North American Basque Organizations
  A federation of organizations to sustain BASQUE culture


  Izan ziralako, gara, eta garalako izango dira  
"Because they were, we are, and because we are they will be"
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Eguberri eta
Urte Berri On!

Merry Christmas &
Happy New Year!

Feliz Navidad y
Prospero A
ño Nuevo!

Joyeux No
ël et
Bonne Ann



A 1.1:  OUR MOTTO: 
Recreate + Educate = Perpetuate

Originally published 03-15-2006 by John M. Ysursa. Neither NABO or the Basque Government is responsible for the following content. For more information email us

By combining aspects of fun and recreation with opportunities to learn more about Basque culture, we might be able to hit upon a winning formula of how to more effectively transmit "Basqueness" to our new generations.

ndividually and collectively, Basque organizations have done a pretty good job of keeping the recreation going from year to year.  Recreation is the refreshment of the mind and body after work, especially in enjoyable activities.  Recreation is crucial for a Basque club/organization for many reasons, including the fact that without the “fun” component of our Basque festivities (e.g., picnics, meals, mus tournaments, etc.) we would be hard pressed to sustain our communities.  

Our Basque communities have  successfully staged recreation and the expectation is that this revelry will continue.  Each Basque club/ organization probably knows best what they need to do to have a good time; NABO therefore plays a limited role in that capacity.  It is with the next variable of our equation that NABO can be of most assistance in our joint shared goal of perpetuating our Basque heritage here in America.

The challenge we have is bridging the gap between recreation & education.  We want learning to be fun, and we seek to define having fun as having an opportunity to learn.  If we can construct that bridge recreate & educate, the sum will be the perpetuation of our Basque heritage.

As many of our Basque communities make the transition from a generation of European born Basques leaders to the generation of American born Basques, the crucial element will be how well we are able to educate young Basques about their heritage.  The European Basques, when they founded various Basque organizations, didn’t really plan for much education for the primary reason that they were already Basque—it was who they were.  It is instead the American-born generation of Basques that do not have this automatic connection to traditions.  It is these new generations that confront the question what does it mean to be Basque in a different way than their immigrant parents and grandparents.  But what will we teach our youth about what it means to be Basque?  NABO is aiming to provide a  response to this question by facilitating various projects.   

Outside of the Basque country, the premiere institution for Basque research and study is the CBS.

One endeavor is to seek the creation of a network of youth directors in most all of our member organizations.  This person will serve as the main contact person for various cultural endeavors aimed at youth.  Together, we can pool our resources to provide everyone the useful ideas and direction to work with their local Basque youth.  While Udaleku (Music Camp) remains a cornerstone of NABO’s endeavors, we need to find ways to better augment educating youth at a local level.  In San Francisco, for example, they have successfully launched their “Goiz Eskola” program which gathers young kids once a week for instruction in the Basque language via games and activities.  This model might well be adapted for use in other communities.  In Chino and Bakersfield this year we’ll be arranging a joint venture where youth of both communities get together in one town for a weekend of fun and educational activities. The list can be continued, and it will grow as long as we can locate and identify interested people in each Basque community.  Granted, one person alone will not be able to do things by themselves, but it all has to begin somewhere.  NABO can be a resource that can help to facilitate your efforts to educate your youth about being Basque.

Success in educating our young will also depend on the support of our educational members that includes the Center for Basque Studies (Reno, NV), Cenarrusa Center for Basque Studies (Boise, ID), the Basque Educational Organization (San Francisco, CA) and the Society of Basque Studies in America (New York).  For years these organizations have been moving forward with various educational programs that we Basque-Americans can better utilize.  The Center for Basque Studies, for example, initiated and continues its “Ikasi” program which is week-long workshop on Basque culture.  The Cenarrusa Center sponsors several workshops as well as does the Basque Educational Organization.  Meanwhile, the Society of Basque Studies publishes an annual journal.  We need to go back and forth on this bridge between the worlds of recreation and education.

This year the Society published its 25th annual edition of its journal which collects Basque related articles. 

The Basque Government is also actively supporting efforts to educate.  Their annual Gaztemundu program offers young Basques an opportunity to travel to the Basque Country to learn about the world there, and also to participate in workshops about better educating youth in Basque dance, culture, etc.  There is also an endeavor underway to create a flow of Basque instructors who could come over for a few weeks or a couple of months to work with local Basque communities to teach things like Basque dance, Euskara, music, etc. 

Being Basque today is primarily a state of mind because it involves a choice that one seeks to self-identify as being Basque.  In a sense, therefore, it is likened to a religion that one chooses to practice or not.  So in the months ahead, look for more information coming from NABO about how we can work together to create and sustain viable programs for the recreation and education of our youth.  Goazen elkarrekin aurrera!


Recreate + Educate = Perpetuate is the website of the North American Basque Organizations, Inc. (N.A.B.O.) a federation of organizations for the promotion of Basque culture. Helping to make this website possible is the Basque Autonomous Government of Euskadi.  Please send inquiries to  For links to all our pages on this website click on SITEMAP