Zabala, Carmen Zabala

Begoña Pecharroman
Interview Location: 
Boise, Idaho
Interview Date: 

Carmen was born in Berriatua, Bizkaia in 1944, to Domingo Zabala and Augustina Burundarena.  The family lived in  a baserri, but since times were rough, they had to leave home to work as soon as they were able.  She has vivid recollections of school and life on the farm.  Carmen's mother found her a job at a butcher shop, where she collected blood from the slaughterhouse to make sausages, but she soon grew tired of this work, and went to help a doctor's family in Lekeitio.  After 2 years, she and a friend took a bus to France to work in a hotel.  Throughout this time, Carmen kept in close contact with Inaki Zabala, a boy she'd met in Lekeitio, and the two married in 1970.  They moved to America the following year.

It took Carmen a while to adjust to the language and culture of the US, but while her husband worked with Idaho Power, she found jobs outside the home to ease her integration.  Now, Carmen considers herself remarkably well-adjusted, and has a wonderful family and social life to prove it.  She is constantly involving herself in the community, has learned how to drive, and is now a US citizen.

Even though there are few Basque activities in Bliss, Carmen and her family have always enjoyed attending the events in larger places like Gooding and Boise.  She helps out with her church and with her grandkids, and is so integrated in Idaho that she would not consider moving back to Euskadi.  Carmen spends her vacations either traveling back to her homeland, or relaxing in the family's second home in Mexico.

Audio Recording: 
Working at the Butcher Shop
Learning English
Bliss Basque Activities
Other Images: