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NABO’s Udaleku 2011 in San Francisco started its second week, with a last performance next Saturday


David Navailles from Uztaritze, Lapurdi, teaching Joko Garbi
David Navailles from Uztaritze, Lapurdi, teaching Joko Garbi


The second week of Udaleku for kids ages 10 to 12 started this weekend in San Francisco, after the first group of kids, 13 to 15 years old celebrated their final show on Saturday. Every year NABO sponsors and a Basque club hosts Udaleku, a two-week Basque Culture Summer Camp. Participants have an opportunity to learn more about their Basque heritage while having fun and making new friends. The Udaleku not only helps to keep Basque culture relevant to the younger generations, but it has also forged links between the different Basque communities. San Francisco is hosting the Udaleku this year, which underwent a format change for the first time since its inception in the early 1970s, from a two-week camp to two one-week camps.

Boise, USA. NABO’s Udaleku 2011 kicked off in San Francisco, CA last June 18. For the last seven days, boys and girls between 13 and 15 years of age were busy learning, having fun and getting ready for the final show of the Basque summer camp on Saturday 25, which was streamed online. They then said their goodbyes and made way for the second group of kids, ages 10 to 12, to have all the fun. The second week of Udaleku will run from June 25 until July 2.

The Udaleku set up a blog,, where the group posts daily activities and make it possible for the public to experience a glimpse into their experiences: Basque language and history lessons, joko garbi lessons (a variant of Basque game Jai Alai), txistu (Basque flute) and art classes, are some of the activities available to the kids. A staff of 10 teachers from the US as well as the Basque Country is on hand to make it all possible.

Udaleku has been in existence since the early 1970s and thousands of young Basques have participated since its inception. However, this year the camp format changed from a two-week summer camp for kids of all ages to a one-week summer camp where kids are sorted by age. The reasoning behind this format change had been many years in the making.

Udaleku has been a very successful project since the very beginning. The number of participating kids grows each year; however, it is getting harder to find housing. Udaleku participants are usually housed in local homes, as finding an appropriate campus or campsite is either very expensive or not available. 

Until this year tuition for Udaleku was $250, when cost per kids is in fact closer to $600. NABO worried that they might have to start turning people away, and for 2011 a committee was created to look at the issue. After much deliberation, the committee agreed on allowing participation to all kids, but making it a one-week camp. 

This option was recommended to the delegates as an experiment for the 2011 camp. Depending on the result, NABO will keep the format or look for alternatives.

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