Berria, Helen Elguezabal

Mikel Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Boise, Idaho
Interview Date: 

Helen Berria was born on 1 December 1935 in Gooding, Idaho to Fred Elguezabal and Juana Ascuena.  She remembers with surprising detail the story of her parents' and grandparents' immigrations to the US, and the lives they led when they arrived.  Her family had a boarding house in Gooding for many years, which was not only a popular hangout for Basques, but also a makeshift hospital where the local doctor would make house calls for community members.  Helen moved around a lot as a child, living on 3 different farms before the age of 10, and then in Nevada and Arizona.

Helen got more and more involved in the organized events of the Idaho Basque community as she got older, attending dances and picnics.  She met husband Frank Berria at the Basque Center in Boise, and eventually had 2 children.  When the family moved to Washington, DC, Helen began to miss the cultural ties she had left behind, and so was determined to maximize her involvement upon the family's return.

Today, Helen works hard to create an extensive genealogy of the Basques in her region, which she describes in great detail.  She also sings with the Biotzetik Basque Choir.  Helen is a proud Basque who is glad to see efforts to preserve the culture going so well.

Audio Recording: 
Grandfather Claudio Speaks
Growing Up Basque
Census Project
Other Images: