Bidaburu, Carmen Madarieta

Mikel Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Boise, ID
Interview Date: 

Carmen was born in 1930 in Ispaster to Marcial Madarieta and Ramona Aboitiz.  One of 13 siblings, she grew up on the family baserri, helping her family tend their garden and livestock.  At 19, she was ready for a change, and decided to move to a suburb of Bilbao to work as a housekeeper for a wealthy family.  She grew close to the family, developing a working relationship that spanned 12 years.

Carmen left her position as a housekeeper to marry her husband, Vicente Bidaburu, in 1961.  They decided to come to the United States, which excited Carmen, for her father had told her stories from his years as a sheep herder in Idaho.  Vicente went before her, and Carmen joined him in 1963, making the trip with her infant son.  She was thrilled to see her husband and try life in Burns, Oregon.

When her children were old enough to start school, Carmen found a job in the school cafeteria, where she worked for many years. She took the opportunity to learn as much English as she could.  Carmen and Vicente joined their children in Boise in 1994, where they enjoy spending time with family and with friends at the Basque Center.  

Audio Recording: 
Coming to Idaho
Teaching her kids Basque
Other Images: