Sarria, Fraces "Paki" Jayo

Interviewer: 
Begoña Pecharroman
Interview Location: 
Boise, ID
Interview Date: 
11/14/97

Paki was born in Gernika, Bizkaia on 31 August 1946 to Luis Jayo and Emeteria Ordorica.  Her father worked in a sawmill and was drafted into the Spanish Army, where he served for seven years.  Her mother worked at home, managing the household and their children.  In 1947, Paki's father left for the United States, leaving his family in Gernika while he worked in the US.  Over the years, he visited his family several times until Paki's mother insisted that he move the entire family to America, or stay in the Basque country.

In 1960, after a year's worth of paperwork and preparation, Paki and her family arrived in Boise, Idaho.  Another year passed before they moved into the Delamar Hotel, a Basque boarding house which they ran for about 11 years.  Paki remembers how hard her parents, especially her mother, worked to provide a place for sheepherders and other boarders to stay.  Every day after school, Paki would go home to help her family with chores to keep the boarding house running.

She met her husband, Justo Sarria, when he was a boarder at the Delamar in 1968.  They married in 1970 and settled in Boise to raise their family.  Paki talks about how she taught her children to speak Basque, and underscores the importance of language in the preservation and maintenance of Basque culture.  In addition to her job as a credit manager for Sears, a position she has held for 27 years, Paki is a member of the Basque Center and the Basque Museum and Cultural Center.

Audio Recording: 
At the Delmar
Coming to America
Other Images: