Sunday, December 29, 2013

Carlos Boubet

Chapter historian Gary Kuhn reports the sad news that Carlos Boubet, a former president of Uruguay-Minnesota Partners, passed away on December 11, 2013.

Willy Lockhart, also a former president of the chapter, said that Carlos died "completely in peace" in his home with family after a long illness.

Many Minnesotans traveling to Uruguay were welcomed into the Boubet home. Carlos was fond of taking visitors to the beautiful "Gaucho Museum," more formally known as the Museos del Gaucho y de la Moneda at the beautiful Palacio Heber Jackson, a must-see museum for anyone traveling to Montevideo.

The kindness and warmth that Carlos and his family showed Minnesotan visitors over many years will always be remembered.

Museos del Gaucho y de la Moneda
(Photo: Government of Uruguay)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Minnesota musician off to Uruguay next month on a Partners travel grant...

This message just in from Patrick Moore, a member of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners in Montevideo, Minn...

Dear Partners:

Andy Stermer is traveling to Uruguay in January, and he has a project that he is trying to raise money for.  I am asking your help in spreading the word.

If you support international relationships based on music, please contribute! Andy is accepting donations for the candombe project via PayPal:

If successful, this will be a great addition to our 50 year celebration!

Here is a link to an article about the project that appears in this week's American News:

Thank you for your help!

Patrick J. Moore

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Economist: "Uruguay is our country of the year."

Praising its progressive policies and good governance, the Economist Magazine today named Uruguay its "country of the year."

This is the first time the magazine has chosen a nation state instead of an individual for the annual honor. Amazing.

The Economist cites "path-breaking reforms that do not merely improve a single nation but, if emulated, might benefit the world."

We've certainly benefited a lot in Minnesota from more than four decades of collaboration on projects with our counterparts in Uruguay, and we look forward to working together in 2014 with much enthusiasm.

"Modest yet bold, liberal and fun-loving, Uruguay is our country of the year," the editors wrote.

Congratulations Uruguay!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thank you for attending the annual meeting!

Dozens of members and friends of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners braved the cold weather to attend Monday night's annual meeting.

It was wonderful to see past presidents like David Pace and Erik Brand there, with long-time members like Ted Bowman, Sue von Bank and Patrick and Matt Moore, all mixing with new-member recruits like Natalia Dorf-Biderman, Ross Knutsen, Deb Meagher and Juan Ghiringhelli (with his beautiful family!) among others.

The food, catered by Cafe 421, the wines from Uruguay, and not least the three presentations by Mark Knierim, Lyndel King and Pankaj Gupta about their trips to Uruguay this year, truly set a high mark for future events and presentations.

The evening also provided an opportunity to remember those we have lost this year. We believe it was the first annual meeting in 8 years that Bruce McManus, who passed away in August, wasn't attending. His big smile, firm handshake and polite prodding to "get this thing moving" were sorely missed.

Bruce's work through the social justice committee continues under Connie's attentive eye. The prison reform program was represented at the event by Ron and Reena Solheid.

Dr. Gupta laid out concrete next steps with the health collaboration that offers both high ambition and realistic resultsfor both Uruguay and Minnesota.

Lyndel King described 20 years of art and museum exchanges that are building to a new high point in 2014.

The annual meeting provided an opportunity to look back with pride and see ahead with enthusiasm to the important work that Minnesota-Uruguay Partners is undertaking.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Tango is Uruguayan Patrimony

Editor's note: Gary Kuhn, chapter historian, writes the article below that will be appearing in his "Historian's Corner" column in the chapter's next newsletter...

The Tango is Uruguayan Patrimony

On a September Saturday in 1995, an event called the “Patrimonio,” aimed at conservation of historic buildings, was held in Montevideo.

Successful and in future years expanded to a two-day weekend, the Patrimonio has become a major civic event.

Many of those historic buildings now contain small museums devoted to historical, artistic and other heritage topics. Shuttle buses carry people to and from a great variety of “open house” displays. The Patrimonio has spread to some degree to other cities, beyond the rich variety of national institutions within the capital. Without restricting free access, a particular theme is featured each year.

