Saturday, December 4, 2010

Youth Ambassador Applications Open!

Minnesota Students: Youth Ambassador Applications Due Jan. 17

Partners of the Americas, through a program funded by the United States Department of State, is looking for U.S. youth between the ages of 15 and 18 to travel to South America and the Caribbean next summer.

Your mission is to:

Participate in promoting mutual understanding between the people of Latin America and the U.S.

Develop a greater sense of civic responsibility and commitment to community development

Build leadership capacity

Foster relationships among youth from different ethnic, religious and national

Explore local and national issues and become involved with or contribute to those issues

Selected youth will receive grants covering travel and expenses to Antigua and Barbuda, Chile, Ecuador or Paraguay for 4 weeks in July and August 2011. Applicants should be between 15-18 years old, currently enrolled in a public high school as a Junior or younger, have Intermediate-level Spanish skills and meet other criteria.

Download your application (due Jan. 17) today.

Contact Erik ( with questions.

Monday, October 25, 2010

New articles in El Pais about Minnesota Partners!

Two articles were published last week about the visits of two Minnesotans, Judge Leslie Metzen and John Carmody, currently in Uruguay on Partners projects. "Both visits were a complete success," reports Willy Lockhart, the president of the chapter in Montevideo.

See Judge Metzen's coverage

See John Carmody's coverage.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Uruguay university among top 10 in Latin America

Good news today that Uruguay has one of the top 10 ranked universities in Latin America, according to a study by US News and World Report.

Felicidades a Universidad ORT Uruguay!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Announcing the Deon Stuthman Fund for Social Justice

The board of directors of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners of the Americas has announced the creation of the Deon Stuthman Fund for Social Justice.

A former president of the organization, Dr. Stuthman passed away suddenly in June, 2010, after a short, intense struggle with cancer.

The Fund will underwrite opportunities for travel between Uruguay and Minnesota that advances causes related to social justice--work that Deon cared deeply about.

Individuals wishing to travel between Minnesota and Uruguay to work on social justice projects can write

Tax-deductible donations to the Fund can be sent to:

Harlan Petersen, Treasurer
Minnesota-Uruguay Partners of the Americas
PO Box 24042
Minneapolis, MN 55424-0042

Friday, September 3, 2010

Uruguay forecasts GDP will expand 30% in five years

According to a story in Mercopress today, the administration of President Jose Mujica estimates the Uruguayan economy will expand 30.2% from 2010 to 2015, reducing the fiscal budget 0.1% of GDP each of the five years. At the end of the period the US dollar currently exchanged at 20.50 Uruguayan pesos should reach 23.40 pesos.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sec. of State Clinton thanks host families of exchange students

"When we dispel stereotypes and we open new avenues of dialogue across boundaries and borders, we enrich ourselves and the world."

Earlier this month, Hillary Clinton taped a video thanking families hosting exchange students like our Youth Ambassadors, who are funded through the State Department. It's a general message for a broad audience, but I think it's worth listening to and definitely applies to our experience with the generous families in Minnesota and Uruguay who have opened their doors to host exchanges. Very true words!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Happy Independence Day Uruguay

August 25th is almost here. Happy Independence Day Uruguay! Here is a message from Hillary Clinton about the big day.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Time to apply! The Dennis R. Shaw Memorial Scholarship

The Dennis R. Shaw Memorial Scholarship

Dennis Shaw was a valued member of the Partners of the Americas team in Washington DC starting in 1996. His lifelong passion for education and cultural exchanges and for the Youth Ambassadors program, which he coordinated for Brazil from 2003-2007, were contagious to all that met him.

The Shaw Memorial Scholarship will assist young people of limited financial means who 1.) Have traveled on a Partners of the Americas administered grant or program or 2.) Are members of a Partners of the Americas chapter.

The purpose of the Scholarship is to cover expenses associated with pursuing higher education at any university in the Western Hemisphere. Examples of potential academic expenses include:

Travel expenses to and from university;
Textbooks and supplies;
Course fees that are not covered by scholarships or other financial aid;
Opportunities for travel or study abroad that the student would not
normally be able to pursue for financial reasons.

A minimum of two awards will be given in 2010, for a minimum of $250 each. At least one award will be given to a youth from Brazil. Award amounts may be larger, depending on availability of funds. Award winners will be determined periodically by the Partners Foundation. Youth may only win a Shaw award once.

To apply for the Shaw award, eligible youth must submit a statement of academic purpose, recent transcript or letter/ proof of admittance, and description of what they intend to use the Scholarship for. Financial necessity is a consideration and students should address their merit as a part of their application. Students must submit their paperwork to Michelle Nicholson at for consideration.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Come to the 2010 asado (Uruguayan bbq) on Saturday, Aug. 14th!

Join us to celebrate Uruguay's amazing run to the world cup semi-final at the Minnesota-Uruguay Partners Annual Asado (bbq). Enjoy great local food (grass-fed beef, local sausages, wines from Uruguay and more) at the Uruguayan style barbecue.
Bid on Uruguayan art and cultural gifts at the silent auction.

Host: Minnesota-Uruguay Partners of the Americas

Location: National Sport Center Stadium (look for the Uruguay national flag)
1700 105th Ave NE, Blaine, MN 55449 USA

When: Saturday, August 14, 4:30PM

Grass-fed beef, sausages, plates, utensils, napkins, beverages and bread will be provided.(There will be a free-will offering to help cover our costs for the Asado meats)

RSVP to or call 612-242-1863 with questions.

Stay to watch the NSC Minnesota Stars vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
Special Game Ticket Price for Asado attendees: $5
Available only at the Asado.

Get Connected With Uruguayan Culture and People in Minnesota!

Monday, July 26, 2010

YouTube video of Uruguayan photographer

Gary Kuhn has shared a video produced by/about an Uruguayan artist who plans to come to Minnesota this fall, Ignacio Guani.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tourism to Uruguay Breaking Records

Uruguay is the champion in tourism in Latin America, according to Latin Business Chronicle's Latin Tourism Index. Tourism arrivals account for a whopping 61.4 percent of Uruguay's population. The index of 15 countries in Latin America shows the total impact of tourism in a country by measuring receipts as a percent of GDP and arrivals per capita using 2009 data.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Moody's places Uruguay on review for possible upgrade as credit profile improves

This is good news for Uruguay. Costs of borrowing go down, investment climate improves, etc. Something for many other countries in the world to emulate....

New York, July 15, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service has placed the government of Uruguay Ba3 local- and foreign-currency bond ratings on review for possible upgrade. Moody's decision to initiate this review was prompted by (1) evidence that the global crisis has had a limited impact on the country's economic and financial outlooks; (2) a track record of declining government debt ratios which have become aligned with peer group medians; (3) signs that economic policy continuity will be preserved by the incoming Mujica administration; and (4) Uruguay's reduced exposure to
regional shocks....

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Federico Estol Photographs Small Town Life in Minnesota

Patrick sent us more press coverage of Federico Estol's work to photograph Montevideo, Minnesota. Here's the latest article.

Patrick Moore sent us this link today about Federico Estol's visit to Montevideo, Minnesota:

"Small-town celebration about to get one mighty audience"

Sports, Arts Committees Converge!

Gary Kuhn forwarded the image below, a play on Punta Del Este's famous "Los Dedos" sculpture and last week's handball infraction at the end of the game by the UY player Suarez -- "and yet amazingly they won!" Gary noted.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Update on One Laptop Per Child in Uruguay

One Laptop per Child (OLPC), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help provide every child in the world access to a modern education, has been awarded a bid by Plan Ceibal to provide 90,000 XO laptops for high school students in Uruguay. This is the first time the OLPC XO laptops have been specifically designed for high school-aged students and represents a major expansion in the learning program that will have a global impact, the company said in a press release.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Good news that inflation is slowing to within targets

Uruguay’s consumer prices rose 0.16 percent in May from a year earlier, the national statistics agency said on its website yesterday, according to Bloomberg News. Prices rose 7.09 percent from a year earlier, the agency said.

This is good news for those of us worried about the economy overheating. Let's hope Brazil keeps things in check too. The steady growth rates (as opposed to bubbles or spikes) has been a real success story across the Southern Cone.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Government plans taxing overseas assets of residents in Uruguay

MercoPress reports that Uruguay is planning to tax deposits and other assets held overseas by residents in the country. Opposition leader Pedro Bordaberry is speaking out against some aspects of the move, but international pressure to get off the "grey lists" is heavy, as other countries in the region have experienced firsthand this year. The bill is expected to be sent for legislative consideration in coming days, announced Economy minister Fernando Lorenzo.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May 18: Remembering the Battle of Las Piedras

Today's May 18, the anniversary of the Battle of Las Piedras, which sealed Artigas' victory for independence. "Clemencia para los vencidos!"

Friday, May 14, 2010

job posting: curator for Latin America at Mpls Inst of Art

Friends of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners, please feel free to circulate this job posting for an Associate Curator of Latin American Art, Arts of Africa and the America at the prestigious Minneapolis Institute of Art (hat tip to Rachel Olson Limon for pointing it out to us).

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bourdain in Uruguay!

Marcos Villanueva mentioned this episode the other night... Bourdain does his food thing in Uruguay, where he has family roots.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Uruguay election results

Uruguay held local elections on Sunday. You can read about results in local daily El Pais.

Monday, May 10, 2010

New Gallup poll on perceptions of drugs in Latin America

An interesting survey on perceptions of illicit drug trafficking in Latin America, in which Uruguay ranks third. Is it a matter of more drug sales going on there, or is it a matter of education and awareness? I live in a nice suburb in Minnesota. I've never seen drugs here, but because I'm not naive, would probably tell a survey that it goes on, sure, etc. What's behind the numbers?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Social networking phenom in Uruguay

An interesting article about the ability of social networking sites to rally youth in Uruguay (interesting implications for other countries too--with strong democracies like Uruguay or others that do not).

Friday, April 30, 2010

Futbol! Minnesota style

It's soccer season again. Many of you will remember the fun asado at the Thunder game last summer (another is in the plans for this year). But until then, board director Gerard Lagos, himself a former pro soccer player, is rallying members of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners for upcoming matches of the newly branded NSC Stars. Here's the schedule:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Minnesota artists in Uruguay

Just came across a nice site with photos of art from Minnesotans visiting Uruguay. Of course, there's a Diane Katsiaficas connection here under the surface, I noticed.

The New Newsletter Has Arrived!

Gary Kuhn and Roger Moon have just released the latest newsletter of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners to the membership. It's also posted on our website at

Sherin Bowen Celebration Set for June 5 in Wisconsin

Save the date! On June 5, our friends in Wisconsin are hosting a celebration and fundraiser in honor of Sherin Bowen, who many of us in Minnesota recall fondly over her many years of service to Partners and the Wisconsin/Nicaragua chapter. Visit for details.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Youth Ambassadors Covered in Stillwater, Montevideo Papers

We were delighted to receive word last week that three Minnesota students have been selected to go to South America on the prestigious Youth Ambassador program this summer. Coverage of the students and program has appeared in the local newspapers in Stillwater and Montevideo.

I've found that the Monte link (West Central Tribune) may ask you to register, so the copy for that story is pasted below:

MONTEVIDEO—A Montevideo High School senior will participate as a youth ambassador to South America this summer, the Washington-based nonprofit Partners of the Americas has announced.

Taylor Brendmoen, a senior at Montevideo High School, will travel to Paraguay for one month on an all-expenses-paid program aimed at bringing youth together to build understanding between countries, increasing leadership skills, and preparing youth to be positive agents of change through service. Brendmoen’s application highlighted her strong work ethic, involvement in student government and volunteer experience with numerous local organizations outside of school, according to Partners of the Americas. She has been studying Spanish for four years.

A panel in Washington selected the winners from across the country. Three Minnesotans were chosen.

“I know that Taylor will represent our community with enthusiasm, intelligence and goodwill in Paraguay,” said Patrick Moore of Montevideo.

He serves on the board of the Minnesota-Uruguay Partners and encouraged Brendmoen to apply for the program. Financially underwritten by the U.S. Department of State and organized by Partners of the Americas, the Youth Ambassador program also brought six students from Uruguay to Montevideo and Stillwater in April of this year.

Launch of pilot program in Uruguay's prison system

Bruce McManus has shared news from our counterparts in Uruguay that the nation has launched an innovative pilot program providing community-assisted release--similar to probation and parole in the United States--to qualifying prisoners in Uruguay. An article on the program appears in El Pais, a leading daily newspaper in the country. This is the culmination of more than three years of exchanges of people and expertise. Congrats to Bruce and all involved.