Zabala, Felipe

Mikel Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Boise, ID
Interview Date: 

Felipe was born in baserri Gallete in Ispaster, Bizkaia to Domingo Zabala and Paulina Madarieta, on 23 January, 1947.  He vividly remembers farm and family life from his childhood, as well as food rationing after the Civil War.  Felipe had a very unusual education: he was kicked out of school prematurely for passing a national aptitude test, in order to reduce the strain on Franco's budget.  The time he did spent in class saw many punishments for children who spoke Basque.

After a few years working in carpentry, Felipe decided to follow his eldest brother to the United States, where he spent some time sheepherding and packing meat.  His love for building ultimately led him to teach himself to read blueprints, and before long, Felipe had designed and built homes in Euskadi and in the Sun Valley area of Idaho through his own construction company.

Felipe married Jone Idoyagabeitia, and has helped raise his daughter to be proud of her Basque heritage.  Despite the many changes in the Basque country since his childhood, he still feels comfortable there, and would like to alternate his time between his native land and the new country he has come to respect.

Audio Recording: 
Franco kicking kids out of school
Hard times in Euskadi
Speaking Spanish at school
Zabala construction company
Other Images: