Beristain, José Mari

Daniel Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Boise, Idaho
Interview Date: 

José Mari was born in Marquina on 4 December 1945 to Juan Beristain and Balbina Bengoechea Beristain.  His family decided to come to the United States in 1957.  They took a ship, the "Covadonga," from Bilbao to Cádiz to New York, and traveled across the country to Boise, Idaho by train.

The family moved to a ranch in Gooding, Idaho, for 3 years before moving to another ranch near Elko, Nevada.  José Mari graduated from Elko High School in 1965.

He was drafted to the US Marine Corps to fight in Vietnam in 1966, where he spent 13 months.  After 3 years in the service, José Mari took his citizenship test and became an American citizen.

He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with his wife and children.  José Mari helped start the Las Vegas Basque Club and has served as president on and off for the past 18 years. 

Audio Recording: 
His Family's Journey to America
Fighting in Vietnam; American Citizenship
Las Vegas Basque Club
Other Images: