Aurteneche, Fermin

Daniel Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Rupert, Idaho
Interview Date: 

Fermin was born on 18 November 1946, in Menekabarrena, Bizkaia, to Victor Aurteneche and Nicolasa Mentxaka.  Life was hard in those times, and Fermin had to go to work at an early age to help support his family.  When he was 13, he got a job as a cabin boy for a tuna ship, and set sail for Africa.  It was difficult to be away from his family for such prolonged periods of time.  After several years of fishing, Fermin was drafted into the navy.

When he got the opportunity to make a better life for himself in America, it was no surprise that Fermin chose to go.  After a bumpy start in Nevada and California, he was moved to a sheep company in Idaho, where he immediately felt at home.  Fermin soon met his wife Linda at a ranch where he had moved to work, and the couple was married in 1972.  They have a daughter who is very interested in the Basque culture.

Today, Fermin is very active.  He works for the Simplot company, was once head of the Rupert Basque Association, and still enjoys many Basque cultural activities.  Fermin has been back to visit his family in Euskadi, and still identifies himself as a Basque, but he is enormously proud to be an American citizen.

Audio Recording: 
Cabin Boy
Meeting Linda
Proud American
Other Images: