About the Foundation

In 2003, Pete and Freda felt it important to create an organization to promote Basque history and culture and assist with the creation of a Basque Studies program at Boise State University. With the help of others, they created the Cenarrusa Center for Basque Studies. Their success with lamb barbeques on the Basque Block and some funds from a Basque, Idaho license plate, as well as the generosity of donors and the Cenarrusas themselves, assisted with that program almost immediately continued the Cenarrusa Foundation for Basque Culture. promotes the culture and history of the Basques by providing resources for performances, presentations and programs and to organizations throughout Idaho and Oregon. The Foundation is the entity that can provide the added degree of assistance – financial or professional – that can make the critical difference for any organization that seeks to promote Basque Culture.

The uniqueness of the language, history, and politics of the Basque people throughout the world is of interest to The Foundation. We celebrate what makes Basques unique within the common human cultural experience. The Foundation endorses and supports programs that involve critical thinking – which promotes understanding and tolerance.

The Foundation is an Idaho non-profit corporation that maintains a Federal Tax Code section 501(c) (3) exemption. Contributions to the Foundation are tax deductible under both federal and Idaho state law. The Foundation’s programs are funded by such contributions by Pete and Freda Cenarrusa as well as other donors.

The Foundation was organized by Pete and Freda Cenarrusa in 2003.

Photo - Board members during the awards dinner at Leku Ona restaurant (from left to right) - Miren Eiguren, Dr. Gloria Totoricagüena, Freda Cenarrusa, Roy Eiguren, Pete Cenarrusa, Miren Artiach, Patty Miller and Jill Aldape.

Pete and Freda Cenarrusa

Pete and Freda Cenarrusa have been part of the political landscape of Idaho for over 50 years. Their partnership started in 1947 and shortly thereafter Pete started his political career. The Cenarrusas are a sheep-raising family and they often enjoy returning to the ranch at Carey. Tragedy struck in September 1997 when their son Joe, a well-known Boise restauranteur and a pilot also, died in an airplane accident. Visit the Pete Cenarrusa's complete biography by clicking here

Roy and Miren Eiguren

Roy is a Boise business executive, lawyer and lobbyist. He is President of Eiguren Public Law & Policy PLLC and of the Idaho Public Facilities Leasing Company. Roy serves on the Board of Directors of Avista Corporation, a major Pacific Northwest electric and gas utility, and of Idaho Independent Bank, one of Idaho's largest state chartered banks. Miren is an educator. They both are active members of Boise's Basque community, with Roy serving as President of the American Basque Foundation and Miren as a member of the Bietzotek Basque Choir. Roy's father was Joe Eiguren, an author of four books on Basque history and language.

Miren Artiach

Miren is active in all aspects of Basque life while serving as the Deputy Secretary of State and a co-owner of Boise's Leku Ona Basque restaurant. She has been the business manager for the Oinkari Basque Dancers and a member of virtually every Basque organization in Boise. She participates in conferences and has two sons, Aitor and Andoni, with husband Jose Mari, who she married in 1974.

Jill Aldape

Jill is a past President of the Oinkari Basque Dancers and is the Events & Development Director for the Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center Foundation in Boise, Idaho, where she coordinates projects like the Festival of Trees. Jill graduated from the University of Idaho and has been active in Basque and public affairs throughout her college and professional careers.

Dr. Gloria Totoricagüena

Gloria is an academic, researcher, and author of five books and numerous articles, former Director of the Center for Basque Studies at University of Nevada, Reno, and former Director of the Basque Global Initiatives project in Euskadi. She is known as a world’s leader in comparative ethnic diaspora studies and research. She has returned to Boise as a consultant in international research in transnational politics and economics, ethnic identity maintenance and Basque culture programs.

Patty Miller

Patty attended Boise schools and graduated from the University of Idaho with degrees in Spanish and Political Science. Her first work included teaching a year in Bogotá, Colombia, five years with Medicare, and three years assisting junior high students in rural communities. Since that time, Patty worked as a board member for the Basque Museum and Cultural Center from 1985 and became Executive Director in 1993. In 2016, she became the Community History Director, collecting oral histories, artifacts, and photos from Basques around the western United States.