The nineteenth Patrimonio has honored the tango. This was a centennial: the first recognized tango, La Cumparsita, was performed in Montevideo in 1913. Carlos Gardel was the most celebrated vocal performer of the subsequent era, until his death in 1935. Argentina shares the tango legacy (and also claims Gardel as a son). A Mundial/World Championship competition was recently held in Buenos Aires. The dance is universal. Finland is one country full of enthusiastic adepts!

History is conserved by the Patrimonio. Could we in Minnesota do something similar? Perhaps fundraising could be helped by a free tour weekend. Or is our culture more confined within large institutions; the Patrimonio is varied and decentralized, and Montevideo is rather compact.

Now sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Culture each Spring (late September or early October), the Patrimonio provides a broad focus on popular history.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

You're invited! December 9 annual meeting

You are invited to attend

The Minnesota - Uruguay Partners Annual Meeting

Monday, December 9, 2013

University of Minnesota Regis Center for Art East Building
405 21st Ave S, 
Minneapolis, MN 55454


Silent Auction
Music by David Falbo

6:30- 7:30 p.m.  Dinner (catering by Kafe 421)
7:30 - 8:30 p.m.  

Remembering Bruce McManus
Presentations by
Mark Knierim, & Anne Sugnet,
Lyndel King
Pankaj Gupta
Master of Ceremonies Rob Scarlet, MUP President

Suggested donation $20 (students $10)

Or by emailing Sarah Trembley

Friday, November 22, 2013

A truly inspiring video about Nicolas Carter's work in Uruguay over the past year

We were delighted to receive this link to Nicolas Carter's excellent video documenting his work in Uruguay over the past year to bring the "Neighborhood Bridges" program to youth and audiences there. It's a truly inspiring story! Partners of the Americas supported the project with a travel grant, and things expanded exponentially from there. Congratulations Nicolas!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Set for Nov. 4

The University of Minnesota, Minnesota-Uruguay Partners 

and The Whittier Alliance

invite you to a ribbon cutting ceremony
 of a new work of public art by Uruguayan artists

Daniel Tomasini and Beatriz Tobler 

Monday, November 4, at 2:00 p.m. 
Artist Quarter Lofts parking ramp (outside)
On 26th Street, one block East of Nicollet

Please join us for a first view of this new work, and to thank the artists and organizers for this new piece of public art in Whittier entitled:

"Homage to the International Neighborhood"

We hope you can join us!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Visiting Uruguayans, in Minnesota for Twin Cities Marathon, Discuss Health Collaboration with Partners

Drs. Pankaj and Kalpna Gupta, two volunteers with Minnesota-Uruguay Partners, hosted a dinner in their home earlier this month for two visitors from Uruguay who were here for the Twin Cities Marathon, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful courses in the country. 

Front Row: Kalpna Gupta, Dr. Tim Tripp, Dr. Oscar Quiñones, Sara Costa, Marcos Villanueva, Amanda Ottman
Standing:  Natalia's Husband, Dr. Natalia Dorf Biderman, Dr. Pankaj Gupta

Dr. Oscar Quiñones a cardiovascular surgeon at the Instituto Cardiología Infantil (Pediatric Cardiology Institute) in Montevideo, Uruguay, was in Minnesota for several days along with his wife, Sara Costa, a diabetic who had been invited to participate as an international runner in the Medtronic-sponsored Marathon on October 6.

The group gathered for dinner in the home of the Guptas the night before the marathon, and then met up after the big event at Woodfire Grill.

Sara and Oscar

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Uruguay Musuem Leader Carlos Ortiz Visits Minnesota

Carlos Ortiz, the curator of the renowned Museo Blanes in Montevideo, Uruguay, was in Minnesota in August on a Partners of the Americas grant to participate in the Artful Writing program, an innovative initiative of the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota.

The unique program addresses an important gap in traditional artist training and helps prepare participants for successful careers. Carlos met with area museum professionals to learn about best practices.

Co- teachers Jamee Yung, museum educator for the Weisman Art Museum, and Stephanie Rollag, PhD student from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and a Teacher Consultant for the Minnesota Writing Project, worked with Carlos throughout his visit, among many other volunteers.

Lyndel King, the director and curator of the Weisman who had traveled to Montevideo earlier this year to carry out a highly successful museum branding workshop, hosted a wonderful reception in her home for Carlos on the eve of his return to Uruguay. Click here to read about Lyndel's visit to Uruguay.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Job posting for someone with Spanish skills, interest in trade and business

One of our Minnesota-Uruguay Partners members passed along the job opening below and asked us to post it. More details and an application are available here.

MOM Brands, based in Lakeville, Minnesota, is the third-largest producer of breakfast cereals in the United States, employing more than 1,400 people.

MOM BrandS, 


# of openings:1


The purpose of the position is to build customer loyalty and confidence by initiating direct customer communication, processing orders, resolving issues and advising customers of stock availability and delivery schedules.   In addition, this position will be required to process trade contracts.  This position will be responsible for working directly with our Latin American and US customers to assure the highest standards of customer service.  The position provides a single point of contact to the customer for order management by acting as a liaison between the customer and various internal MOM departments.
Accurately process customer orders according to MOM order guidelines and work with customers to affirm order size, pricing, freight allowance, item information, product availability, lead time, and other service requirements.
Responsible for the integrity and accuracy of assigned accounts in JD Edwards as it relates to order management (i.e. updating shipping platforms).
Timely entry of approved promotional contracts into the trade planning system.
Understand and help implement departmental and supply chain business strategies related to improving customer satisfaction and reducing supply chain costs.
Identify and actively participate to resolve issues that affect quality or service.
Utilize Spanish to provide excellent customer service to our Latin American and Mexican accounts. 
Potential travel to industry events or customer meetings in Latin American or Mexican countries to represent the supply chain area.
Education: Four-year degree in a relevant field of study or relevant experience
Experience: The ideal candidate will have a bachelors’ degree.  In addition, the candidate will have a desire to grow and develop in conjunction with the growth of our international business.  A candidate will at least have applicable business experience in a dynamic customer service environment.
Skills: Must be fluent in reading, writing, and speaking Spanish.  Effective time management; ability to function as part of a team.  Strong written and oral communication skills.  Ability to tactfully handle a wide range of customer relations, warehousing, distribution, and broker concerns. Strong attention to detail and analytical. 
Other:  3rd Party POS and Inventory systems such as Retail Link a plus.  NAFTA and other international shipping regulation background would be a plus.  Must be legally authorized to work in the United States.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The passing of Bruce McManus

The StarTribune published the following obituary today about our dear friend and colleague Bruce McManus, who led the social justice projects at Minnesota-Uruguay Partners for the past eight years and passed away suddenly last Friday. His work and achievements have changed the lives of many people and will continue to do so for years to come. We miss him.

McManus, Bruce W. On Aug. 30, 2013, age 79, of Mendota Heights. Survived by his wife, Connie Roehrich; children William, Stephen, Robert, Marianne Koepfer and Esperanza; grandchildren Patrick, Katherine, Enrique, Carlos and Danu. Bruce was a 1956 graduate of Carleton College, US Coast Guard veteran, Warden of MN Correctional Facility, Stillwater, Deputy Commissioner, MN Department of Corrections. Memorial Service Saturday, Sept. 7th 11:00 a.m. at AUGUSTANA LUTHERAN CHURCH, 1400 So. Robert St., West St. Paul. Family will greet friends 1 hour before service. Memorials preferred to Carleton College (, Animal Humane Society (www.animalhumane or Partners of the Americas ( Arrangements by Kandt & Tetrick Funeral Home, 651-455-5352. "Semper Paratus" 

Friday, August 23, 2013

A video describing the history of the Uruguay-Minnesota prison reform project

Partners of the Americas in Washington posted this interview recently with Erik Brand, the immediate past president of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners, talking about the history of a successful prison reform project that has resulted in an innovative community supervision program in Uruguay.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Lynn Baskfield Leads Equine Coaching Exercise for Minnesota-Uruguay Partners Board Members

Left-to-right: Gerard Lagos, Treasurer; Mandy Mattke, President-Elect; David C. Kremer, Chair, Fiscal Development; Lynn Baskfield, Host and Trainer; Equine Assistant; Rob Scarlett, President; Tom Olson, Chair, Business and Economic Development; Lynn's Human Assistant.

