Dobaran, Carmen Gandiaga

Daniel Chertudi and Julian Achabal
Interview Location: 
Boise, Idaho
Interview Date: 

Carmen was born on 22 January 1929 in Mountain Home, Idaho to Pedro Maria Gandiaga and Juliana Nachiondo, who had emigrated from Markina and Ispaster, Bizkaia.  She recalls many details from her parents' lives, including the circumstances of their Atlantic crossings.  Carmen actually grew up in the little town of Indian Cove, where her father ran a sheep ranch that employed more than 30 Basque men and women.  She remembers going to the town's tiny school, where she was the only Basque.  Discrimination was never a problem in Indian Cove, since the Basques were so honest and hardworking.

When her father died of a heart attack, Carmen moved to Boise at the age of 13.  Whereas in rural Idaho there had been few Basques or organized Basque activities, there were suddenly many more in the big city, and Carmen describes the different things she enjoyed doing.  She graduated from St. Teresa's Academy and then got a degree from the University of Idaho.  Carmen was working for the State of Idaho when she met her husband, Louis Dobaran (a former employee of her father's), and the couple was married in 1954.  They had one daughter.

Carmen officially retired from her job to raise LuAnn, but there was plenty of work on the family's three Boise ranches to keep her busy!  Carmen is still able to speak Basque, and very much appreciates her heritage even though she identifies herself first as an American.  She has made two trips to Euskadi, and hopes to visit that country and many others in the years to come.

Audio Recording: 
Racists in Mountain Home
Helping Father Out on the Ranch
Basques at the University of Idaho
Other Images: