We recently came across the story of a Mexican author, born in the capital and then voluntarily “exiled” to Baja California, which is a model for those stories we so often tell. By that we mean the strength and persistence of Basque roots among those of our compatriots who come from families which emigrated, sometimes, as in this case, several generations ago, to all corners of the earth.
Luis de Basabe was an engineer and renowned author who included stories and references to the land of his forebears, the Basque Country, in many of his works. Even his great-nephew, Daniel Salinas Basave (now with a “V”), who is also an author, tells us how his love for the land of his forebears made him change the spelling of his surname, to adapt it to Basque orthography.
These far-reaching roots are even more significant if we remember that his family had resided in Mexico since at least the beginning of the 19th century, as can be seen on the Geni website, where his family tree can be found.
We found a reference to him in an article penned by Gabriel Trujillo and published in the Mexican daily El Imparcial. Searching for more information on this author, we came across an article his great-nephew Daniel Salinas Basave dedicated to him on his blog. In both cases, one of the most relevant aspects of this person, which both articles focus on, alongside the quality of his work, is his sense of belonging to Basque culture, and its constant presence in his work.
As we always say, and never tire of repeating, we never cease to be amazed at the strength of the attraction the Basque land and culture have on its sons and daughters, even those who have been separated by great distances, and those whose ancestors were also born far away from their original homeland.
El Imparcial – 21/10/2021 – Mexico
Luis de Basabe: un vasco bajacaliforniano
Hacia la década de los años sesenta del siglo XX, Baja California ya cuenta con decenas de escritores de todas las tendencias. En su mayoría son recién llegados y buscaban conocerse entre ellos, saber qué estaban escribiendo unos y otros. Esta tendencia la captó bien Rubén Vizcaíno Valencia, quien para 1964 creó la Asociación de escritores de Baja California para que el gremio literario se unificara y así, como una sola fuerza, diera voz a las reivindicaciones de sus miembros y tuviera influencia en los círculos del poder estatal. La visión de Vizcaíno no se concretaba a Tijuana, la ciudad en que residía, sino que buscó a los escritores de Tecate, Mexicali y Ensenada para hacer causa común y lo logró.
Eterno retorno – 28/7/2012 – Mexico
Un vasco exiliado en la Cenicienta
El árbol genealógico suele ser una planta de follaje abrupto, a veces laberíntico e impenetrable. Basta con tratar de explorar sus ramas para darnos cuenta de lo poco que sabemos sobre nuestros antepasados. Cuando uno se sumerge en exploraciones semejantes, suele encontrar sorpresas.
Header photo: Photo of Luis de Besabe and a view of Ensenada, Mexico