The National University of La Plata (UNLP) is a public university in Argentina, considered one of the two leading institutions of higher learning in the country.
This university, one of the twelve best in university rankings in South America, has a network of Free Schools under the UNLP Presidency, born with a mission to share different areas of culture and knowledge which don’t have a specific place in any of the specific curricula they offer.
Among them is the one that is the reason for this article: the Free School of Basque Thought (Cátedra Libre de Pensamiento Vasco). It was created on June 16, 1993 in an agreement between the university and the Euzko Etxea de la Plata Basque Center, which itself was officially founded on January 1, 1944, and has been intensely and fruitfully active since.
Thus, the Free School of Basque Thought is today, June 16, turning 27. And we here at About Basque Country wanted to join in on the celebration.
It’s not hard to find articles we’ve written over the past ten years making clear references to our conviction that the Basque Diaspora is a fundamental part of our Homeland. What’s more, we’re convinced its role has been, is, and will be key to the survival of our nation.
These Basques spread all over the world are the best representation of who we are as a People. Whenever we see the role and attitude the Basques have had in the homelands they’ve adopted because of any of the many reasons so many have left their homeland, we recall the words Lehendakari Aguirre spoke in Buenos Aires in 1955, that the Basques must be, among all citizens in their adopted homeland, the best (3:35).
Because many are the Basques, of the first, second, third, etc. generation, who have kept that high, and even heroic, commitment to the land of their origin, from the obscure and relatively unknown work of daily support and collaboration to the things that have had an incredible reach, such as Editorial Ekin, also in Argentina.
We Basques tend to “not recognize our own”, which we think is a grave mistake. Because in that recognition, in sharing it and making it known, is where an important and glorious part of our history is. Since we have the misfortune of having our official history being written by “academies” in countries that have stolen our freedoms, it seems a mistake to refrain from energetically striving to keep our history alive.
And an important part of that history is found outside the Basque Country itself: indeed, it is to be found throughout “the land of the Basques”. And as we said a while ago, we’re convinced that that Land of the Basques can be found wherever Basques themselves are.
So, for their collaboration with the Homeland and definitively with the Cause of the Basque People, today, on their twenty-seventh anniversary, we didn’t want to only send the Free School of Basque Thought at the UNPL our congratulations. That wouldn’t be enough.
We especially want to thank them for all their hard work and commitment, for being faithful heirs of the commitment that so many Basques in the diaspora have had with Euzkadi.
And it’s not just for what they’ve done. It’s also, especially, for what they’re going to continue doing.
Free School of Basque Thought. Facebook
La Plata Basque Center. Facebook
La Plata Basque Center Matxin Burdin Library. Facebook