Otazua, Maria Luisa Idarra

Begoña Pecharroman
Interview Location: 
Twin Falls, Idaho
Interview Date: 

Maria was born in Baserri Olalde in 1929.  Both of her parents worked in the nearby village, so Maria and her siblings stayed at home with their grandmother and worked on the farm.  After studying at home and in Gernika, she apprenticed as a seamstress and cook, learning many useful and enjoyable skills.  Her father wanted only the best for his children, and supported her when she was not making enough money to live in Bilbao.

Amid a very busy home and work life, Maria was married at the age of 23, to Victor Otazua.  Since her father had passed away 7 months earlier, the wedding was a very solemn occasion.  Her husband soon left to find work in America, and didn't return until the couple's first child was 4 years old.  Maria didn't work outside of the house, since Victor sent home money.  When he decided it was easier to have a good life in the US, Maria journeyed across the Atlantic to join her husband.

Maria worked as a cook at an Idaho sheep camp, and was beloved by all who knew her--and tasted her cuisine!  She taught her children Spanish and Basque, and insisted that the family attend mass regularly.  In her spare time, it isn't unusual for Maria to help immigrants with their official documents and other translation needs, and she also loves fundraising for Twin Falls Basque activities.  When she has the time, Maria keeps in touch with her family in Euskadi, and enjoys traveling to her homeland.

Audio Recording: 
Walking the Gauntlet to School
Cooking for the Herders
Twin Falls Basque Activities
Other Images: