Preservation: 1960-Present

Basques are generally a socially-oriented people with a history of working together. The Old World concept of auzolan, or neighborhood work, created an always connected community. Those customs followed them as they came to the New World and continue to help evolve their culture as we know it today. The diminishing economic need for boardinghouses provided a new challenge for Basques in many communities. The boardinghouses had helped to preserve elements of Basque culture, and many California Basques saw the need to continue to preserve these important traditions. The challenge was having a location to meet to perpetuate the unique language, culture, and traditions since the boardinghouses were no longer active. With the exception of a few failed attempts to establish cultural clubs earlier, the 1940s marked the beginning of the formation of successful, long-lasting clubs throughout California. As the culture and time evolved, Basques moved on from their boardinghouse lives and sheepherding work to meet at cultural centers or restaurants and find other work in other industries. Though Basques are often equated to sheepherders, they can equally be connected to landscaping, farming, bakeries, restaurateurs, dairy, entrepreneurs, and politicians, among others.