Basque Mexicans

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Basque Mexicans
Regions with significant populations
Western and Northern Mexico
Spanish (Castilian Spanish, Mexican Spanish), Basque, French
Roman Catholicism
Related ethnic groups
Basques and Basque diaspora,
Spanish Mexicans, French Mexicans

Basque Mexicans (Spanish: vasco-mexicanos or simply vasco, Euskara: euskal-mexikar) are Mexicans of full, partial, or predominantly Basque ancestry, or Basque-born persons living in Mexico.

Seen in Mexico by the whole Euskalerria concept, Basque descendants can be from Navarre, Euskadi or Iparralde. It is one of the most important and numerous groups of European people in Mexico and one of the biggest Basque diasporas in the world.

Basques can be found in every corner of Mexico, including names of cities and regions such as: Arriaga in Chiapas, Durango a State, Aramberri in Nuevo León, Reynosa and Laredo in Tamaulipas, Arizpe in Sonora, Bernal in Queretaro or Narvarte neighbourhoods in Mexico City, and even dating by the colonial times, Arizona has its name for being and extension of the New Navarre in the province of Sonora, and least not mention in California, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Oregon, Texas, and elsewhere of the Western U.S. is the Basque American familial link with Basques in Mexico.[citation needed]


Basque exiles of the Spanish Civil War in Mexico City
Basque restaurant in the Historic Center of Mexico City
Delegation of the Basque Autonomous Community (Euskadi) in Mexico City

The first Catholic archbishop in Mexico, Juan Zumarraga, was Basque.[1] Francisco Ibarra explored northern Mexico and founded Nueva Vizcaya.[1] Fermín de Francisco Lasuén was the founder of many of the Spanish missions in Alta California.

In 1907, the Basque community founded the Centro Vasco. This community consisted of immigrants from Navarre, Gipuzkoa, Biscay and some French Basques.[2] There was a divide between the Basque community: the first group were rural unskilled, economic emigrants that arrived in the late 19th and early 20th century and the other were political exiles of the Spanish Civil War that tended to have technical or academic education.[3]

A notable migrant of the former group was Braulio Iriarte who immigrated to Mexico in 1877 with no education or professional experience.[3] He began as an employee in a bakery and after years of hard work he owned 80 bakeries and a mill. This mill, El Euskaro, founded in 1906 was one of the largest in Mexico.[3] He also owned haciendas in Querétaro, mines in Hidalgo, large properties in Mexico City and helped found various corporations, including Grupo Modelo.[3]


An unknown amount of Mexicans (whether mestizo or criollo) have some amount of Basque descent and that community has increased in size from immigration from Spain in the early 20th century. The Spanish Civil War in the 1930s brought over tens of thousands of refugees from the Basque Country to political asylum in Mexico and Latin America.

Most Mexicans of Basque descent are concentrated in the cities of Monterrey, Saltillo, Camargo, and the states of Jalisco, Colima, Zacatecas, Durango, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Sonora. The Basques were important in the mining industry, many were ranchers and vaqueros (cowboys), and the rest small shops owners in major cities like Mexico City, Guadalajara and Puebla.

In Baja California, the Basque surname of Aramburuzabala is today one of the most known in that state, as well as in the neighboring states of Sonora and Coahuila.

Basque names are found in many places throughout Northeastern Mexico, such as Durango, Reynosa,( Nuevo) Laredo, Victoria, Zuazua and Arramberri - the first province in the north of the Viceroyalty of New Spain (Mexico) to be explored and settled by the Spanish, Nueva Vizcaya, New Spain, comprised the territory of today's states of Chihuahua and Durango.

Notable Basque-Mexicans[edit]


  1. ^ a b Zubiri, Nancy (2006). A Travel Guide to Basque America: Families, Feasts, and Festivals. University of Nevada Press. p. 13. ISBN 0874176328. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  2. ^ Douglass, William A.; Jon, Bilbao (2005). Amerikanuak: Basques in the New World. University of Nevada Press. p. 167. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d Azcona Pastor, José Manuel (2004). Possible Paradises: Basque Emigration to Latin America. Publisher University of Nevada Press. ISBN 0874174449. Retrieved 22 October 2015.