Achabal, Julian

Mikel and Daniel Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Boise, ID
Interview Date: 

Julian was born on 8 June 1939 in Ispaster, Bizkaia to Simon and Santiaga Achabal. He has vivid memories of his father coming home from prison, having been arrested for his political views. Julian's father had worked in the United States with his brothers before settling in Ispaster. At the age of 19, Julian decided to contact one of his uncles and follow in his father's footsteps. He wanted to try his luck in a new country.

After an arduous series of train and airplane connections, Julian arrived in Boise, Idaho. He was met by his uncles, Andrés and Deogracias, and driven to the Letamendi boarding house in town. Julian remembers how he felt when he found his place in the Boise Basque community.

Julian worked on a sheep ranch in Hammett, Idaho for three years and was drafted to the US Army before returning to build a life in Boise. He started a family and rejoined the Basque Center, where he served two terms on the board of directors. Julian was successful pushing to hang the Basque flag at the entrance to the Center, which was somewhat controversial in the Basque community at the time. Julian remains an active member in the Center and community at large.

Audio Recording: 
Arriving in Boise (2:03)
Hanging the flag at the Boise Basque Center (1:39)
Other Images: