Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Passing of Dr. Stanley Diesch

Messages of condolence and shared loss have been circulating this week among members of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners upon news that Stan Diesch, the former president of the chapter and a great friend to many, had passed away just shy of his 92nd birthday.

The Star Tribune published this obituary, which describes the important work Stan did at home and abroad, and his many enduring achievements.

Stan is survived by his wife Darlene, who has also played a key role in shaping the chapter's work spanning decades at the organization.

Along with Darlene, Stan received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from Partners of the Americas, based in Washington, DC, and presented at an international meeting in Quito, Ecuador in 2002.

He became so well known in Uruguay for his contributions to veterinary medicine there that Stan was asked by the President of the Republic of Uruguay to serve as Honorary Consul in Minnesota, a role he served for 6 years.

Stan’s funeral service will be held 11 am Saturday, May 20 at Roseville Lutheran Church (1215 Roselawn Ave., Roseville) with visitation beginning at 10 am. Interment Roselawn Cemetery.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Uruguayan commercial made in Minnesota wins prestigious award

Movistar, a multinational mobile phone company, has been presented with Uruguay's highest award for excellence in advertising. The Campana del Oro was presented to Movistar at a ceremony held on Nov. 15 in Montevideo, Uruguay.
The "Lost in Monte­video" commercial was the major advertising campaign of the year for the company, which serves 22 million customers in Spain and South America.
The three-minute commercial chronicled the adventures of a young man from rural Uruguay who sets out to visit the big city of Montevideo, Uruguay, but unexpectedly ends up in Montevideo, Minnesota.
Read more here with news in English, and here's the original commercial in Spanish.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Dora Haydee Farell Poussin, 82

A longtime and cherished member of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners, Dora died peacefully at her home in Arden Hills, MN, surrounded by her husband, children, and grandchildren on November 25, 2016.
Dora is survived by her husband of 58 years, Cesar; three children, Virginia, Gustavo, Paula; six loving grandchildren; countless Uruguayan and French relatives and a lifetime of close friends.
“Lita” (short for abuelita which is Spanish for grandmother) was born on September 27, 1934 in Madrid, Spain to Julio C. Poussin and Dora E. Crottogini.  In 1938 the family returned to Uruguay.
In 1963 Cesar, Lita, and the children moved to Iowa City, IA, where Lita completed her B.A. in Education at the University of IA.
In 1978 the family moved to Minneapolis, MN, where Lita began her 15 year career, as a Spanish teacher, at Harding High School - a profession that she avidly loved.
Lita succeeded in maintaining close familial ties with relatives and friends in Uruguay and France, allowing her children and grandchildren to grow up connected and bilingual.
Lita was described as kind, selfless, caring, full of life and a great cook and will be dearly missed.  She has left behind countless memories which will be forever cherished.
An open house with a short ceremony to celebrate her life will be held in her honor on Saturday, December 10th, from 2-4:00 pm, at the home of her daughter Virginia Berglund, 12725 43rd Avenue North, Plymouth, MN, 55442.

Condolences may be sent to the Farell family at P.O. Box 16467, St. Paul, MN 55116.

Dora and Cesar Farell

Monday, October 10, 2016

Minnesota-Uruguay Partners teams up to help war victims

Rob Scarlett and Ricardo Bonner, active members of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners, passed along this article below from the October 6, 2016 edition of the StarTribune, Minnesota's largest newspaper. Pilar de Posadas is the daughter of Malena de Posadas, our much beloved and admired counterpart at Uruguay-Minnesota Partners in Montevideo. A wonderful story.

Two children maimed in ISIL attacks treated in Minnesota

Two Yazidi children maimed in fighting in northern Iraq arrived Wednesday in Minneapolis for treatment at the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
A far-flung group of international and local nonprofit groups and private partners organized the humanitarian effort to help the children who have lost limbs. They include Minnesota International Medicine, the Shriners, Minnesota-Uruguay Partners of the Americas, the Center for Victims of Torture and United Kingdom-based Road to Peace.
“All the people involved are from four different religions and seven different countries. It shows you when there is a big heart, things can get done,” said Ricardo Bonner of Edina, a member of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners who helped coordinate the trip.
The two Yazidi children in the Twin Cities are a 10-year-old boy with a partly amputated leg and a 13-year-old boy who lost part of an arm, said Pilar de Posadas, a Los Angeles filmmaker and television producer who helped make arrangements for the boys. One was accompanied by his dad and the other by an aunt.
“The children looked excited. They are thrilled to be here,” said Barry Friedman, chief of clinical global services at Minnesota International Medicine, who met the boys at the airport.
They are among the thousands of Yazidi people living in refugee camps in northern Iraq. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has brutally targeted the Yazidi, who practice their own unique religion, in an effort to “purify” Iraq and surrounding territory of non-Islamic influences.
A United Nations-mandated human rights inquiry has labeled the killing and enslavement as genocide.
The goal is to help the most severely injured Yazidi children receive care at the network of Shriners Hospitals in the U.S. and hospitals in the U.K. The two boys had been treated at refugee medical centers in Iraq and Syria, De Posadas said.
“They do as much as they can, but they are incapable of doing reconstruction or prosthetics,” she said.
The seeds of the humanitarian mission were planted when De Posadas asked U.K. humanitarian Sally Becker if she could make a movie about Becker’s life. Becker, founder of the international nonprofit Road to Peace, agreed to the film but asked De Posadas to help her with the ballooning crisis of injured Yazidi children.
De Posadas called Bonner, an old friend, who helped recruit the Shriners, Minnesota International Medicine and Minnesota-Uruguay Partners.
Shriners International opened its first hospital in Shreveport, La., in 1922, offering specialized pediatric care to all children regardless of means. The Shriners hospital in the Twin Cities opened in 1923, specializing in treating children with orthopedic conditions.
“You can make the world better bit by bit. It doesn’t matter what you believe in,” De Posadas said.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Best Asado Ever!?

