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Workshops on how to interview elder Basque immigrants, soon to begin in Canada and the US


Pedro J. Oiarzabal (José Usoz)
Pedro J. Oiarzabal (José Usoz)


Pedro J. Oiarzabal, PhD in Basque Studies-Political Science from the University of Nevada-Reno, will conduct a number of workshops in the US and Canada, between June 20 and August 20. “The goal is to teach people the techniques to conduct quality interviews with persons of a certain age in the Basque diaspora as part of the Memoria Bizia (Living Memory) program,” president of the North American Basque Organizations NABO, Valerie Echarren, told

Los Angeles, USA. Memoria Bizia is trying to gather the stories, memories, and history of the oldest members of the Basque communities outside the Basque Country. “The goal is not for someone from abroad to do it but to get members of the Diaspora involved and become protagonists. It is not giving them the fish but to show them how to fish,” stated Oiarzabal.

To date there are three workshops confirmed: July 8-10 in Montreal (Canada), July 12th in San Francisco, California, and on July 16th in Bakersfield, CA.  Oiarzabal hopes to confirm three or four more “and even more if possible.” The researcher is hoping for a domino effect for these workshops and that the people become more encouraged as they go.

Schedules will be flexible, depending on the needs and availability of those who enrolled, and the content of the classes will be “easy, understandable, enjoyable, and super practical” for any person of any age to be able to take part. They will be taught “the academic standards to record quality interviews.”

This is a “historic project,” in the words of the researcher. “People aged 70, 80, and 90 are passing away and, hence,  our history is disappearing. If we want to get something done, we need to do it now, and it’s vital that Diaspora members  want to do it.”

Anyone wishing to participate in a workshop or know of someone who should be interviewed should contact their local Basque club, or write Kate Camino at  You don’t have to be a Basque club member to participate or to be interviewed.

The Memoria Bizia project is possible thanks to the efforts of NABO, the Basque Government, Etxepare Institute, University of Deusto, and University of Nevada-Reno.


  • To Ania

    Sure there is. Please email Kate Camino (, 07/07/2014 21:45

  • Basque inmigrants stories presservation

    I have just arrived to Nyc to live, I am a basque woman that is very interested in this oral presservation, is there any way I could help?, anyone I could talk to?

    Ania Miner, 07/07/2014 15:48

  • For Gayle

    As soon as we got your comment we passed it to Pedro J. Oiarzabal. Asking in Boise to the Basque Museum would be your best option. The know what's going on regarding the Oral History Program., 07/02/2014 13:35

  • Workshop Schedules

    I hope you will be scheduling a workshop in, or near, BOISE, ID and the Basque Museum and Cultural Center.

    Gayle Hatch (Yrazabal), 06/20/2014 20:08

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