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August 15, 2011
By Natalie Savidge
From growing up and dancing with her sisters at community events in Buffalo, Wyo., to becoming a Basque language instructor, dance director, Reno’s Basque Club president and national delegate, Kate Camino, an administrative assistant at the University of Nevada, Reno Center for Basque Studies, has become a recognized figure and ambassador within her local communities and well beyond.
Her continued passion and dedication to the Basque culture led her back to her hometown in Wyoming this summer where she received a lifetime contribution, or Bizi Emankorra, award at the North American Basque Organization’s (NABO) national festival in Buffalo, July 22.
“The award means a lot to me,” Camino said. “I am a little embarrassed, actually, since there are so many more-seasoned individuals than me who are worthy of this award. I am the youngest recipient to date, I think, so that is humbling. It also means a lot to me to be receiving this award in my hometown of Buffalo. That makes it extra special.”
A candidate for NABO's lifetime contribution award is a person who has made significant contributions to the North American Basque Organization and who has given extraordinary commitment to Basque culture in the United States, beyond their own local Basque community. Camino’s nomination was submitted by the San Francisco Basque Club.
“Kate has always been proud of her heritage, even before there was a Basque club in Buffalo, or before she found out about NABO,” a previous nomination form stated, which was submitted last year by Reno’s local Basque club, Zazpiak Bat. “Even before belonging to any official entity, Kate tried to perpetuate the Basque culture in her community and should be recognized for her lifelong commitment.”
Since her post at the University of Nevada, Reno began in 1998, she has directed office operations, written grants for the center, and assisted visiting scholars with visa and lodging information. She has also taught Basque language classes, and lived and studied in the Basque Country. She speaks fluent Basque, French, Spanish and English.
Camino earned a master’s degree in French with a minor in Basque cultural studies from the University. She is a former member of the American Translators Association (ATA) and has worked as an interpreter in Wyoming's and Nevada's courts in both the Basque and Spanish languages. While living in the Basque Country, she taught English at Lauro Ikastola (a Basque language school) in Bilbao, Spain.