Monday, December 17, 2012

Thank you for attending the annual member meeting!

Holly Brand (L) and Olivia Trembley selling raffle tickets
Members and friends of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners came from far and wide December 10 (despite the second big snowstorm in the last three years of annual meetings) to celebrate a highly productive year for our group.

Many thanks to our gracious hosts, Diane Katsiaficas of the University of Minnesota art department, along with board directors Sarah Trembley, Kati Mae Duesler and Mark Knierim, for arranging the beautiful venue, delicious food, and so many other event details.

Clockwise L-R: Bruce McManus, Sue von Bank, Diane Levendusky, Diane Katsiaficas,Lyndel King, Julie Ketterling, Bright Dornblaser

There were three excellent presentations: Diane Levendusky and Bruce McManus discussed advances with the prison reform project, Lynn Baskfield, who hosted our first equine therapy visitor, talked about best practices in her field; and Sarah Trembley offered a recap of highly active art committee exchanges this year.

Gerard Lagos shared the good news that Minnesota-Uruguay Partners has been presented with a $3,000 grant from IBM, funding that will help us carry out important work next year.

The membership elected four new board directors: Julie Ketterling, Connie Roehrich, Tom Olson and Mandy Mattke.

Clockwise L-R: Lynn Baskfield, Bill Gorman, Tom Boeser, Briana Boeser,
Rob Scarlett, David Kremer

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Minnesotan Declared 'Distinguished Visitor' by Montevideo Mayor

On December 10, 2012, the mayor of the capital city of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, Ana Olivera, declared Debra Lee Fader, the mayor of Montevideo, Minnesota (pop. 5,331), a distinguished visitor.

The historic meeting, sparked by Uruguay's outstanding consul general in Chicago, Dr. Nury Bauzan, who has made numerous visits to Minnesota, marks the first time in nearly 40 years that the mayors of the sister cities have met in person.

Minnesota-Uruguay Partners helped underwrite Mayor Fader's visit to Uruguay, through a travel grant awarded by Partners of the Americas' culture and education program in Washington.

Nahir Lois, a board director of Partners of the Americas, was quoted in this piece by the EFE news agency, which was reprinted widely in the Spanish-speaking press beyond Uruguay (Mexico, Chile, Spain etc). The widest-circulation newspaper in Uruguay, El Pais, also ran a lengthy piece about the visit, featuring an interview with the mayor. And El Observador also ran a nice article about the visit.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Leading Uruguayan Equine Therapy Specialist Shares Treatment Tactics with Minnesotans

A world-class horse trainer and equine therapy specialist found himself more than 6,000 miles from home this month, standing alongside Susie Bjorklund, the founder of Freedom Farm in Waverly, Minnesota, as two clients mounted up for a riding session.  

News of Freedom Farm's innovative approaches to equine therapy brought Gustavo Dos Santos, a captain in Uruguay's army, to Waverly and other horse facilities throughout Minnesota during the first two weeks of November.

Dos Santos was a trainer of Uruguay's paralympic team in China in 2008, and is currently a leader in his country's military-run horse therapy programs that treat more than 1,000 people across the progressive South American nation with physical disabilities, drug addictions, mental illness and other challenges.

Dos Santos was invited to Minnesota under a nearly 50-year partnership between the state and the nation of Uruguay. An outgrowth of the Kennedy Administration's Alliance for Progress, Minnesota-Uruguay Partners of the Americas uses State Department funding and donations from members to bring professionals like Dos Santos across borders to share expertise and offer insights in a range of disciplines. Veterinary medicine, criminal justice reform, art and architecture and student exchanges are just a few of the group's activities in recent years.

Near Waverly, Dos Santos had training sessions with Janet Weisberg of Hold Your Horses in Independence, Minn., another highly regarded practitioner in the field. 

Elsewhere in the state, Dos Santos visited horse facilities in Granite Falls, Stillwater, Minnetonka, and not least the University of Minnesota's prestigious Equine Center, where staffer Sergio Gonzalez took him on tours at the Center as well as neighboring facilities. He also met with specialists working with Hazelden and Park Avenue Center to learn about their approaches to equine therapy for drug addiction. 

