Lehendakari: "A piece of the heart of this Lehendakari will remain here, in Nevada"
The Center for Basque Studies has held a dinner in honor of the Lehendakari, who will sign a collaboration agreement tomorrow "for the dissemination of Basque culture and the Basque reality".
The Lehendakari, Patxi López, has held his first meeting with the individuals in charge of the Center for Basque Studies in Nevada, with whom he will sign a collaboration agreement tomorrow for the dissemination of Basque culture and the Basque reality. The Center for Basque Studies has organized a dinner in honor of the Lehendakari who has transmitted the "warmth of the home" of his native Basque Country to them. López has drawn attention to the efforts of the Center for Basque Studies "in terms of Basque culture within the U.S.A." "43 years ago, a small syllabus for Basque studies was set up in the Research Institute of the University of Nevada. Today, we stand before an institute that is completely consolidated, which provides a window on to the English-speaking academic world and a showcase for all those wishing to find out more about the Basque Country," he stated.
The Casino Ascuaza hotel, owned by John Ascuaza, a shepherd from Orozco who emigrated to Reno along with thousands of other Basques, provided the setting for the first meeting between the delegation of the Basque Government and the Basque collective in Nevada. The Center for Basque studies has organized a dinner in honor of the Lehendakari. Who will sign a collaboration agreement with this center tomorrow for the dissemination of Basque culture and the Basque reality. The center is a reference point within the English-speaking world and "during Franco's dictatorship represented the only institution in the world dedicated to Basque studies."
In addition to the Lehendakari, the event was attended by the Basque Minister for Culture, Blanca Urgell, the General Secretary for Overseas Action, Guillermo Echenique, and the founder of the Center for Basque Studies, Bill Douglas, who extended the invitation to visit Nevada to the Lehendakari, a trip that coincides with the celebration of the Jaialdi in Boise.
During his intervention, the Lehendakari has endeavored to transmit the "support and closeness" felt by Basques in the Basque country towards those who "did not wish to lose their roots, their language, or their culture, taking great efforts to preserve them even during the dark days of the dictatorship." Tomorrow, this support will be made manifest in the form of the collaboration agreement with the Center for Basque Studies focusing on the continuance of joint efforts for the dissemination of Basque culture and the Basque reality. "We want to maintain the strong bond that unites Basques on either side of the Atlantic. We want you to continue to act as a platform facilitating our entry into the United States, " explained the Lehendakari.
López, who urged those attending the dinner to "never" loose their pride in being Basques, went on to assure them that despite the fact that he had spent only one day on Nevada, "amongst such good people", he had already come to realize that Nevada is "a part of the Basque Country." "And I have to tell you that, now, a piece of the heart of this Lehendakari will remain here, in Nevada," he concluded.