Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Criminal justice reform project wins international award

The ambitious criminal justice reform project organized by the Uruguay and Minnesota chapters of Partners, now in its fifth year, won the "It All Started With A Travel Grant" award last month at the group's convention in Medellin, Colombia.

This award was presented to both the Minnesota and Uruguay chapters in a competitive contest that featured applications submitted from across the Americas.

Congratulations are very much in order to Gabriela Fulco and her team in Uruguay, and to Bruce McManus and his team in Minnesota.

You can read more about Bruce (pictured above on the left along with Erik Brand, chapter president) and the successful project on our website at

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thank you for joining us!

We were delighted to see so many volunteers and members at the annual member meeting on Monday.

The responses to the presentations were overwhelmingly positive, and we wish to express our gratitude to all of the speakers and guests.

With the help of energetic volunteers and the continued support of members, Minnesota-Uruguay Partners has been able to continue its strong history of excellence in programs and service to its mission.

You can stay abreast of our work in the coming months through our newsletter, website and a host of other ways. You can renew your membership at any time during the year online, as well.

We look forward with enthusiasm to a successful 2012, and wish you all very happy holidays.

Monday, November 21, 2011

You Should Meet: Patrick Moore

Patrick Moore, current board director and longtime friend of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners, has been profiled in an excellent "News Cut" piece by Minnesota Public Radio.

"It's about developing relationships to the point where they become transformational..." Patrick tells an interviewer. Anyone who has been involved with Minnesota-Uruguay Partners and has seen Patrick in action can certainly attest to this. Congrats Patrick, you make our organization proud.

Come to the annual meeting on Dec. 12

The Minnesota-Uruguay Partners annual member meeting convenes on Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Regis Center for Art West, InFlux Gallery, at 405 21st Avenue South on the Univ. of Minnesota's West Bank in Minneapolis.

Parking is available in the ramp across the street.

You will enjoy food from Minnesota with an international flavor and wines from Uruguay (goodwill donations appreciated), and see presentations from members old and new about their travels and activities this year.

Click on the program (above) for more details on the agenda.

Importantly, we will also be nominating and electing new board directors.

RSVP by December 5 to or call 612-242-1863 .

The November Newsletter is Here!

Gary Kuhn and Roger Moon have released the November 2011 edition of the Minnesota-Uruguay Partners newsletter (pdf).

The latest issue chronicles the organization's travelers and projects in recent months, and includes some interesting history as Uruguay wraps up its bicentennial year, as well.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lyndel King, member of our board, profiled in today's MinnPost

We were delighted to read the inspiring profile of Lyndel King, a longtime Minnesota-Uruguay Partners member and an active board director, in MinnPost today. An excerpt...

Through the Great Recession, through debilitating staff cuts and other obstacles that might have stopped a different project with a different leader, King drove to fulfillment her longstanding vision of an art museum that would be pushy about pulling in students."We are not a whatever building, and we didn't want to be a whatever place," she said. "We wanted to be a place that thrust itself into the middle of students' lives and made them pay attention to art."

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Uruguay's economy still growing well

Uruguay’s economy continues to grow strongly, up 6.8% in the first quarter of 2011. This growth follows economic growth of 8.5% in 2010 (hat tip to former Minnesota-Uruguay Partners president Bright Dornblaser for sharing the chart above, which was featured in The Daily Reckoning).

The article reports that manufacturing (pulp paper and dairy), construction, and commerce (car sales and restaurant services) were the most dynamic sectors of the economy. Exports of goods and services expanded 14.7% in the first quarter of 2011, mainly auto parts and tourism, according to the article. Analysts forecast growth for 2011 to reach 6.3%, up from their prediction of 5.9% in May, based on quarter one’s strong performance. Interestingly, domestic demand in the first quarter rose by 8.3%.

Of course, with apartment prices rising 22 percent in the capital of Montevideo in 2010, and house prices increasing there by 17%, according to the article, it's hard to dismiss suggestions in other media outlets that a bubble may be building, not to mention the strain inflation places on pensioners and the poor.

But for those who invested a decade ago, during the dire economic crisis, in Uruguay's resort areas, the happy days may be here again. In Punta del Este alone, real estate transactions reached $2.25 billion in the 12 months to April 2011.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Anna Moore's blog post from Uruguay

Editor's note: We received this email from Patrick Moore in Montevideo, Minn., today. We share Patrick's sentiments entirely!

Dear Friends --

In case you haven't seen it yet, our daughter Anna has written a fun blog post about her recent visit to Montevideo, Uruguay.

click here to read it:

We feel so blessed by the Partners network that made Anna's visit so memorable. We have had two daughters now who have visited the country. Our 15 year old son is currently studying Spanish hard so he can make the trip someday. Mary and I can't wait to go back and connect with all our new and old friends. Our love for the country grows with each new encounter -- it is such a rich relationship.

Thank you,

Patrick J. Moore

Friday, October 14, 2011

Six Youth Ambassadors from Uruguay Help Clean Up Minnesota

Six high school students from Uruguay were in Minnesota in September and October as the latest Youth Ambassadors to visit the state. They spent a lot of time enjoying our glorious fall outdoors and even helped clean up some of our mess (see press coverage and more photos). Many thanks are due to Kirsten "KC" Carter for again putting together such a fabulous experience for the students, as well as hosts like Patrick Moore, Duane Ninneman, Arne Kildegaard, Rob Scarlett, Hector Garcia and Sue von Bank, to name a few, and not least the generous families who took these talented students into their homes so warmly. "The family stays were the highlight of the trip," KC reports.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Building your dreams in Uruguay

The New York Times ran an inspiring story this week about a couple who built their own home in Uruguay. Dream big!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Minnesota art students return from Uruguay trip

Nine students from the University of Minnesota art department spent most of the month of May in Uruguay, the third year of the "May-Term" art trip to Montevideo.

The students have been supported with scholarship money raised by Minnesota Uruguay Partners.

Mark Knierim, the Minnesota artist and professor who led this year's trip to Uruguay, shared these pictures (top photo of students with the Engelman Ost Collection and second in the studio of Wilfredo Diaz Valdez.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More press coverage of Estol's book...

Federico Estol has shared photos and newspaper links (La Republica, El Observador, El Pais) from the Alianza's event in Montevideo celebrating his new book, Hello Montevideo. More than 100 people attended the discussion, Federico reports. Pictured above is Willy Lockhart (left), the president of Uruguay-Minnesota Partners in Montevideo and board member of Partners of the Americas. Willy conceptualized the book project with Federico Estol and championed the cause over the course of more than a year. Thank you Willy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Minnesota Youth Ambassadors Are Underway!

We received this photo today from Bob Davis, our mentor taking a group of five Youth Ambassadors from Minnesota to South America and the Caribbean this summer. The group is in Washington, DC, for orientation before heading south for nearly a month. Thanks Bob! Looking forward to receiving more photos. Also, Brendan Stermer, one of the Youth Ambassadors, has posted a blog of his own on the trip.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dr. Bauzan Visit to Minnesota Highlighted in StarTribune

Dr. Nury Bauzan's visit to Minnesota features centrally in a new story in the StarTribune about the Minnesota-Uruguay Partnership.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More than 200 people turn out for Estol book events

We were delighted with the success of the June 15 (Saint Paul) and June 18 (Montevideo, MN) events that highlighted Federico Estol's new book, Hello Montevideo. Photos forthcoming!

The events brought together some 200 guests (longtime volunteers, new members, judges, lawyers, businesspeople, social workers, scholars, artists, students, farmers), and drew significant media attention, with stories running in the Star Tribune, West Central Tribune, and even an investment advisory blog based in Buenos Aires.

Special thanks to Moonstone Farm (Audrey Arner, board member) for donating spectacular cuts of grass fed beef to feed 100 people in Lagoon Park, and Duane Ninneman (board member) for the fresh healthy greens at the asado.

Friday, May 27, 2011

June 15 Reception in Saint Paul

Uruguay's Foreign Minister, Dr. Luis Almagro, and a delegation of officials coming from Uruguay to Minnesota next month have confirmed they will be attending our June 15 reception to celebrate the United States launch of Hello Montevideo, a new book of photographs by Uruguyan artist Federico Estol.

The reception will take place on Wednesday, June 15, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m., in the Founders Hall reception area of Metropolitan State University, at 700 East Seventh Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota. The artist's work will be on display and copies of his book will be available. Light food fare and wines from Uruguay will be served (voluntary donations appreciated).

Please see the program at right. RSVP to or 612-242-1863.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Alina Gil press coverage

Patrick Moore writes that Alina Gil, a Teacher in Residence visiting Minnesota this month, is "one of the most pleasant people I have ever met."

That's no small praise coming from Patrick, someone who knows everyone!

The Tribune published a story on Alina this week.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Willy and friends recap of 2010 activities in Uruguay

Our friends in Uruguay have put together an excellent review of 2010 activities (en español). Please check it out!

Save the Date: June 18, Fiesta Days Asado in Montevideo, MN

Members and friends of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners...

Please SAVE THE DATE of Saturday, June 18, 2011, from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. to be with us in Lagoon Park, Montevideo, Minnesota, for a fantastic asado (grass-fed beef bbq). All are welcome. We look forward to seeing you there!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Recap of 2010 news from Uruguay available

Our partners in Uruguay have produced an excellent newsletter recapping some highlights from 2010 (and for many of us needing to practice, it's en español thankfully). Read more at

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Gladys Ferrero, Innovative Teacher from Uruguay, Visits Washington

We received a photo this week from Partners of the Americas headquarters in Washington featuring Gladys Ferrero (center), an inspiring and innovative teacher who is leading a successful rural primary school in Uruguay. She was visiting Washington on a State Department trip.

"Que buena sopresa de ver Gladys aqui en nuestra 'Casa' como parte de un grupo de visitantes del Dept del Estado. Le dimos lo mejor tratamiento VIP posible!," writes Steve Vetter, the CEO of Partners.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fiesta Queen Welcomed in Uruguay

For the first time since 1967, the Fiesta Queen from Montevideo, Minnesota, has traveled to Uruguay, where she participated in a host of pre-Carnival activities in February, met United States Amb. David Nelson, a native Minnesotan, and encountered much warmth and hospitality from Uruguayans across the nation. "The stories of her royal treatment are simply amazing," reports Partners member Patrick Moore.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Uruguay television personality in Minnesota

Liliana Enciso, the Uruguayan television personality, playwright and performer, has spent over a week in Minnesota this winter meeting with theater directors at The Childrens Theater, Guthrie, Ten Thousand Things, Heart of the Beast, Illusion, Penumbra and others.

Liliana's tv show, based on the beloved songs of the late musician and poet Maria Elena Walsh, has become a source of education and joy for thousands of children. She appeared on the Emmy-award-winning Kids in Government television program that is produced by Lakeville, MN's city government. Our thanks to Jim Schiffman, the talented puppet master who put this clip together. It is now on the air to thousands of children in Minnesota who are learning about Uruguay.