The Basque Block occupies only one block in downtown Boise, but it is felt around the world! The Basque culture in Boise, Idaho and the surrounding region call The Basque Block home. And in many ways, it was home to many of the Basque emigres and immigrants who came to Idaho in the 1800's through the end of the Franco era in Spain. It was a place where they could find a bed, food of their home country Euskadi and keep the Basque language Euskera alive.
Much has been written about the Basque people here and around the world. The attraction to Boise and The Basque Block is natural and almost accidental. But it is certain, The Basque Block is one of the reasons Boise is the dynamic city it is.
Gretchen Louise Hill has even written a scholarly work entitled "Inventing Heritage Tourism & Identity Politics in Boise, Idaho". In here thesis she writes about the growing strength of the ties between Boise's Basque community and the homeland Euskadi.
"Today, these transnational ties are stronger, which has profoundly influenced the creation of the Basque Block. The Basques strive to maintain their heritage landscapes to retain their cultural identity and educate present and future generations about their unique legacy."
The Basque Block and the new Auzolan initiative reflect the desire to continue building the identity of the Basque people in Boise and beyond.
To read Gretchen Louise Hill's 2012 "Inventing Heritage Tourism & Identity Politics in Boise, Idaho" - click here.