A voice shouts out -- what happiness!  It’s been such a long time since we’ve heard a true prophet call out.  A voice shouts out  -- what is it saying?  It says that God is back on the road. Extraordinary!  Especially when you recall the date of this incredible news was the 15th of Tibere., and Pontius Pilate was the governor of Judea.  A voice shouts out -- it says in the desert  “Prepare the way for the Lord.”

In the desert, when I travel across the long American freeways, I think of the trails and roads in the African Savannas.   If a noble guest was expected, the locals would quickly pick up tools.  They would fill the ruts and ravines, or check the passages and restore all the landmarks.  Soon,  where the European eye sees only sand, rock and desert, there is born a road.

Is there one part of our lives that we have lost sight of? 

The path of prayer has been covered up by sand. 

We have lost the reference point for the road of

obedience and renunciation.  The path of love for

the more unfortunate no longer interests us.  Jesus

needs to find a path where he can enter into our

lives and into each of our hearts.  It doesn’t matter

which path it is.

How are we going to rebuild these forgotten paths? 

We will do it together. “To prepare” is written in the plural form -- not in the singular form.  All local churches have been called to help.  However, we cannot do everything: what is the most important thing in welcoming Christmas?

“In my prayer,” writes Paul, “I ask that your love make you progress more and more in the true conscience and perfect perception that will make you decide which is the most important.”

To decide which is the most important, wouldn’t this be “making the deformed paths disappear?”  Each time we gather to pray, reflect, and share, these are the best paths we try to retrace or rebuild so that each man can see God’s greeting.  For this work we need all our hands and all our heads together.  No one is unwanted.

During all this work, let’s not forget to constantly point our vision toward the one who tells us:  “I am the way.”

Eguberri eta urte berri on bat deneri!

Aita Martxel

Fronton Fiesta

Mountain Home, ID is a small town of approximately

5,000 inhabitants, situated between Boise and Gooding

and next to an Air Force Base.  Upon entering the town,

you begin to notice that many streets carry Basque names. 

In the first years of the last century, many Basques came,

mostly from Bizkaia, to work as sheepherders.  Mountain

Home was a central gathering point because the

railroad station there it possible to transport sheep and

wool.  Even a few decades ago, Mountain Home boasted

five Basque Boarding Houses, and three pelota courts, although only one survives today. 

On August 25, 2001 the Euskal Lagunok held a Fronton Fiesta, celebrating the Fronton.  The occasion was marked by a weekend celebration, starting that Friday with a wine tasting and story telling event hosted by the Elmore County Historical Society.  The NABO meeting was held there Saturday morning, and at noon on Saturday the festivities continued with a parade, and the dedication and blessing of the Fronton.  The Fronton was built in 1912 by Pedro Anchustegui, proprietor of the Basque Hotel which was located in front of the court.  The court has been placed on the National Register of Historical Places.

The day was filled with Basque food, music, dance, and conversation.  Exhibition pala and handball games were played on the newly restored court.  Congratulations to the Mountain Home Euskal Lagunok, President Darin Monasterio, and Chairman Josephine Anchusteguy for a beautiful celebration!



Martin left us very suddenly on Monday, the

3rd of September.  He had just come back from

his trip in Argentina after having spent a month

with friends and family.  We knew each other

 since the age of 12 years old, and were very

good friends.  After our ordination on the same

day at the cathedral in Bayonne, I left for Africa

and he, after several weeks, left for South America. 

With great joy, we were able to find each other again in San Francisco.


Last spring, he had a chance to visit Euskadi –  a country that he dearly loved and for which he worked greatly, especially in culture and pelota – helping organize the US Pelota Federation.  In Buglose, in the presence of the bishop from Bayonne, he held a dinner for all his friends of the Ordination – there were over 20 of us ordained the same day.  Then, with Fr. Camino, the general curate of Bayonne, he left on pilgrimage to Rome and to Assise.


Before he was called to our Lord’s home, he had just finished celebrating mass with the French community in Los Angeles where he was Chaplain.  His departure has left a great void amongst all those who knew and loved him.


Robert Laxalt, the talented author, passed

away on the 23rd of March at the age of 77

years old. He was born in Alturas in 1923. 