Lynn Baskfield, the founder of Wisdom Horse Coaching in Minneapolis and the host for Dos Santos during the visit, said she'd like to see Minnesotans going to Uruguay to learn more about the equine therapy programs there. Stay tuned for news of more travels in equine therapy between Minnesota and Uruguay!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Save the date! December 10 annual member meeting

Please save the date of December 10 in your calendar.

The Minnesota-Uruguay Partners annual meeting convenes on Monday, Dec. 10, 2012 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.

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

RSVP by December 7 to or call ‪‪ 612-242-1863.

Federico Estol wins prestigious photography award

Uruguayan photographer Federico Estol, who has visited Minnesota twice with Partners to create and release his book, Hello Montevideo, has won first prize in urban and rural landscape from the Latin American Center for Photography. Congratulations Federico!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mayor of Montevideo (Minnesota) Off to Montevideo (Uruguay)!

Patrick Moore just passed along news that the West Central Tribune has published an article about the upcoming visit of Montevideo Mayor Debra Lee Fader  to Montevideo, Uruguay. The mayor has been invited to Uruguay for two weeks in December through the diplomatic efforts of Consul General Nury Bauzan, who has visited Minnesota several times, including a trip to Montevideo, Minn. Partners of the Americas is providing a travel grant, which is helping to make this historic exchange possible. Mayor Fader is pictured below with Governor Mark Dayton.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Senior officials launch new Business Fellows matching program

Partners of the Americas in Washington shared the photo below from the official launch of the new Business Fellows matching program yesterday. Our Minnesota-Uruguay Chapter has offered to assist with the ambitious endeavor. The meeting was covered by the Tico Times in Costa Rica. More details below.

Pictured from left, Mr. Alejandro Buvinic, Head of the Economic Department, ProChile, Mr. Matt Clausen, Vice President for Partnerships and Programs, H.E. Muni Figueres, Ambassador of Chile to the United States, Mr. Francisco J. Sanchez, Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade, Ms. Roberta Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, and H.E. Felipe Bulnes, Ambassador of Chile to the United States.

Official Launch of the Matching Program   
Today marks the official launch of  
the International Business Fellows Matching Program!

In a ceremony at the Chilean Ambassador's residence in Washington, D.C., these officials will kick off the program: 
  • H.E. Muni Figueres, Ambassador of Costa Rica to the United States
  • H.E. Felipe Bulnes, Ambassador of Chile to the United States
  • Mr. Francisco J. Sanchez, Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade
  • Ms. Roberta Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere
  • Mr. Matt Clausen, Vice President of Partnerships and Programs at Partners of the Americas 
They will each speak to this unique partnership between the private and public sectors to promote the exchange of expertise and best practices among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Americas.  

Matching is a being launched as a pilot program with Chile and Costa Rica, but there are opportunities to expand it to 
additional countries with the right support.

Why Matching?

Fellows and host organizations can both greatly benefit from the relationships ignited by the Matching program. It's a wonderful opportunity for SME leaders to share best practices, target skill-building, and forge potentially life-long partnerships to build strong businesses.

1-2-3 Match!
  1. Qualified Fellows and their SMEs are recruited and selected
  2. Partners works with Chapter members to select host organizations and works with Fellows to craft meaningful and educational experiences
  3. Fellows apply lessons in their home organizations and work to build a hemispheric network of professionals 
If you are interested in Partners implementing Matching in your country and think that there is public and private sector support for this initiative then contact Lauren Boetsch or Melissa Golladay at to learn more. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New photos from the Wanderlust Exhibit

We received the photos below from this month's Wanderlust exhibit, organized at the University of Minnesota by Sarah Trembley, a board director of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners. It included the work of other members like Kati Mae Duesler, Diane Katsiaficas, Mark Knierim, Anne Sugnet and many others.