Thanks are due to many people to made the annual Minnesota-Uruguay Partners asado in Montevideo, Minnesota, such a success.

Augustin Becerra, our skilled asador from Saint Paul, grilled meats provided by Richard Handeen and Audrey Arner and lamb provided by Bob Padula.

Patrick Moore presented the Movistar commercial (multiple times!) for the group to enjoy, and led the singing and music throughout the afternoon.

Sue von Bank was presented with a service award for her longtime and unmatched volunteerism with the group.

People traveled from several states away to be with us.

We were delighted with the turnout, the weather, and not least the fabulous grass-fed beef and fresh lamb and other dishes people prepared for the event.

Photos of the June 18, 2016 asado are below. Was it the best asado ever? Some members thought so!

Monday, June 13, 2016

You're invited!

Please join Minnesota-Uruguay Partners of the Americas for our annual

Fiesta Days Asado
Saturday, June 18, 2016
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Come and Enjoy:
  • Uruguayan-style grilled meat (free-will offering for the locally-grown, grass-raised lamb and beef)
  • Candombe music (bring your instruments!)
  • Showing of the Movistar commercial filmed in Montevideo MN in May 2016
  • Good times along the Chippewa River
Things to bring:
  • Your own plates, utensils, & beverages
  • A dish to share -- rice, salads; bread welcome!
  • A chair to sit in the park to enjoy the music
(p.s. camping is available in Lagoon Park for those wanting to stay overnight.)

For more information and to volunteer to help, contact Patrick Moore at 320-841-1487.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Lost in Montevideo, Minnesota

This is the first installment of a series of Movistar commercials to be broadcast in Uruguay over the next several months featuring a story about a young Uruguayan man who becomes "Lost in Montevideo, Minnesota". Movistar is one of the largest phone companies in the world, and the commercial is filled with great street shots of both Montevideos. Numerous people active with Partners are in the video, not least Patrick Moore playing the restaurant owner. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

"Hello Montevideo" Documentary Explores Partnership Between Sister Cities

Here is a link to a sharp and photo-filled posting from Partners of the Americas in Washington about Pioneer Public Television's wonderful documentary about the partnership between Minnesota and Uruguay. Check it out!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Premier of Hello Montevideo

What a great event!

It was standing-room-only at the premier screening last evening in Saint Paul of Hello Montevideo, Pioneer Public Television's documentary exploring the relationship between Montevideo MN (pop 5000) and Montevideo, Uruguay (pop 1 million) through the eyes of videographers, photographers and contemporary youth.

Produced by Pioneer Public TV’s award winning producer Dana Johnson, videography by Joah Colby and Ben Dempcy, edited by Kevin Russell, with Lowell Hellervik, Executive Producer.

The documentary was made possible in part through a travel grant from Partners of the Americas and the involvement of Minnesotans and Uruguayans, who featured prominently both on camera and off in making such a high quality and fun production. Congratulations all. Check it out!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

New Minnesota / Uruguay Documentary Screening, Monday, May 9, St. Paul, Minnesota

A special screening even of Hello Montevideo, a new international documentary, will be held on Monday, May 9th  from 6 to 8 p.m. at the George Latimer Central Public Library in downtown St. Paul. 

The event is sponsored by Minnesota-Uruguay Partners of the Americas and Pioneer Public Television and is free and open to the public.  

Last October, Pioneer Public TV sent a three-person production team to Uruguay for 10 days to explore what young people in Uruguay knew or thought about the ongoing 110 year old exchange between Montevideo, Minnesota (pop. 5,000) and Montevideo, Uruguay (pop. 1 million).  The project was funded in part by a contribution from Lowell Hellervik, a Montevideo, Minnesota native, and through a travel grant from Partners of the Americas.

The title of Johnson’s documentary was borrowed from a book of photographs by Uruguayan photographer Federico Estol of the same name.  In 2010, Estol spent a month in Montevideo, Minnesota documenting the culture of the small Midwestern town to create a book that has sold well in Uruguay.  Several of Estol’s photographs are featured in the documentary and they are compared and contrasted with the artful videography of Joah Colby and Ben Dempcy, who accompanied Johnson on the October 2015 visit to Uruguay.  Editor Kevin Russell, who worked with Johnson in the Upper Midwest Emmy Award winning documentaries My Way Back Home: Caroline Smith and Haiti Love had the daunting task of distilling more than 50 hours of raw video footage down into the 28 minute story.

Montevideo Senior High School students Thomas Hoover and Katie Hillerud are featured in the documentary along with several other ISD 129 students at basketball games and in the classrooms of Spanish teachers Erin Lippert and Pam Dahl.  Visiting Uruguayan teachers Gilda Battagliese and Victoria Dieste, who recently visited Montevideo, Minnesota through travel grants provided by Partners of the Americas, are also featured in the documentary. Uruguayan students Sharon Ettinger, Juan Regent and Juan Robles from Montevideo, Uruguay are also featured in the film along with Partners' Arts and Culture Committee president Marta Arjona.

Partners of the Americas connects people and organizations across borders to serve and change lives through lasting partnerships. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy and founded in 1964 under the Alliance for Progress, Partners of the Americas has designated Minnesota and Uruguay as collaborating chapters for nearly five decades.

More information about the current projects of the Minnesota-Uruguay Partners chapter is available through our blog at Information about Partners of the Americas in general is found at

About Pioneer Public Television

Established in 1966, Pioneer Public TV is an award-winning, viewer-supported television station dedicated to sharing local stories of the region with the world.  For more information visit: