Isaba Emigrant Reunion

Last year, a group of descendants of emigrants from Isaba, Navarre, Spain met in Isaba with distant cousins they never knew they had.  They met with the descendants of those brothers and sisters of their ancestors who stayed in Isaba.  They saw the houses their ancestors came from, walked the same streets, and enjoyed the same way of life, though briefly, their ancestors enjoyed before trekking to the United States.

This time, it is New Mexico’s turn to host those whose ancestors stayed behind, to show them the land where those emigrants went to. From September 30 to October 3, a group of Basques from Isaba will visit New Mexico and learn about this distant land their cousins left for to search for a new life.  The schedule of events is below.  If you or anyone you know might be interested in participating, contact by June 30!

  • Sept 30: Conferences and institutional receptions at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque. Documentary film on Navarre and Isaba. Wine and cheese tasting from Navarre and Roncal.
  • Oct 1: Visit footsteps of Isaba emigrants in NM. Vaughn (Church, cemetery).  Descendants of emigrants’ ranches and cowboy food.
  • Oct 2: Balloon fiesta and trip to Santa Fe Plaza, Palace of the Governors, Rancho de las Golondrinas.
  • Oct 3: Visit to Acoma Pueblo and climb to top of Sandia Crest.

Euskara lesson: Aug 25

Probably the key identifying feature of the Basques is their language. It is what truly sets them apart. Taking some cues from other clubs, in particular Seattle and San Francisco, we would like to incorporate more Euskara into our activities. To this end, we will be providing basic language lessons.

The first language lesson will be on Aug 25. Put together by Blas and Karen, it will feature rudimentary vocabulary – words to get you by during your first trip to the Basque Country. If the interest holds, we will hold additional classes that delve a bit more into Euskara, at least as far as the knowledge of the instructors allows. Please contact if you are interested in participating.

The time and location will be announced soon!

Club picnic is Aug 21!

The annual NMEE picnic will be held on August 21, at the usual place in Hyde Park camp site #3.  We will have the traditional chorizo and potluck picnic.  We hope that everyone can make it to enjoy some Basque camaraderie and food!  More details as we get closer, but mark your calendars now!

May 2011 Newsletter!

The May 2011 Newsletter is now online, after a delay related to my general inability to keep things updated.  Inside, you’ll find a list of events we are working on, including an introductory Euskara class and a Basque movie night.

Also, there is a brief report on the recent elections in Spain and, in particular, the Basque Country.  A new party, Bildu, did very well.  What that means for the future of the region is unclear, but it does suggest directions will change.

A PDF of the newsletter can be found here.

As always, many thanks (mik esker!) to Lisa Van De Graaff for putting this together!

Spring Potluck!

Our Spring potluck will be on April 3 from 4-7PM in Santa Fe.  This is a great opportunity for us to get together, rekindle old acquaintances, and enjoy some great food.  If you have any questions, just shoot an email to and all of your questions will be answered (within reason).

February 2011 Newsletter!

The February 2011 Newsletter is now online!  In addition to the standard offerings of Heraldry, Buber-tik, and Basque News, information about upcoming events and our membership drive are inside. Take a look and let us know what you think!

A PDF of the newsletter can be found here.  Thanks to Lisa Van De Graaff for her efforts in putting it together!

Venue for the Oreka TX performance

The venue for the Sept 26 performance of Oreka TX will be Mike’s Music Exchange in Eldorado.  This is a great location for such events with a great sound system and capacity.

About Mike’s Music Exchange (from their website):

Mike’s Music Exchange is on a mission to connect local artists with our community. Our community is brimming with gifted musicians and artists that need a place to showcase their talent and share their skills and experiences with the community.

Mike’s Music Exchange is a small privately owned and operated facility in Eldorado designed to serve the needs of the community of musicians, artists, and music lovers that live in and around our great area. The Exchange is essentially four busineses rolled into one place.

For directions to Mike’s Music Exchange, see their website.

Oreka TX coming to New Mexico!

Since the 1960s, Basque folk music has seen a very exuberant revival, with the rediscovery of many traditional instruments.  Chief amongst those is the txalaparta, a device once used to communicate between the valleys, announcing weddings, deaths, and the completion of the latest sagardoa/cider batch.  Today, the txalaparta is central to a number of folk music groups, in particular the band Oreka TX.

Oreka TX has gained international fame for their skill with the txalaparta, a fame which brings them to New Mexico as part of a US tour.

On Saturday, September 25, Oreka TX will perform at Globalquerque!  For tickets and more information, check out Globalquerque’s website at

On Sunday, September 26, NMEE is extremely pleased to host Oreka TX for a free private event, including a live performance and then a video presentation of their travels performing with other folk groups around the world.  The venue is still being finalized; stay tuned.  Donations to help offset the costs are welcome.

UPDATE: The venue has been set.  The performance will be at Mike’s Music Exchange in Eldorado.  See their website for directions, or contact Blas at

For more information about the txalaparta, you can visit this Wikipedia article:

For more information about Oreka TX, you can visit their website at