Minnesota-Uruguay Partners member Lynn Baskfield, a certified personal professional coach who operates Wisdom Horse Coaching, kindly invited board directors of our group to participate in an equine-assisted board team-building session on a warm summer afternoon in Delano, Minnesota, on Thursday, August 1.

In the fall of 2012, Lynn had hosted Uruguayan equine-assisted therapist and horse trainer Captain Gustavo Dos Santos during his visit to Minnesota. As a result, other board members involved in escorting Capt. Dos Santos became fascinated with all the different kinds of coaching and personal development activities that can be accomplished through the use of horses.

In just 2-1/2 hours, Lynn paired board members with a selection of horses and guided us through a series of individual and group exercises that produced very useful insights that the participating board members are using to figure out how to work together to maximize the group's potential for creating meaningful and impactful "people-to-people" experiences for Minnesotans, Uruguayans and others interested in exchanges of the kind fostered by Partners of the Americas.

Incidentally, the horses Lynn selected for these coaching exercises were all Gypsy Vanners, a unique breed of horse related to those that gypsies (Roma) used to pull their Gypsy vans (see example, below):

There are several videos posted that describe Wisdom Horse Coaching's approach at and at

For more information on the use of horses in coaching, training and therapy, visit the EAGALA web-site:

This was an "mind-opening" experience for all of those who participated; and one that will continue to yield benefits as we plan for the future of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners.

-- Rob

Robert H. Scarlett, President
Board of Directors
Minnesota-Uruguay Partners of the Americas

Monday, July 1, 2013

Tara Gupta Presents on Social Inclusion Efforts

Tara Gupta, a Minnesota-Uruguay Partners member who won a scholarship to participate in Partners' Colombia Youth Leadership Summit in 2011 as a high school student, on Sunday shared observations from her recent trip to Uruguay

Tara was invited to speak at the U.S. Embassy in Montevideo last month and traveled to Migues to learn about efforts underway there with Gladys Ferrero, the phenomenal rural school director who reaches out to youth for job training and other projects.

Tara is now a first-year student at Wellesley College.

Our group was hosted so warmly by Melissa and Uri Camarena in their beautiful home, the former Pillsbury Mansion in Minneapolis, for the presentation and discussion. It was a very special day.

Thank you all!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Partners is hiring new staff

Partners of the Americas is hiring part-time consultants in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Minnesota native and Partners senior staffer in Washington Theresa McMenomy tells us.

Spread the word!

- In the Dominican Republic:
- In Haiti:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The birthday of Artigas

Today, June 19, is a national holiday in Uruguay celebrating the birthday of José Gervasio Artigas, the country's greatest hero.

The holiday follows by less than a week this year the annual "fiesta days" in Montevideo, Minnesota (pop. 5,331) marking that city's century-long relationship with Uruguay.

Members and friends of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners (a selection of whom are pictured below) gathered last weekend for the festivities, which included good food and drink, fine company and not least song (flags were raised and both national anthems were sung to mark the special day).

On behalf of the many, many Minnesotans who have been so thoughtfully hosted in Uruguay over the nearly half century since the founding of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners, we want to extend our warm wishes for a wonderful "Natalicio de Artigas" holiday to our friends in Uruguay today.

Dr. Nury Bauzán, Uruguay's Consul General in Chicago,
and Montevideo Mayor Debra Lee (fifth and sixth from left, respectively)
at the June 15 "Fiesta Days" celebration in Montevideo, MN.

Thank you Big Blue!

Minnesota-Uruguay Partners of the Americas is delighted to acknowledge a generous donation from IBM in support of our mission for 2013. The company has been a steadfast supporter of our work across the state and abroad for years. Its financial contributions have helped expand our capacity to ensure high-quality programs can continue well into the future. Thank you Big Blue for your significant and continued support!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Minnesotans Welcomed in Uruguay by Partners Volunteers

Last month marked the arrival in Uruguay of the University of Minnesota's annual "May Term" Art Department trip. Emerging artists from Minnesota spent the month meeting with renowned Uruguayan artists across a range of disciplines and media.

It also marked the first visit of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners member Tara Gupta to Montevideo, who was invited by the United States embassy to speak at an event on youth leadership. Tara was Minnesota's delegate to the annual Partners convention in Colombia in 2011, where she was invited to speak on her nonprofit work as an Edina High School student with Seva Football, a group she founded to engage and advance young girls through sports. 

The Minnesotans were welcomed warmly and with much generosity by the Uruguay-Minnesota chapter of Partners throughout their stay. The chapter's regular meeting, which included the art students and Tara, is pictured below.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Museum Branding Workshops Draw Top Art Community Leaders Together

Lyndel King, a past board director of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners and the curator of the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, returned last week from a Partners trip to Uruguay to share best practices in museum branding.

Lyndel and her co-leader for the seminars, Yamamoto Moss ad agency head Shelly Regan, worked with scores of art community professionals in Uruguay over 10 days under a Partners of the Americas travel grant.

They were hosted with extraordinary warmth and generosity by Marta Aronja, the highly regarded Uruguayan architect who is a board director of our counterpart chapter in Montevideo, along with many others in Uruguay's outstanding arts and culture community.

Welcome back Lyndel and thank you all!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Friends and members say farewell to Marcos Villanueva

Friends and members gathered at the beautiful home of Sarah Trembley in Bloomington on Sunday to say heartfelt good-byes to Marcos Villanueva on the eve of his return to Uruguay after more than a decade in Minnesota.

Marcos, a board director of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners, has advanced our organization in many ways. A generous host to visitors and wonderful guide to our state, it's been Marcos smiling over the parrilla, our asador at countless events masterfully grilling grass-fed beef for scores of hungry guests. His contributions to the group are simply too many to list here.

Marcos is returning to Uruguay with plans to advance his career there after working in accounting and financial services in the United States. We know he'll stay involved with the chapter in Montevideo, and we look forward to keeping in touch with him.

Buen viaje Marcos, hasta luego!


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Weisman Art Museum Director Off to Uruguay

Lyndel King, a long-time member and past board director of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners, is off to Uruguay this month working on a Partners travel grant to conduct seminars with professionals around the country on museum branding. Lyndel is the director and curator of the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, the first art museum designed by Frank Gehry, which underwent a multi-million-dollar expansion under Lyndel's leadership last year.  She's joined in her Partners project in Uruguay by another Minnesotan, Shelly Regan, the president of Yamamoto, the renowned international advertising agency.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Uruguay nabs another investment-grade rating

Good news. Fitch Ratings on Thursday granted Uruguay a coveted investment-grade rating. This generally lowers a country's borrowing costs and can put more money back into the hands of its citizens. Congratulations Uruguay!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Job openings for internationalists...

Happy new year, friends and members! Looking for a new job in 2013?

Partners of the Americas in Washington tells us that they are hiring a program development officer. See the job listing here.

Closer to home, our friends at the Minnesota International Center are looking for development expertise, as well. See their job posting here.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Announcing the new schedule for Spanish classes

Our friends at the Global Citizens Network have shared a link to their new schedule for 2013 Spanish classes. You can study with a native Uruguayan if you sign up for the Thursday sessions, it appears. What fun!

Leticia Stabrino

Leticia obtained her teaching degree in Uruguay, her country of origin, and moved to the United States in 2005. She worked as a teacher in Montevideo for 7 years and held various jobs in education in Minnesota. She worked as the Latino Liaison at North St. Paul schools and she’s currently working at an alternative high school in Minneapolis. She has been involved with the Resource Center since 2005 where she volunteered, taught and was a board member. At present she’s leading the Intercambios on Saturdays.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Press coverage of Mayor Fader's triip to Uruguay

MONTEVIDEO — Jose Mujica has six bullet wounds and the memory of 14 years in prison to tell the story of his path to public office.
Ana Olivera spent 11 years in exile overseas before she was able to return home and run for office.
Mujica, the president of Uruguay, and Olivera, the mayor of its capital city, were among the Uruguayan office holders who rolled out the red carpet for Debra Lee Fader, mayor of Montevideo, Minn.... Read more!