Bastida, Regina

Joseba Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Boise, ID
Interview Date: 

Regina was born in Ondarroa, Bizkaia.  Her father was a city employee at the public wash facility, and her mother worked in a fish cannery.  Regina went to a school taught by nuns and sang in the church choir until she was 16.  When she finished school, she found work in the kitchens of a health spa in Alzola.  Regina learned to cook during her three years at the spa, which proved to be a valuable skill in the United States.

Regina's sister, Julia, who was living in the United States, sent her pictures of the US, which piqued Regina's interest in the country.  When Julia sent her some money, Regina took the train from Deba, Gipuzkoa to Biarritz, on the French side of the Basque country.  She boarded the "Niagara," a ship used by American servicemen returning from fighting in Europe during World War I, and arrived in New York, where Valentín Aguirre helped her find the train to Mountain Home, Idaho. 

In Mountain Home, Regina found a job as a maid at the Bengoechea boarding house, where her major responsibility was to care for Bengoechea children.  When her sister, Julia, fell ill in Boise, Regina went to stay with her.  She met Juan Bastida at Boni Garmendia's "Merino" pool hall in town, and they married after a short courtship.  Regina and Juan rented the Spanish Hotel, a Basque boarding house in Nampa owned by the Jausoro family.  After a few years, they bought a larger house with 24 rooms and 4 apartments, and were able to accommodate up to 60 boarders.  Regina and Juan settled and raised a family.  She became a US citizen in 1962.

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