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.