His father, Dominique, originated from

Liginaga (X) and came to Nevada in 1902

as a sheepherder. His mother, Therese Apeltche,

was from Baigorri, Bikarinekoa (BN).  Together

the couple had six children – four boys, and

two girls. The oldest of the brothers, Paul, was the Senator of Nevada, and one of his sisters is a nun currently living on the East Coast.  She lived a long time in Las Vegas, and was one of the originators of the Basque picnic there. She was always busy with charitable works.


Robert was the author of 17 books and many articles.  His first book, A Sweet Promised Land (Artzaina Nuen Aita), is one of his most well-known.  His articles were published in National Geographic Magazine.  Through all of his works, his main goal was to tell about the Basque people, their culture (gure nortasuna), their past-times, and their role as sheepherders.  He also worked for the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno.  Two stays in Euskadi, one in Donibane Garazi (BN) and the other in Donosti (G), allowed him to get to know his parents’ country a little better.  Even if he practiced very little Euskara, he had a very strong love for our Culture.  He was an honest, simple, and friendly man with great faith.  He has left behind a wife and three sons to whom we give our sympathy and deep affection.


Mariano IZETA passed away this year in Elizondo,

where he was born 85 years ago.  He spent his days

surrounded by his family, in his jewelry store, which

he shared for many years with his brother.   Before all,

he was Basque, and worked very hard to preserve the

Basque language and culture.  He was well known not

only in Navarra, but also throughout Euskadi. He was a bertsolari, a writer, and a dancer.  His works included Dirua Galgarri (1962), Nigarrez Sortu Nintzan (1982), Sorginak Infernuk Errekan (1985), Baztango Erranairuak (1993),Baztango Hiztegia (1996), and Baztango Kantuak (1999).


At the beginning of this year he was to be honored in Basque Academy – the Euskalzaindia in Bilbao. However, he was not in good health and was not able to attend. However, at 85 years old he could still be seen participating in the Baztango mutil dantza!


We are lucky to have among us a few people who can still improvise and write

Basque poetry (bertsoak). Most of them live in California, Nevada, and Wyoming.

Joxe Mallea-Olaetxe of Reno has prepared a manuscript on bertsos in Basque and in English, and has generously offered it to NABO to be used in promoting the bertsolariak and their art form.  The publication will cost about $ 15,000, and the Basque community is being asked to help fund this valuable project. The Basques have been in the Americas for over 500 years, but this is the first bertso book of its kind to be published.

Please call or send your tax deductible donations to Grace Mainvil, or Martin Goikoetxea (information below).  The names of donors will be included in the book. 

Thank you.


Orok dakizuen bezala, gure artean badugu zenbait bertsolari - Kalifornian gehienak -

eta heien bertsuekin Renoko Joxe Mallea-Olaetxek liburu bat paratu du euskaraz eta

amerikanoz, eta NABO-ri eskaini dio.  Lan hontan laguntza aundia jaso du Kalifornia, Nevada, eta Wyomingeko jendeganik.  Liburua saltzen denean irabaziak bertsolarien laguntzeko izanen dira, eta ez bertse-rako. Publikazionea ordea, 15, 000 dolar kostako da gutti-asko eta NABO-k 6, 000 jarri ditu, baina ezbaita aski,  euskalzale oroen laguntza eskatu beharrean gaude.


Jakin dezagun bada euskaldunok Ameriketan 500 urte edo gehiago izan girela,

baina inoiz honelako libururik ez dela publikatu. Beraz, ekintza baliosa da hauxe.


Adixkide ta laguntzaileok, deitu toki bi hunetara :

Grace Mainvil                                     Martin Goikoetxea,

NABO-ko diruzaina                             NABO kultura ordezkaria,

P.O.  Box 509                                      417  Agate St.

Weiser,  ID 83672                               Rock Springs, WY  82901

(208) 549-0178                                    (307) 326-2228


Emaileen izenak liburuan karriko dira. Milesker deneri

Ipar ameriketatik

Here is the good and bad news that we have received over this past year


·         nahigabeak

Great Falls, MT: Nov. 5, 2000:  John IRIGOIN, passed away

at the age of 50 due to a heart attack. 

Bakersfield:  Sept. 16, 2000:  Martin ETCHEVERRY passed away. 

He was born in 1917 to parents from the Basque Country.

Ontario, CA:  Dec. 23rd, 2000:  Antoine NERCAPIDE.  He was born

in Arhansus (BN) on April 12, 1942.

Bakersfield:  Dec. 3, 2000: Frances ETCHENIQUE-HORAN passed away at the age of 85.

San Francisco:  Conchita GASTANAGA.  She was originally from Mexico

Madera, CA:  Jan 1st, 2001:  Mary Elizabeth BISCAY-LASGOITY.  She was born in Stockton in 1905.  After losing her first husband, Nicolas Biscay, she remarried with Jean Lasgoity.

Rocksprings, WY: Jan. 4, 2001:  Mary LARRE-CARRICABURU.  She was born in Baigorri (BN) in 1910.  She lived in both Rocksprings and Cokeville, where her husband Gaston had a beautiful ranch.  Her last three years were spent in Denver with one of her daughters.

Bakersfield:  Jan. 4:  Joseph OHACO passed away at he age of 69.  He was originally from Urepel (BN)

Bakersfield:  Jan. 5:  Louise Marie UNANUMAU passed away at the age of 56.  She was a member of the Ansolabehere family.

San Francisco:  Feb. 2:  Leoncia USOZ.  Born in Aibar (N), he passed away at the age 99.

Chino:  Feb. 6: Guillaume UHALDEBORDE passed away at the age of 71.  He was a native of Izura.

San Francisco:  Feb. 8:  Pierre DUHALDE.  He was originally from Arrosa (BN)

Chino:  Feb. 9:  Jose ANSOLA passed away at the age of 65.  He was born in Osintxu-Bergara (G)

Mountain Home: Feb. 23:  John “Chuck” SILLONIS passed away at the age of 85.  He was married to Gloria Irazabal-Harmon, and was a member in both the Boise and Mountain Home basque clubs.

San Francisco: March 2:  Pierre ARGAIN, a native of Arrosa (BN)

Chico, CA:  March 5:  Frank GACHEN.  Born in Osses (BN) in 1930, he was the brother of Marie Jeanne Arrabit.  He was a regular at the Basque picnic in Chico.

Chino: March 15:  Vincent ETCHEGOYEN passed away at the age of 71.  He was a from Urepel (BN).

San Francisco:  March 18:  Michel OYHARCABAL passed away at the age of 61.  He was from Irissary

San Francisco:  March 20:  Pierre ARAMENDY.  He was born in Bunus in 1936.

Fresno:  March 21:  Julia SERRANO-JACOBSEN passed away at the age of 85.

Banca: (BN):  Michel PETOTEGUY.  He was a long time resident of San Raphael, CA

Lodi, CA:  April 2:  Maria ARBURUA.  She was born in 1910 in Echanar (N).  After the death of her husband she came to live near her daughter Rosa Olagaray.

Bakersfield:  April 4:  Jean Baptiste ETCHEBARNE.  He was born in Baigorri (BN) in 1922.

Bakersfield:  March 6:  John LUSARRETA.  He was born in 1937, and married Karen Ouret in 1973.

Bakersfield:  April 14:  Henri BACHOC.  He was born in Irissary (BN) in 1919

Victorville, CA:  April 18:  Arnaud CACHENAUT passed away at the age of 59. He was from Helete (L)

Salt Lake City:  April 25th:  Michael, the baby of Lisa (Carricaburu) and Chris Maxfield  passed away.

Los Banos:  May 4:  Pierre HEGUY passed away at the age of 77.  He was from Bidarray (BN)

Winnemucca:  May 6:  Judy HEINZ STASS passed away at the age of 54

Hasparren (L):  Auguste GARAT.  He was a long time resident of San Francisco, and it is here that his two sons, Eric and Philippe are born.

San Francisco:  June 3:  Marie BIDEGAIN

Dos Palos (CA):  June 11:  Marie Anne NARBAITZ.  She was born in the Basque Country in 1907

Baigorry (BN):   Pierre SEMERENA.  He lived in San Francisco for many years, and was a friend to many.

Bakersfield:  July 20:  Dona Mae BAUGHMAN-CRAIG.  She was born in 1931 in Lemoore.

Bakersfield:  Aug. 11:  Jose ARANETA.  He was born in Irurita (N) in 1950

San Jacinto:  Sept. 30:  Manez IRIART.  Originally from Helette (L), he passed away at the age of 74.

Madera (CA): Sept 21: Timothy Leon BISCAY passed away at the age of 19.

Madera (CA) Sept. 27:  Ernest UHALDE passed away at the age of 80. 

Bakersfield:  Nov. 8:  Benat ANSOLABEHERE passed away at the age of 57.  He was originally from Banca (BN)


Members of the Idaho Basque Community who have passed away since July 2000:



Members of the Elko Basque Community who have passed away since July 2000:



We extend our sympathy and our prayers for all these families.

·         Zorionak

San Francisco:

March 31st                Patricia Elicagaray and Jhonny Haffar

April 8th                  Christa and Dominic Bigue

April 27th                Anne Marie Etcheverria and Michael Coleman

May 27th                 Isabelle Laxague and Joe Esparo

July 20th                  Lisa Negueloua and Matthew Quigley

Aug. 4th                  Diane Ourtiague and Patrick Arduain, in Gamarthe (BN)

Sept 8th                   Evelyne Ourtiague and Edgardo Young

Sept. 14th                Aline Izoco and Philip Elicagaray

Sept. 22nd                Rosemarie Bourbaras and Michel Berhan

Dec. 1st                   Sandra Gonzales and Michael Indart


April 14th                Patrick Etchebarne

April 21st                Sean Castello and Julie Othart

June 9th                   Terry Naccarato and Xavier Echeverria

June 30th                 Nicole Eyraud and Jean Pierre Maritorena

Oct. 6th                    Michael and Annie Etchechury

Dec. 8th                   Adrienne and Battitta Reca  (Lancaster)


June 2nd                  Kathy Kresser and Chad Hill (Salt Lake City)

July 14th                  Anna Tanner and Xavier Dutrey (Montclair)

Sept 2nd                  Claudine Etchemendy and Daniel Gamboa (Carson City)

May                        Ana Marie Sarratea and Mikel Lopategui (Reno)

Dec. 22nd                Kattalin Etchamendy and Carlos Bassa (Irurita, N)


Good luck to all these young couples, and bon voyage on the road of life.


Other celebrations:

On May 3rd, Rose Garamendi celebrated her 90th birthday in Salt Lake City.

On June 8th, Cecil Laughlin, the son of Kattalin and Pat, was baptised in Elko, NV.

On June 30th, Arnaud and Marie Mendisco celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in Dixon, CA.

On July 22nd, Jamie Sangroniz celebrated his 80th birthday in Salt Lake City with his family.

In September, Scott Berriochoa and Pantxo Aguerre celebrated their combined birthday of 100 yrs in Salt Lake City.

On Nov. 24th , Ana Hargindeguy celebrated her 80th birthday at the Basque Hotel in Fresno, surrounded by her large family.

On Dec. 15th, Marie Jeanne Elissagaray celebrated her 90th birthday in Tracy surrounded by her friends and family.


·         irrinoak


San Francisco:  Jan. 22nd, Rachel was born on Jan. 22nd to

Elisabeth (Colombet) and Albert LUCINE; Anthony was

born on Jan. 22nd to Rhonda (Arotzarena) and Chris; Amaia

was born on Feb. 1st to Rosemarie (Etchamendy) and Rene

CABALLERO;  Angelina was born on Feb. 5th to Lucy

ZAMALTHEA – JAIMERENA; Ryan was born on Feb. 11 to Rosemary (Arriada) and Darryl KEIPER; Jessica was born on March 21st to Aline (Urruty) and Joe MOULIA; Eric was born on June 29th to Andrea and Emile GOYHENETCHE; Patrick was born June 29th to Carmel and Raymond POYDESSUS; Charlyze was born on July 12th to Michelle (Ondarts) and Al GOLDEN;  Andrew was born on Aug. 26th to Jean Claude AROSTEGUY; Twins Mathieu and Casey were born on Sept. 1st to Richard and Lucy SALLABERRY; Andoni was born on Sept. 24th to Beatrice (Duhart) and Marcel ETCHEVERRY; Juliette was born on Sept. 30th to Lisa (Gamboa) and Francois CAMOU; Ella was born on Oct. 27th to Nicolas LERISSA.


Salt Lake City: Maia was born on March 28th to Mary Anna and John McNAMARA.  In May, a little girl was born to Natasha and John PIERCEY; In June, Julie and Tim HORYNA celebrated the birth of their first child;  In September, a little boy was born to Lindy and Jason TRAFNY;


Nevada:  Jacques was born on Feb. 14th to Brigitte (Garacoitz) and Leon FADDEN; Benat was born on Oct. 31st to Christine (Guecemburu) and Dan VANHOOSE


Bakersfield:  Taite was born March 9th to Monica (Etcheverry) and Kevin HOOVER; Twins Sonia and Mikela were born on March 21st to Kathy (Ituriria) and Ben LAVERTY; Isabel Marie was born on April 9th to Freddy and Chris ITURRIRIA; Joseba was born on Aug. 23rd to Teresa (Goni) and Steve IPARRAGUIRE; Christophe was born on Sept. 21st to Patricia (Dalhia) and John HASAHIM; Jean Paul was born Nov. 10th to Germaine (Etcheverry) and Paul NEWSTEAD; Justin was born in Dec. to Garet and Julie ETCHEVERRY.


Chino: Bixente born in January to Nancy (Duhart) and Dennis Petrissans.; James was born March 30th to Sylvie (Lanathoua) and Joe LANG; Asier was born on Aug. 11th to Janet (Gamboa) and Xabier DE LUZ; Maialen was born to Cathy (Petrissans) and Jeff PARKER; Amaia was born to Anna Marie (Ithuralde) and Sebastian BIDEGARAY.


Cecil was born in Elko, NV on  Feb. 12th to Kattalin (Fagoaga) and Pat LAUGHLIN;  Elena was born on June 5th to Sonya and Marc ETCHAMENDY in Phoenix, AZ.; Trevor was born on Sept. 27th to Christy and Jean Louis JAUREGUY in Pasa Robles, CA..;  Iban was born on Nov. 8th to Jean Marie and Nicole OCAFRAIN in Banca (BN).


To all these children -- welcome to this world of bipeds, and congratulations to their happy parents.


·         Deneri

Thank you for letting us know of the events in your family -- both sad and joyful.  It unites the Basque Community, letting us share in your sorrows and happiness, and to help you with our friendship and prayers.


Guk Euskaraz …. Zuk zergatik ez?


Haur batzuk Jainko Aita maiteari idatzen dute.


“Jainko Aita maitea, Abel eta Kainek, bi ganbaretan lo egiten bazuten ez zuten elgar hilen. Ene anaiarekin hola da segurki!” Mattin.


“Jainko maitea, segur niz ez dela aise zuretako mundu zabaleko jende guzien maitatzea: gure etxean lau gira eta ez dugu elgar maitatzen ahal!”  Bixente


“Jainko maitea, zer erran nahi duzu: Jainkoa jeloskorra? Uste nuen denak bazinituela!”  Kattalin.


“Jainko maitea, milesker anaia ttipia emanik! Bainan ene otoizak zakur ttipi baten galdegiteko ziren!”  Benat


“Jainko maitea, gure oporra guzietan euritu du.  Aita kexu zen eta zuretzat erran behar ez zirenak erran ditu!  Bainan ez otoi minik egin halere!”  Zure adixkide. (ezdut ene  izena eman nahi)


“Jainko maitea, egiazki erran nahi duzu: egiten dauzunari egin hehar dela!  Hala bada, orduan ene anaia arranatuko dut!”  Peio.



Irri Istorio

Lanetik etxerat heldu da senarra.  Etxea, dena nahasmenduan atzemaiten du:  haurrak kalapitan, erdi biluzirik.  Arropa zikinak eta garbiak, denak nahas, lurrean.  Ganbararat joan eta, ohia egiteko. Afaria prestzeko … Emaztea aldiz besaulkian jarririk, zangoak airean, liburu baten irrakurten ari. 

Senarak:  “Zer pasatzen da hemen?  Zer ari zira hor?”

Emazteak, geldi-geldia:  Arratx guziez, etxean sartzean, galdegiten dautazu:

Zertan pasatu duzu egun guzia?”




Two simpletons were in prison.  One night, one says to the other, “Tomorrow night, we escape!” “But how?” answered the second.  “I have a plan.  Tomorrow morning, during the first hour, you are going to go inspect the fence.  If it is low, we will jump over it, if it is high, we will go under it.”The next morning, the simpleton did what his friend had told him.  He came back running with a discouraged look on his face:  “Listen!  I don’t think we will be able to escape! There isn’t even a fence!”



A big thanks to those who contributed and made possible this volume of Lokarria.  First, to Valerie Etcharren Arrechea and Caroline Izoco Chiramberro for the translations and layout.  Thank you also to Philippe Acheritogaray for help with the mailing list.  Also, a heartfelt thanks to the team of ladies who helped but the pages together.  Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!