November 5th- 16th 

Opening Reception
November 8th, 2012
Regis Center for the Arts
Quarter Gallery
405 21st Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Please join us for a night of art, international food, stories, and music, as 25 Minneapolis artists gather to share highlights and new perspectives inspired from their travels.
o    5:00pm – 6:00pm Influx Room, East Regis Center for the Arts. Artist Talk; 10 artists share how their art and perspectives alter after unique explorations
o    6:00pm Lobby, East Regis Center for the Arts. International Buffet and Music
o    6:00pm - 8:00pm Quarter Gallery, East Regis Center for the Arts. Opening Reception

exhibiting artists                       

Laura Bigger
Kelsey Bosch
Kat Busch
Bipin Butala
Kate Casanova
Joni Christenson
Cindy Cribbs
Daniel Dean
Kati Duesler
Matt Franzen
Jim Gubernick
Terez Iacovino
Diane Katsiaficas
 Mark Knierim
Paul Linden
Lynn Lukkas
Joyce Lyons
Ben Moren
Wayne Potratz
Sonja Peterson
Natalie Patera
Anne Sugnet
Manny Trembley
Sarah Trembley
Kazua Vang

*Special thanks to Partners of the Americas and University of Minnesota Art Department

For further question regarding w@nderlust, please contact Sarah Trembley at


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Profile of Uruguay's president on the BBC

Longtime member of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners, Ted Bowman, shared this BBC News profile of Uruguay's president with us.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Momentum Builds for Criminal Justice Reform Project

Uruguayans and Minnesotans working together to share best practices in criminal justice and prison reform continue to build momentum for new innovations in the field.

For two weeks in October, Bruce McManus, Connie Roehrich and Diane Levendusky were hosted in Uruguay by officials across a range of disciplines in the criminal justice system.

The three volunteers with Minnesota-Uruguay Partners of the Americas met with Interior Minister Eduardo Bonomi, as well as a host of professionals in the prison, police and judiciary systems.

Connie Roehrich, a former warden of Minnesota's largest prison, helped train police and prison officials on incident command systems and hostage crisis negotiations, as well as general prison management issues.

In his trip report to Washington, McManus, who was Minnesota's deputy corrections commissioner as well as a prison warden, said that after six years of working with his colleagues in Uruguay, the nation is developing "an impressive management organization for its criminal justice system." "It is moving carefully to fill positions with individuals who have experience in police, prison and human services management," he added. "They appear to welcome change and are impressive as individuals."

Photos of the Minnesota team with Minister Bonomi and other moments from the visit appear below.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Minnesota artist featured in Uruguayan arts and culture journal

We just received word that Diane Katsiaficas, a longtime volunteer and a board director of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners, was featured in La Pupila, a culture and arts journal in Uruguay.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mariel Doyenart, Teacher in Residence, is taking Minnesota by storm!

Reports are coming in from around the state about Mariel Doyenart's visit to Minnesota this month. She's been from Minneapolis to Montevideo, from Hackensack to Stillwater. Above are photos sent from board director Audrey Arner, taken at an asado she hosted at Moonstone Farm in Western Minnesota after the annual Meander Art Crawl. Mariel is pictured here with Audrey and another board director, Marcos Villanueva, the famous asador.

Below is a photo that was published by the West Central Tribune this week about Mariel's visit and her impressions of the U.S. presidential election campaign. See: "Visitor from South America’s most democratic nation arrives as election campaigns heats up"

Friday, September 28, 2012

The passing of Norman Brown, former Dean and Director of the Minnesota Extension Service

A note received today from Rob Scarlett, vice president of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners, in response to a notice circulated by Partners of the Americas president Steve Vetter about the passing of Norman Brown...

