2012 Gurea Workshops
This series of workshops were provided by the Basque Government's visiting team of instructors that traveled to the communities of Denver, CO; Chino, CA & Rhode Island. Thanks to them and their gracious hosts it was another successful series.
NABO's "Gurea Educational Workshops are efforts to address the needs of our member organizations. We are fortunate to count on the support of the Basque Government to pay for the flights which is always the biggest hurdle. With their ongoing support--and the willingness and generosity of host clubs--we hope to continue these annual programs. This year's "G" team (their last names start with a G) was Golden!
The first stop on the workshop tour was at the Colorado Basque Club. Here the instructors are surrounded by local Basques at one of the sessions.
The workshops rotate because we try to keep this moving around to try and touch as many communities as we can based on 1) the time that our guests have to travel here and 2) the number of clubs that step up and host. So while it might not be possible to have something every year, perhaps every other year we can help to arrange something for member organizations somewhere nearby, because that's the purpose of N.A.B.O.: to help clubs help themselves to keep Basqueness alive.
The workshops were divided into different age categories as well, so while listened to one lecture children had a chance to work on Basque themed crafts: above Colorado kids working on Picasso's "Gernika" and below developing a project in Chino.
"If Mohammad can't go to the mountain, let the mountain come to Mohammad."
As the above saying states, it makes sense for us too. If people are not able to attend N.A.B.O. events, then we have to develop initiatives where we bring the action closer to them. The key is to create some events where families can get together because one of the main things that Basque culture has to offer--what we have to "sell" sort of speak--is that we do things across the generations. In our society, that is not usually the case. Teenagers hang around their own age group, senior citizens with their own etc. So the more we do things like this, the better chance we have of showing what special things Basque culture possesses.
Here at the Chino workshop, one session for all ages involved the geography of the Basque Country. Instructor Iñaki Goikoetxea had earlier developed a novel way of taking a tour of many parts of the Basque Country in this youtube video:
It was not just all work for the instructors Mayte Galardi & Iñaki Goikoetxea. The hosts in various communities made it a point to show their guest around. Here they are taking in the sights in Santa Monica, CA.
The final leg of the tour took the "G" team to Rhode Island, where the workshops coincided with their annual Basque picnic. This former outpost of Jai Alai players continues to grow!
Some workshop sessions were improvised, as this soka-tira or youth tug-of-war contest during the Rhode Island picnic. The key remained the same from place to place: to bring Basque families together for a chance to learn and play together.