Basques in North America

kaliforniareuskaldunak 1456150182599 Kaliforniako euskaldunak | 2009-03-27 11:37

Basques in North America

In the forties, after some economical problems in the Basque Country, a lot of Basque families migrated to the Promised Land to find a better life.  Most of them went to North America to work in agriculture as shepherds in states such as California, Wyoming, Nevada, and Idaho.

When Basques were a big community in North America they began to create some Basque Clubs all over America.  Although the first Basque Club was built in 1915 in New York, most of them were created between the 30s and 50s. This movement has been increasing, and nowadays there are nearly fifty such clubs in the US.  The most famous Basque communities are in Boise (Idaho) , Bakersfield (California) and San Francisco (California). In each place there is a Basque Club.

But what is a Basque Club (Euskal etxea)?

It is a place where Basque people and descendents  gather and share experiences and activities related to the Basque Country. They organize activities which are linked directly with their culture such as Basque traditional dancing courses, Basque sport courses and championships. The aim of these activities is to show their descendents their origin and culture.

The most popular activity they do is the annual festival or also called the annual picnic, which is organized by all North American Basque clubs.  It is a big Basque festival where they open the doors to all the people and they share their culture with others.

Although in this global world is very difficult to maintain and transmit a culture, Basques have known how to do it in North America. However, they also know that they have to work hardly every day to transmit their culture to their children.

As Basque people say:  “txapela buruan, ta ibili munduan”.


Take a look, please.



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