"Nor" in Basque means who; "zer" means what.
NABO was founded as a federation of Basque entities that endeavor to
promote Basque culture. For NABO to be worthwhile, we need to find out
more about who and what we are; what are our needs & aspirations, etc.
Click on NABO Member Data to see the
information we are endeavoring to collect.
NABO counts nearly three dozen member
organizations, but we lack an updated base of information about who
and what we are. That is why NABO is commencing an effort to compile
our Basque clubs & communities. This
effort to compile this data is necessary for at least
three reasons: we need this information to assist with the publication
of a book on the history of NABO that is forthcoming; second the
Basque Government is oftentimes blind when they
are endeavoring to allocate financial assistance
to entities of which they have only sketchy
knowledge; and third, if NABO is going to better
serve its members--we too need to know who and
what we are.
Accordingly, NABO is commencing an effort to acquire this information so
that together we might be able to provide mutual support.
American Basque Organizations, Inc., commonly referred to by its acronym
N.A.B.O., is a service organization to member clubs that does not
infringe on the autonomy of each. Its prime purpose is the preservation,
protection, and promotion of the historical, cultural, and social
interests of Basques of North America.
founding of NABO reaches to meeting of Basque-Americans in Reno, Nevada
back in March of 1973. The point of the meeting was a questionable
proposal, especially considering Basque history. This group hoped to
forge a federation and create a network within the larger Basque
community of the United States. The Basque country, or "Euskal Herria,"
had never been "Zazpiak-Bat" (the seven provinces are one) representing
a unified, self-conscious political community. Euskal Herria most often
referred to just the local region. Basques from Bizkaia in the South,
for example, had little interaction with Basques in the northern
province of Zuberoa.
This detachment was reflected in the Basque communities
of the United States. Basques of Bizkaian descent in
parts of Idaho and Nevada interacted little with the
Basques of California which were largely northern or
"French Basque." Thus when delegates from the
Basque clubs of Los Banos and San Francisco, California;
Boise and Emmett, Idaho; Elko, Ely and Reno, Nevada; and
Ontario, Oregon gathered together, they were well aware
that there was little if any communication among the
various Basque clubs of the American West. They
were attempting to cross the divide--real and
imagined--between Basque-Americans, and their venture
remained uncertain. Would "French" Basques and
"Spanish" Basques join a federation to work together?
Would individual clubs set aside competition in an
effort to preserve and promote their shared heritage?
Now tree plus decades and counting, the answer remains a
The oldest NABO member is Eusko Etxea of NYC,
(f. 1913 at left)Our newest is the Iparreko
Ibarra club of Rocklin, CA
Since our founding we have
seen the creation of many
more Basque organizations that make it their aim to promote our heritage
here in the Basque Diaspora.
Our oldest member is the Eusko Etxea of New York City, founded in 1913
(incidentally they are hosting the NABO Convention in 2013 so mark your
calendars) and our youngest is newly formed Iparreko Ibarra club of
Most our members are Basque
social clubs, but we also count a handful of
We also know that
clubs have formed in New Mexico and a new one is about to launch in
Washington D.C. There
will be an attempt to re-start the club in New Orleans. NABO
endeavors to do what it can to
support these efforts to create new Basque organizations.
According to the last
national census, we know that there
are Basques in all fifty states. The highest number is in
California with approximately 21,000, then Idaho has 7,000 and Nevada
with 6,000. All told, there are about 58,000 people who
self-define as being Basque. Only a fraction of these, about 10
percent, have joined a Basque organization. On that front,
collectively we sure could use more people to join the ranks of the
willing: those willing to make a concentrated effort to keep our Basque
heritage alive. That is why we encourage people to
Hurbil Zaitez: please
While we sure would
like to see the number of members in local clubs grow, we nevertheless
need to learn more about the people who are already there. Our
Basque-American community might well be growing, but we need to guard
against it just growing in breadth and not depth. An earlier
reference to this cited the book title of years ago
"Chorizo, Beans and other
things." It was a collection of poems with some illustrations, but
the title aptly captured the challenge confronting our evolving
We have it quite clear what chorizo and beans are
(even though we might argue over the preferred recipe), but what about the "other things?"
This is now NABO's focus.
Whereas recreation is of course essential so that people enjoy themselves at
Basque events, we also need to provide substance as well because a
culture endures only if one generation succeeds in transmitting key elements to
an eye on what could be done more effectively to strengthen Basque
identity, NABO is presently developing a four year plan to give us
collectively and individually a list of suggestions. That is why
we need to find out more about who and what we are.
This effort will
compile general information (e.g.,
club address, list of regular events, cultural
activities hosted, etc.) as well as a brief
description of members to ascertain general things like how many men and
women, how many youth are involved, etc. With this
foundation, we'll be better
placed to then develop more effective strategies for the preservation of
our Basque heritage. Thus we have some heavy lifting to do ahead
of us if we want to make sure that this will be something that Basque
kids today will be able to pass on to their kids.