The news of Norm Brown's passing is very sad news; but I very much appreciate receiving this notice and will send condolences to his surviving family members. I attribute to Norm my current involvement in Partners. In 1983, while he was Dean of the Extension Service at the University of Minnesota, Norm hired me to design and manage the tri-lingual Fellowship in International Development that was funded by the Kellogg Foundation. It was an exciting two-year undertaking and a rich learning experience, as well.
Norm's leadership and compassion will be missed in many corners of the world, I am sure.
Best regards to Norm's many friends - up and down the Western Hemisphere!
Robert H. Scarlett, Vice PresidentBoard of DirectorsMinnesota-Uruguay Partners of the Americas

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rare film footage of Uruguay in the early 1900s

Gary Kuhn, our chapter's leading historian, has passed along these links to rare film footage of Uruguay in the first half of the 20th Century. Amazing stuff. Very much worth a look!

Montevideo in the early 1900s

A film made by the US Government about Uruguay in the 1940s

Desfile del Dia de la Independencia en Uruguay (1944), noticiero cinematográfico de USA

Monday, August 27, 2012

Another successful asado!

From all accounts, Saturday's asado/Uruguay Independence Day celebration was a big success. We had more than 50 people attending, with many familiar faces and new ones too. Three of the Minnesota's Youth Ambassadors shared anecdotes and observations from their trip this summer to Belize. Members and guests contributed generously toward the costs of some excellent food and wine, which is important to sustaining the quality and vitality of these events. Many, many thanks to Marcos Villanueva, Gerard Lagos, Dave Kremer, Sue von Bank, Patrick Moore and all the others who did so much to make things come off so very well despite the threat of rain (which never materialized, in the end, thankfully). We appreciate the contributions from all who attended and look forward to next year!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Join us Aug 25 for soccer and asado!

Please join us for what's become a highlight of summer for Minnesota-Uruguay Partners, the annual asado (bbq) before a Minnesota NSC Stars soccer match. 

Members, friends and volunteers from near and far are gathering on Saturday, August 25 (Uruguay's Independence Day) to celebrate the strong and productive ties of friendship that Minnesota and Uruguay share. See a flyer attached, designed by chapter member Kati Mae Duesler.

The fire starts at 4:30 pm, with grass-fed beef, local sausages, wines from Uruguay and more. At 7:30 pm, the Stars of Minnesota will be playing FC Edmonton (discount tickets available). A goodwill offering for the food will be appreciated.

To Recap:

What: Minnesota-Uruguay Partners Asado (BBQ)
When: Saturday, August 25, 4:30 pm
Where: National Sports Center, 1700 105th Avenue, Blaine, Minnesota 55449

RSVP to or call 612-242-1863 (mobile) with any questions. 

Look for Uruguay's flag at the north side of the National Sports Center Stadium.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Minnesota-Uruguay Partners Wins Perpich Award

We were delighted to learn this week that Minnesota-Uruguay Partners has been presented with the “The Jerry Perpich Youth Award” for 2012.

The award is named in honor of Iowa native and the former Board Chair of Partners of the Americas for his longtime support to the chapters that recruit and develop leadership skills of young people (under 30 years of age) and recognize their contributions to volunteer service.

Many thanks to board director David Kremer (pictured), who was instrumental compiling information about our activities for the award review committee, and of course to the many young people and volunteers who make Minnesota-Uruguay Partners so vibrant and active.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Minnesota Students Return from Youth Ambassador Trip

Mandy Mattke has returned to Minnesota from Belize with her group of Youth Ambassadors, and shared this video, which aired on Plus TV Belize. Welcome back all! More details to follow.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Uruguay investing in new electric bus network

President José Mujica of Uruguay yesterday signed a deal with Buquebus, the country's largest tourism transport firm, to begin bringing electric buses into Uruguay.  Deliveries are scheduled to begin later this year. The head of Buquebus said he's willing to replace his whole fleet with the new buses, in fact. Yet another example of Uruguay leading the pack. Congratulations! Here is a link to the press release.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Montevideo, Minnesota asado a big success

Patrick Moore, a board director of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners, writes in with the following news...

"I am happy to report that the 3rd annual Montevideo Fiesta Days Asado was a success!

Thanks in large measure goes to the efforts of Asador Marcos Villanueva who did an incredible job. It was such an educational event -- just to watch him in action, conversing with everyone who came up to him, including the Queens from towns throughout the region. He not only cooked the Moonstone beef but also cooked up a mess of catfish from the river that were caught as part of the fishing contest!

You can see great photos of the event by visiting:

Audrey Arner, Duane Ninneman, Dixie Tilden and myself were there as were Youth Ambassadors Martin Moore, Amber Sorensen and Brendan Stermer.  Amber was introduced to the crowd and had the honor of drawing the winning ticket for the kayak raffle."

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Passing of Ed Slettom

A sad but inspiring note was received this week by longtime Minnesota-Uruguay Partners member KiKi Gore...

"I think that by now you might have heard of the recent (June 4) death of Ed Slettom, just three days after his wife Iris died. He was an early and strong member of Partners, a fine, fine, man and, along with Iris, good friends of ours since we moved into the house next door to them 40 years ago. We could not have had better friends, parent substitutes in a way, and gems, both of them...Partners owes a great deal of its early success to the Slettoms."

We received similar notes expressing sadness over the passing of Ed Slettom from past presidents Stan and Darlene Diesch, David Pace and Roger Moon, who provided the photo above of the founders and early supporters of the chapter, taken March 9, 1966, in Washington, DC. The photo includes the future United States Vice President, Walter Mondale; future Minnesota Governor Al Quie; future Minneapolis Mayor and Congressman Don Fraser; future presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy and other notable figures in our state's history.

An obituary for both Ed and Iris mentioning their work with Minnesota-Uruguay Partners ran in the Minnesota newspapers. Services scheduled for July 24 at Glen MN Community Church at 1 PM and July 26 St. Anthony Park UCC at 2 PM in St. Paul.

Photo: L–R: Congressman Don Fraser; Senator Eugene McCarthy; Clifford Whitehill, General Mills; Stan Wenberg, Vice President, U of MN; Otto Christenson, MN Employers Association; Congressman Clark MacGregor; Congressman Al Quie; Uruguayan Ambassador to USA,Juan Feljpe Yriart; Speed Stone, Bravo Foods; Senator Walter F. Mondale; Denis Daly, Peat, Marvick Mitchell; Gerald Forbes, MN Dept of Agriculture; Ed Slettom, MN Association of Cooperatives; Congressman Odin Langen; Howard Nelson, U of MN Industrial Education.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Uruguayan Asado (BBQ) to be held June 16 in Montevideo, Minnesota

As part of the rich and longstanding friendship between sister cities Montevideo, MN and Montevideo, Uruguay, a Uruguayan Asado (Barbecue) and potluck luncheon will be held on Saturday, June 16th from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Montevideo’s Lagoon Park. The asado will be part of the Montevideo Fiesta Days Riverfest Rendezvous, which includes a full day of events starting at 9 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. For more information on the Riverfest Rendezvous event visit: - rendezvous Afternoon activities will feature samplings of locally raised, grass-fed beef from Moonstone Farm in rural Montevideo, music on the Riverside Stage played by area musicians, and conversation with Uruguayan visitors. Partners of the Americas (POA) Youth Ambassadors Martin Moore of Montevideo and Amber Sorenson of Louisburg will be present to meet with members of the western Minnesota community in anticipation of their upcoming trip to Belize in July. Freewill donations will be accepted for the meal. Attendees are asked to bring a dish and a beverage to share. For more information and questions, call Patrick Moore 320-841-1487.

Thursday, May 31, 2012


We are delighted to report that Minnesota fundraising for the June art project in rural Uruguay (see earlier post on this, below) has exceeded expectations. Nearly $600 has been raised to buy art supplies for primary school students in the interior of Uruguay. Congratulations!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

An American in Uruguay...

Gary Kuhn forwards news of an American living in Uruguay, Paul Turman, making a splash on national television, singing about Montevideo, Texas and clearly having a spectacular time. See Link 2 and Link 1.

Monday, May 21, 2012

You can help bring art supplies to rural Uruguay school children

We are delighted to report that Minnesota-based emerging artist Sarah Trembley will be leaving June 9 on a two-week project in the interior of Uruguay. She will be teaching rural school students and training educators in a range of media in the small town of Migues. While her travel is supported by a Partners of the Americas culture and education grant, she is seeking funds to bring art supplies so that this important work can be carried on well after she leaves. Please consider making a donation to support this meaningful project by visiting the link below. We're excited about Sarah's trip and look forward to sharing photos and updates on our blog when she returns.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Uruguay Well Represented at Minnesota Trade Forum

The nation of Uruguay was well represented at a Minnesota trade forum April 17 at the global headquarters of medical device products leader Medtronic in the Twin Cities.

Dr. Nury Bauzan, the country's general consul representing the upper midwest, spoke on trade trends and diversification of Uruguay's economy. She was joined by trade and diplomatic officials from Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil.

Erik Brand, the president of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners, moderated the panel of trade officials. Rob Scarlett, vice president of the chapter, moderated a panel of Minnesota businesses exporting to South America, which featured chapter member and Uruguay native Graciela Cuadrado-Vielguth as an expert commentator.

Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak offered comments on the region, stressing the importance of South America to the company's future and noting that access to medical services remains a challenge for many countries of the Americas that we must work together to address.

Many thanks to Medtronic for hosting the event. And congratulations to the inspiring Silvia Ontaneda Andrade, Ecuador's general consul in Minnesota, and to the Minnesota Trade Office's Rachel Limon, a longtime Minnesota-Uruguay Partners member and leader, for planning such an ambitious and successful endeavor. An estimated 150 businesspeople attended the half-day conference.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Legislative Fellows arriving in Minnesota

A wave of Legislative Fellows selected from across the Americas have been arriving in Minnesota in recent weeks. Mid-career professionals from Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Haiti will be hosted by groups in Minnesota such as the Chicano-Latin Affairs Council, led by Hector Garcia, a Minnesota-Uruguay Partners board director, the National Youth Leadership Council and the highly regarded Latino Community United in Service group (CLUES). Rob Scarlett, vice president of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners, has been establishing these connections and has been rolling out the red carpet for the visitors. Stay tuned for opportunities to meet the fellows in the coming weeks.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Save the date: April 17 event on Uruguay and South America trade ties

Please save the date of April 17 in your schedules for a timely and useful exchange of views and information on South American trade ties. The event will feature Dr. Nury Bauzan, consul general of Uruguay in Chicago, a highly regarded diplomat and advocate for closer international ties, as well as other experts on South American trade and investment. The event has been organized by Consul General Silvia Ontaneda-Andrade of Ecuador and Rachel Limon at the Minnesota Trade Office.

Details appear below...


First South American Trade Forum 2012

April 17, 2012

Consul General Silvia Ontaneda-Andrade of the Consulate of Ecuador in Minneapolis, and the Minnesota Trade Office cordially invite you to the First South American Trade Forum. This initiative is designed to strengthen the cultural, political and economic ties between South America and Minnesota promoting bilateral export/import products, tourism, mining, technology and investment. The Forum features a discussion with panelists from Minnesota companies and a Q&A session.

When: Tuesday, April 17, 2012, from 8:30 a.m. to noon; registration begins at 8 a.m.

Where: Medtronic's World Headquarters, 710 Medtronic Parkway, Fridley, MN 55432

Fees: $25, pre-registered, $35 walk-ins; includes handouts, light breakfast & refreshments

*To register and pay online, click here.

Mail registrations to: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, MTO-Education, 1st National Bank Bldg., 332 Minnesota St., Ste E200, St. Paul, MN 55101-1351.

E-mail registrations to:

Fax registrations to: 651-297-4265

If mailing, e-mailing or faxing your registration, make check payable to the Minnesota Trade Office and mail the same to our office no later than Monday, April 9, to ensure receipt at our office prior to the event.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The passing of Jack Mills, Minnesota-Uruguay supporter

Patrick Moore in Montevideo, Minnesota, writes today with the following news...

Dear Minnesota-Uruguay Partners,

Norma Mills, widow of Jack Mills has asked me to let the MUP network know about the recent death of her husband Jack.

Although I did not know Jack, I do know that he was a champion of Montevideo MN's special relationship with Uruguay, that he was a vice president of MUP for several years and that he traveled to Uruguay twice and received many Uruguayan visitors to his home here in Montevideo, Minnesota.

Norma called me to ask me to let our friends in Uruguay know -- she did not know if they were still alive, but she particularly mentioned the names of Oscar Rochetti and Hilda Slovak as people that Jack had a strong connection with back in the 1970s and 80s when he was the Mayor of Montevideo.

Please pass the news along to the network and say a prayer for Norma as she misses Jack terribly.

It is but another reminder of how relationships form the core of our work and that we all must endeavor, as Jack did, to be welcoming and gracious in the amazing global village in which we live.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ambassador-designate highlights Minnesota-Uruguay ties in testimony

Dr. Nury Bauzan, the general counsel of Uruguay in Chicago, made us aware of an article in El Observador today which references Minnesota. The new US ambassador-designate, Julissa Reynoso, listed Minnesota as the first place in the US she'd look to for collaboration with Uruguay in her written testimony on Capitol Hill. The newspaper article covers a question from Sen. Lugar about international collaboration (see text below). Reynoso also mentions sustainable housing in her testimony--some of our readers may recall that John Carmody, the University of Minnesota's Center for Sustainable Building, traveled through Partners in 2010 on a very successful project grant on that very topic...

"I wish to highlight that I would look first to the state of Minnesota as a possible partner for Uruguayan institutions, given the existing connections with numerous academic and research institutions and the high interest in sustainable urban development in Minneapolis. Additionally, the University of Minnesota with its strong agricultural base would be a natural fit for cooperation with Uruguay's leading universities."

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Youth Ambassador Oppty to Travel to Belize This Summer

A quick note to follow up about the latest opportunity to travel abroad with the Youth Ambassador program this summer. The February 12 application deadline is coming soon, so please review the details below and fill out the application soon.

Here's a recap:

Partners of the Americas, through a program funded by the United States Department of State, has created new opportunities for youth to promote mutual understanding between the people of the Caribbean region and the United States, develop a sense of civic responsibility and commitment to community development among youth, build leadership capacity, and foster relationships among youth from different ethnic, religious and national groups.

Selected youth will travel to Washington, DC and Belize for four weeks from July 10th – August 7th, 2012. While in Belize, youth will learn about local educational systems, participate in community service activities, attend workshops and plan a project to be implemented upon your return to the U.S.

Partners of the Americas will pay all expenses related to travel and participation in the program including fees for passports, domestic and international travel, food and expenses, health insurance, lodging and transportation.

Youth Ambassadors will be accompanied by adult mentors.

As a Youth Ambassador, you will have the opportunity to:

• Gain greater understanding and appreciation of the similarities and differences between the U.S. and Belize, as well as the Caribbean in general.
• Gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the country’s history, values, and beliefs.
• Explore both local and national issues and become involved with or contribute to those causes.
• Develop the skills needed to be a leader in your community.
• Connect to a network of volunteers working throughout the hemisphere.

Applicants must meet the following requirements in order to participate:

1. Be between 15-18 years old at date of travel (July 10th – August 7th)
2. Currently enrolled in a public high school. We strongly encourage Juniors and below to apply.
3. Good academic standing
4. Display leadership qualities
5. Volunteer experience
6. U.S. Citizen or Resident Alien (one parent is a green card holder)

* Strong consideration will be given to youth that have been involved with or volunteered with programs through the Partners chapter in Minnesota.

Applications of eligible candidates will be reviewed and finalists will be contacted by Partners staff for a phone interview. In addition to the above criteria, candidates will be judged on their dedication to service and community, ability to adapt to new situations and environments, and maturity and responsibility. Applications must be submitted by February 12th, 2012. Finalists will be notified by April 4, 2012.

To submit an application, please fill out the following application and submit TWO copies – one hard copy and one electronic – along with the required documentation listed below. Please note: required documentation only needs to be submitted with the hard copy.

 Two copies of your completed application form (one electronic, one hard copy);
 Form of identification that verifies U.S. citizenship;
 A copy of your school registration and school record for 2011-2012;
 A letter of recommendation from one of your teachers or the school principal (It is recommended that you also include a letter of recommendation from the Partners Chapter in your state);
 A letter of permission from your parents or legal guardian.

Please send electronic applications by February 12, 2012 to Erik Brand, volunteer and president, Minnesota chapter, at or call 612-242-1863 with questions.

The electronic copy to is most important for the deadline.

Hard copies can be mailed to:

Partners of the Americas
Youth Ambassador Program
1424 K Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Television Show in Uruguay Interviews Member

A local television show in Uruguay interviewed Anna Moore, a volunteer with Minnesota Uruguay Partners, this week. You did great, Anna!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Prominent Minnesota Couple Off to Uruguay

An excellent article ran in the Star Tribune yesterday about Doug Johnson, the highly respected head of the St. Paul-based Center for Victims of Torture (CVT), who is off to Uruguay next month to teach this year (hat tip to Connie Roehrich for pointing it out). His spouse, Kathryn Sikkink, a member of our group, is also teaching in Uruguay this semester under a university exchange program. She is the author of the newly published book Justice Cascade, which has received high praise in reviews in the Washington Post and other media outlets. You can order the book on Amazon and many other retailers. Congratulations!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Tale of Two Cities

The "feels like" temperature (counting the wind) in Minneapolis this morning is 30 degrees below zero Fahrenheit; the temperature in Montevideo, Uruguay, counting humidity, is 87 degrees F (about -34 Celsius and +30 Celsius, respectively).

That's 117 degrees Fahrenheit difference between the two places.

[Interesting fact: The two temperature scales converge at about -40 degrees briefly, something that would be fun to see--Uruguayans and Minnesotans could then more easily relate to just how cold it is.]

Monday, January 16, 2012

Join us on Feb 2 for a seminar on visas for foreign investors

Minnesota-Uruguay Partners is pleased to co-sponsor a seminar exploring how the EB-5 visa program can help serve both foreign investors and Minnesota companies.

The seminar, which is being organized by the American-Israel chamber of commerce and numerous supporting organizations, will take place on February 2 in Minneapolis.

A Seminar on the EB-5 Visa Program
Thursday, February 2, 2012
1:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Doubletree Hotel (near I-394 and MN 100)
1500 Park Place Blvd., Minneapolis, MN 55416
Cost: $15, payable via check at the door to the American Israel Chamber of MN

The discussion promises to highlight ways to mobilize investment capital for the benefit of entrepreneurs across borders. Featured speakers include Robert Aronson, Laura Danielson, George Maxwell and Eric Wille, all top experts in the field.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Moore family video II

Quick update! The Moore Family's fun video about Montevideo has gone viral in Uruguay, with more than 30,000 hits thus far. It's been picked up by El Observador, a national paper, and Anna Moore has done a television interview over skype about the video, Patrick informs us. The West Central Tribune picked up the story, as did LaRed21, a site in Uruguay. Congratulations all!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Fun video from the Moore Family about Montevideo

The Moore Family made a fun video about Montevideo this weekend to share with friends in Uruguay. Looks great everyone!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Member produces album on the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings label

This just in... José Curbelo, a member of Minnesota Uruguay Partners, has co-produced the latest album release on the Smithsonian Institution's Smithsonian Folkways Recordings label.

"Los Gauchos de Roldán: Button Accordion and Bandoneón Music from Northern Uruguay," will be released in the United States on Jan. 31, 2012.

Congratulations José!

Listen to "Como mi suegra" (Like My Mother-in-Law)
Watch a mini-documentary about Los Gauchos de Roldán