Guztion Artean: V Basque World Congress

The 5th World Basque Congress of Basque Collectives assembled around 80 delegates from 22 countries attending along with special guests of the Lehendakari, speakers, winners of the Andrés de Irujo awards, and participants of the Gaztemundu program, among others.

ZER|What:  5th World Congress of Basque Collectives
NOIZ|When:  Nov. 2-3-4, 2011
NON|Where:  Donostia-San Sebastian

North American delegation

Members of the United States delegation at the Congress with Basque Government officials (left to right): Guillermo Echenique, Marisa Espinal, Izaskun Kortazar, Valerie Arrechea & behind her is Amaya Ingram.  Lehendakari Patxi Lopez, Itziar Albisu & behind here is John Bieter, Goisalde Jausoro, John Ysursa, Yvonne Hauscarriague & Julian Zelaya.


The location of the Congress was truly impressive: the Kursaal Convention Ctr. in Donostia.  Across three days delegates from over twenty countries with Basque communities assembled for this once every four year event.


Previous Congresses were held in Gasteiz and Bilbao, but for the first time Donostia (here seen from above) was the location.


The Congress featured presentations from various cultural groups including the Etxepare Institute which helps to  coordinate efforts to promote the Basque language and culture.



The Congress also featured a tribute to Professor Emeritus William Douglass (center), founder of the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno and the dean of Basque Studies in the United States, with the publication of his biography "Mr. Basque."


All the while alongside the Congress, there were numerous presentations to inform Basque Country youth about the Basque Diaspora


One of the exhibit booths was by the Boise Basque Museum and Cultural Center, that displayed a version of its "Hidden in Plain Site" that had originally debuted at Ellis Island in New York.



Argitxu Camus, author of the Urazandi series history of NABO (pdf) was one of the invited presenters at the Congress.



The opening ceremony included a tribute to Basque clubs older than 100 years, and it featured a commemoration of our oldest U.S. club in New York Cty that will turn 100 in 2013.



The Congress was hosted by the Basque Government of Euskadi, specifically the Directorate for Citizens and the Basque Communities abroad.  Here  current director Julian Zelaia (L) shaking hands with his invited guest and predecessor in that position Josu Legarreta.


Our NABO Canadian members of Montreal and Vancouver comprised the Canadian delegation at the Congress.  Here Adelaide Daraspe of Montreal presents at the Congress.



A moment from NABO's presentation at the Congress, headed by NABO President Valerie Arrechea, and our our three elected delegates who presented were Goisalde Jausoro (Mtn. Home, ID)  Izaskun Kortazar (Bosie, ID) & Yvonne Hauscarriague (San Francisco, CA).



Before the formal Congress, delegates were taken on some tours of the Basque Country in the Iparralde, Nafarroa, Bizkaia and Araba.

One tour took delegates to the winery of Marques of Riscal in the Rioja wine region of Araba, featuring the new hotel designed by Frank Gehry, designer of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.  And not a few delegates commented that the wine there was very good!


Another tour was to the famous "Witches Cave" of Zugarramurdi, Nafarroa, so called because of the actual witch hunts there in 1610.


A special treat at one of the always fine meals, was the singing of the Iparralde group  Kalakan, that will be touring North American next Fall 2012.>


Delegates were afforded the opportunity to take in the Basque Country Orchestra at one of their open rehearsals.  They played pieces by Mozart!



The "Guztion Artean" (Among Everyone) Congress closed with a special program on Friday evening that featured a Basque youth choir.


Joseba Etxarri

Thanks to Joseba Etxarri of
who was everywhere recording this event.


The Congress had several exhibit booths; this is what ours looked like.  Others are posted at  www.lehendakaritza.ejgv



Conclusions of the V World Congress

The representatives of the Basque centers in Germany, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, El Salvador, Spain, United States, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Venezuela gathered in Donostia-San Sebastian on November 4, 2011, during the V. World Congress of Basque Communities, agreed to raise the Basque Communities Advisory Council for its consideration for approval of the Four Year Plan 2012-2015, the following considerations:

1. - Development of the Law 8/1994, relations with the Basque collectives: 
e advocate the continuation and strengthening of existing programs in development of the law 8/1994.

2. - Grants for current expenditure, activities, infrastructure and equipment: 
e advocate for the Basque Government continued support to the Basque Centers and consider its extension, to the extent of available funding, under the growing number of recognized Basque Centers, while increasing human and financial resources needed to meet the new realities.
We ask for a shortening of the deadlines for resolution and payment of aid for development projects can be carried out in the terms presented.
We ask that you remove the limits of adjudication that have been applied to federations.
We request that the assessment criteria for subsidizing projects be more simple, transparent and objective in relation to the activities of each and every Euskal Etxea Federation.

3. - Aid for families in extreme need
Mutual aid being the founding objective of most of the historic Basque centers, we propose the continuation of the program of aid to these families [not really applicable to Canada and the United States]
In addition, we request to study the feasibility of adopting a system of private insurance to cover the care needs of members of the Basque centers.

4. - Program Gaztemundu
We stand for establishing a four-year calendar so that each year the program is intended for the following topics:
2012: Euskara
2013: Music
2014: Dantza
2015: Management of cultural organizations, coinciding with the Sixth Congress.

5. - Call for cultural tours
We advocate giving continuity to this call to the Basque centers to have access to cultural events, upscale modern and higher order.
the possibility of exchange tours conducted so that cultural events that occur in the orbit of the Basque centers can be presented in Euskadi.
Also consider the possibility of incorporating training area in this section.

6. - Holding regional meetings between world congresses
We suggest the need for regional meetings that can be carried out between congresses, for the maintenance and strengthening contact with the Basque Government and between the Euskal Etxeak
We also request technical visits for training and support in developing grant applications for the different programs.

7. - Funding Program Munduan Euskara
Request to ensure program funding Munduan Euskara as the program of greatest interest to the Basque communities abroad.

8. - Helps people in a position to return
We request the examination of individual performance to return [to Euskadi], and also delve into the care of Basque citizens abroad and the role of "office" which also has to make the current address for citizens and Basque communities abroad .

9. - Historical Memory and publications
We propose to continue the program Urazandi collection of historical memory, continuing phase of Basques in the American press.
We ask that you make the necessary efforts for the collection of oral testimonies, epistolary and photographic, which can be of enormous importance for the future of our Basque centers.

10. - Platform for Basque companies
We advocate to value the knowledge that Euskal Etxeak have in their countries and to support dynamic Euskadi internationalization, both local businesses as well as Basque businesses.

11. - Voting abroad
We want to inform the Basque Government for transfer to the competent authorities, the concern in the Basque communities abroad about the difficulties in exercising the right to vote.

12. - Observers on the Advisory Board
We ask the Advisory Council to allow attendance at its meetings of 3 young people from the Basque community as outside observers.




Bengoetxea Farewell Tour


Foku Musikala