Ybarra, Martina Ozamiz

Begoña Pecharroman
Interview Location: 
Boise, ID
Interview Date: 

Martina was born on 1 July 1913 in Arteaga, Bizkaia, to Martin Ozamiz and Juana Larrocea.  She recalls growing up on the family baserri with her many brothers and sisters.  Times were hard, and Martina had to leave the baserri at a young age to make a living for herself.  She went to Las Arenas to work in a sweets shop, and soon fell in love with the urban life.

Martina was in Gernika when it was bombed.  The attack left her family devastated, and many of her friends were either killed or fled, never to be seen again.  She went to work as a cook to help support her family, but after 10 years, left for America in order to make a better life for herself.  She traveled via Mexico, and soon began working at a hotel in Mountain Home.

Martina married Fermin Ybarra in 1952, and the couple tried living in Euskadi for a year before ultimately deciding to buy a house and settle in Boise.  She practiced her English by working around Americans, and has now been a citizen for over 30 years.  Martina is currently retired, and through the years, has remained proud of her Basque identity.

Audio Recording: 
Other Images: