Basque delegate in Boise to increase ties between home nation and Idaho
Ander Caballero, delegate to America and Canada, has been meeting with Idaho officials and will be available for interviews Thursday morning and evening
Contact: Gloria Totoricagüena, 891-9888
The official representative of the Basque government is in Boise through Friday morning, learning more about Idaho in an effort to strengthen trade and cultural ties.
Ander Caballero, the Basque government’s delegate to America and Canada, has been in Boise this week, meeting with Lt. Gov. Brad Little and other dignitaries.
“Idaho has long and historic ties with the Basque country and visits like this in the past have led to increased business and cultural initiatives,” said Dr. Gloria Totoricagüena. She is an international expert on Basque culture and a former director of the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada who arranged and is conducting Caballero’s visit.
The Basque country, with a population of about 3 million, is a semi-autonomous region in Spain, bordering France. Basques have a long tradition in Idaho, having first come in the 1880s as shepherds. Now, Basque institutions in Idaho include the Basque Studies Program at Boise State University, the Cenarrusa Foundation for Basque Culture, the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, the Jaialdi Basque Festival and more.
Caballero’s meeting is a continuation of the Idaho-Euskadi Friendship Agreement, signed in the spring of 2012. Little named Totoricagüena to coordinate the advisory committee for the implementation of the agreement. This agreement promotes collaboration between Idaho and Basque country institutions promoting commerce, knowledge transfer, Basque Studies programs in Idaho universities and cultural exchanges. Caballero works at the Basque delegation office in New York. On Thursday, Caballero will be available for interviews in the morning and after 6 p.m.
Totoricagüena, who is former Visiting Professor of Basque Studies at Stanford University, is a lobbyist with Eiguren Fisher Public Policy (www.efpublicpolicy.com). She has arranged Caballero’s visit to include meetings with Lt. Gov. Little and the Idaho-Euskadi Agreement Advisory Committee (Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, Deputy Secretary of State Miren Artiach, Ed L. Miller, Damien Bard, David Aizpitarte, Jennifer O’Kief, Dr. James Toomey, Dr. Ron Bitner, Diana Echeverria, Rex Blackburn, Dr, Meredith Taylor-Black and Totoricaguena). He will also visit the BSU Albertson Library Special Collection area which includes the Pete T. Cenarrusa Collection and the Gloria Totoricagüena Basque Diaspora Collection.
Caballero has meetings with Dr. Meredith Taylor-Black, who is directing a special research project for a Basque representative living and researching Idaho economic opportunities in Boise during 2013 and 2014. He will also meet with BSU Basque Studies representatives Dr. John Ysursa, Dr. John Bieter, and Dr. David Lachiondo. Caballero will visit the Boise’ko Ikastola, the Basque language full immersion program for early learning where children between 3-7 years old are taught in the Basque language by teacher Irune Sanchez. Boise Mayor David Bieter met with Caballero Tuesday.
Caballero also met with the Board of Directors of the Basque Museum and Cultural Center and the president and elected board of Boise’s oldest and one of the largest Basque associations in all of the Americas, the Boise Euzkaldunak Incorporated, the Basque Center. Idaho’s favorite Basque politician, Pete T. Cenarrusa, 95, and the Cenarrusa Foundation for Basque Culture Board of Directors discussed ongoing and future projects promoting knowledge about the Basques. Totoricaguena also serves on Cenarrusa Foundation and its president is Roy Lewis Eiguren.