conjunction with the San Francisco Basque Cultural Center's 25th
anniversary celebration, NABO held its annual Winter meeting that
featured some new initiatives including the visit of the President of
FEVA (the NABO parallel in Argentina) pictured above with NABO President
One theme of the February Basque weekend in San Francisco was "work hard
& play hard." There is no doubt that the events required a huge
amount of hard work; e.g., it isn't very easy accommodating 900 people
for a meal! It was another impressive festival put on by our
Basque friends in the Bay area. Thanks to their efforts across
these last 25 years, we all had something to celebrate together.
To them we say Zorionak (congratulations) and esker anitz
(many thanks). May you now have another great 25 years down the
NABO was also busy that
weekend. Following up on some of the points from the
2006 Fall Meeting:
delegates were informed about some new initiatives going forward
including the debut of NABO's
and the new NABO
for Basque young adults. Delegates also heard from representatives
the invited President of
provided an overview of what this very active Basque community is doing
in Argentina; and a cultural tour opportunity
was shown delegates as well as video clip about commemorating the bombing of Gernika
70 years ago. Furthermore delegates also selected our
representatives to the upcoming
International Basque Congress
this July for which NABO is preparing a
to help focus our efforts to more effectively promote our shared
Three other notable NABO
items apart from the meeting included the presentation of NABO's
lifetime contribution awards; a special forum was offered where Miren
about the current status of the peace process in the Basque Country;
and almost all of our Euskara teachers gathered for a workshop in
just some of the things that NABO was engaged in over the weekend.
Each NABO organization was provided a folder to collect the various
items presented, and the request was made that this be made available to
the members of each organization, so inquire from your NABO delegates.
What follows now is a flashback of moments from the weekend. Once
again, thanks to those who traveled to participate and thanks to our
Basque Bay area friends for having us. Also thanks to Joseba
Etxarri, Toni Sabarots & Phillipe Acheritogaray for the photographs!
Pantxoa Etxegoin (President of the Euskal Kultur Erakundea of the
Iparralde) joins in the inauguration of NABO's
exhibit at San Francisco that presently on display at the Boise Basque
Museum and Cultural Center.
meeting spanned most of the day on Friday, with both morning and
afternoon sessions as delegates covered a wide list of issues.
Each member organization was provided with a folder to collect
information to make available to their members.
NABO President Mary Gaztambide & Minister of
Culture for the Basque Government Miren Azkarate sign a mutual
accord to continue their joint efforts to promote Euskara. Also
pictured is Josu Legarreta who is the Basque Government's director of
relations with the Diapora. The weekend also served as the annual
highlighted by a teacher's workshop.
an invitation to speak about the current status of the peace process in
the Basque Country, Miren Azkarate (Minister of Culture & Spokesperson
for the Basque Governemnt) presented an English powerpoint presentation
of the quest speakers at the meeting included Mari Luz Aretche,
President of the Federation of Basque Entities of Argentina (FEVA)
which consists of 90+ organizations making it the largest Basque
community outside of the Basque country. She gave an English
powerpoint available here at
Dancers perform a tribute to NABO's
Bizi Emankorra or life-time contribution award to Pierre Etcharren,
Grace Mainvil & Aita Cachenaut who were honored following the mass on
At the meeting NABO delegates selected our representatives to the
International Basque Congress in Bilbao this
year at the Euskalduna Special Events Center (pictured) where NABO will
be presenting its
But it wasn't all work, as there was plenty of fun for all with the SF
festivities. . .
included a performance of the "Kabalkada" or suite of dances from the
province of Nafarroa-Beherea by the dancers of San Francisco.
Visiting entertainers included this group of
performers (singers, dancers & musicians) from the Basque region of
celebration of the 25th anniversary of the San Francisco Basque Cultural
Center began with a ceremony and flag raising at the City Hall of South
(improvisers of Basque verse) performed during the festivities to the
delight of the crowds. L-r: Martin Goicoehcea, Gratien Alfaro,
Jesus Goni & Johnny Curutchet.
Twenty-five years ago Aita Cachenaut was
the Basque-American chaplain when the
Cultural Center was inaugurated and he returned for the anniversary to
join with the current chaplain Aita Tillous.
The San Francisco Basque
community threw itself into the 25th anniversary celebartion as the
Klika was out in great form with
impressive numbers, including three makilariak, that left quite an
impression on the audience.
The weekend's events drew
various dignitaries including (l-r) Ricahrd Garbarino, mayor of
South San Francisco; Miren Azkarate, Minister of Culture for the Basque
Government of Euskadi; and John Garamendi, Lt. Governor of California.
San Francisco performers
A meal for 900!