Twinning Nepal and Basque Country through the Sherpa language, the Basque language and the love of mountaineering: after a year of preparation an expedition of 15 Basque students led by mountaineer Felipe Uriarte left for the Himalayas on October 11th with that idea in mind.
The project is called Oxigenoa Euskarari 6,000 metroan ere (Oxygen for Euskera also at 6,000 meters high) and as its promoter explains, it is an initiative "to promote solidarity among peoples, and support minority languages, with Basque and mountaineering as the crux".
These young people aged 15 to 18, in addition to trekking in the Everest area, are participating in schools in Nepal in activities and projects related to solidarity, integration and minority languages. During the expedition they will carry out several sessions with local youth to exchange basic knowledge of Basque and Sherpa. The group will also give shape to a Basque-Sherpa dictionary which will be published upon their return.
Right now the expedition is in full swing, but the project started a long time ago for the Basque schoolchildren. As part of a school project on self-management, they worked on aspects such as financing the expedition, personal material, photography and video, as well as publicizing the project. Partial support for the initiative comes from the Etxepare Basque Institute.