 along with the first Basques arriving there around the same time. By 1912, some of the pioneers, such as John Achabal, Jose Bengoechea, Benito Arregui, John Echebarria, and Juan Yribar, were already settled and had property in the state.