Totoricagüena, Cornelio

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

Cornelio was born in Navarniz on 16 September 1929 to Ramόn Totoricagüena and Carmen Uriarte.  His parents worked full-time on the family's baserri, Salbiskue.  Cornelio remembers the period of food rationing that followed the Spanish Civil War, and farmers were only allowed to mill a certain amount of wheat.  His mother passed away when Cornelio was young, leaving him, as the oldest of six children, to do much of the cooking and baking for the family.

After finishing school, working for a building contractor and completing his military service, Cornelio made arrangements to emigrate to the United States.  He arrived in Boise in November of 1952 and was greeted by his uncle, who had been working for Andrew Guerricabeitia in Shoshone, Idaho.  Cornelio worked on Bernardo Goyenechea's ranch until 1958, when he left to cut timber in Cascade.  Two years later, he picked up his tools and embarked on career in construction that would take him to dams and other projects in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Cornelio married Rose Arana and settled in Boise.  Retiring from a long career in construction in his 60s, he started his own landscaping company.  An active member of the Basque community, Cornelio has earned reputations as a master gardener and baker, donating his time and skill at horticultural workshops and fundraising efforts for the Basque Center in Boise.

Audio Recording: 
Arriving In the United States
Grafting Fruit Trees
Other Images: