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