This article was translated by John R. Bopp

We’ve had the chance to talk a lot lately about the Brotherhood of Our Lady of Aranzazu of Lima, the institution founded in 1612 by the members of the “Vascongada” nation who lived in Lima to proveide mutual support and aid as well as too all the Basques in Lima who needed their help.

This group, along with the Euskal Etxea Aranzazu de Lima organized a series of events related to two important happenings in this history of the Basques.  The first, universal among Basques, was the 80th anniversary of the Bombing of Guernica.  The second, much more intimate, was the anniversary of the 1942 visit Lehendakari Aguirre made to Peru on his New World tour.

The mark left by the bombing of the Basque sacred city is evident; what is perhaps less well known is the deep, lasting mark the Lehendakari’s visit to Peru left, even to Basques today.

Last April, Lino Bolaños Baldassari, a Peruvian singer-songwriter, made a visit to Europe, and, among those commemorative events, Mr. Bolaños had written a song about the Bombing of Guernica.  We got to hear the song in a recording we found online, and we knew he’d sung it on many occasions, including at a festival held to pay homage to Monsignor Romero in El Salvador.

While speaking with the organizers of those events, we wondered if it wouldn’t be possible to record this song under the Tree of Gernika.  So, we got to work, and got the relevant permits from the General Courts of Biscay (who helped us in any way they could), and on May 4, 2018, with the technical support of Zukus, we recorded it.

It was an emotional moment, let us tell you.  It all just came out perfectly on the first try.  The sun even came out that day, and the people passing by the Tree, or those who were visiting the Gernika Meeting House that day applauded at the end of each of the takes.  Among the many conversations that were had with Lino, one sticks out.  An older lady, just on the other side of the fence that separates the tree from the path, visibly moved by the recording, waited for it to finish before asking him, “You’re not from around here.  Where are you from?”  He responded that he was from Peru, to which the lady responded, “¡Viva Perú!”

To give some context to how the song came about, we thought it might be a good idea to include a small presentation that captured the spirit the guided the songwriter.  Our regular readers know so much about our interest in the Bombing of Guernica, as well as our “weakness” for the figure of Lehendakari Aguirre.  We are, we proudly admit, convinced and militant “Aguirrists”.  Our regular readers will also know about our admiration for all those who went through those most difficult of times, and who gave all for Democracy, Freedom, and the Homeland.

We’d be remiss to end this presentation without thanking those Peruvian Basques, and the Basques all over the world, for their will, while still model citizens of their countries, to maintain the links with their homeland strong and alive.  Our personal thanks also to Iñaki Bazán and his wife Isabel, who collaborated in so many ways to make all this happen.

We’ll leave you with the video, and also with an article that appeared in Deia explaining all the events held throughout 2017 to commemorate the Lehendakari’s visit: so many events, to which this video would like to be the “golden brooch”.

We so enjoyed planning, recording, setting up, and listening to it.  We hope it will have the same effect on our readers.

Deia -15/8/2017 – Euskadi

Perú conmemora el 75º aniversario de la visita del lehendakari Aguirre

Perú recuerda este mes de agosto la visita del lehendakari José Antonio Aguirre, de la que se cumplen 75 años. Así, con motivo de este aniversario, la asociación Arantzazu Euzko Etxea de Lima ha organizado una serie de actos conmemorativos y académicos por todo el territorio peruano para homenajear la figura de Aguirre en un país con una amplia comunidad de origen vasco.

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