Thursday, December 18, 2014

MPR's Art Hounds Features Partners-Funded Candombe Exchange as "Best Of" in 2014

Minnesota Public Radio's Art Hounds segment featured Alvaro Salas in its "Best Of 2014" segment today.

You can listen to the podcast (the Salas segment starts at minute 1:01).

Salas traveled to Minnesota from Uruguay in June on a travel grant funded by Partners of the Americas.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Nicolas Carter Featured in Partners Video

Partners of the Americas has featured chapter member Nicolas Carter in a video about successful exchanges between Minnesota and Uruguay. Congratulations Nicolas!

PBS Program Documents Minnesota-Uruguay Arts & Culture Exchange

Patrick Moore, a chapter volunteer in Montevideo, Minnesota, shared news that a PBS program documenting a Partners-funded arts and culture exchange was featured on prime time last night and now can be viewed at Congratulations all! 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

You're invited to the annual meeting of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners!

When:      Monday, December 8 at 6:00 PM
Where:     Regis Center for Art (East) In Flux Room, 405 21st Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55455

Please join us for a night of food, friends, and stories as we celebrate another year of volunteerism
with Partners of the Americas' Minnesota­-Uruguay Chapter.

Come hungry, as we have Kafe 421 catering again, along with live Candombe drummers, and an array of raffle and silent auction items.

A suggested donation of $25 per person would be appreciated for dinner. $10 for students and
seniors. Pay as able.

Event Schedule...

6:00 Mingle and Welcome
6:30 Dinner
7:15 Presentations

We hope to see you there!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Colombian Youth Leaders Broaden Horizons in the United States

Twenty-six Colombian rural youth leaders have come to Washington, DC, Minnesota and Texas during November 9-23, 2014.

This year’s participants, traveling with the YouthLead-SENA Program,  were competitively selected from across Colombia by the sponsoring Colombian public higher eduction institute, SENA (Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje) and with support from the implementing organization, Partners of the Americas in Washington D.C. and the Minnesota Uruguay Partners in Minnesota. 

The group consists of 24 SENA students and two SENA instructors. All were convened in Washington, D.C. for a week before travelling to their respective host states: Texas and Minnesota.Through the YouthLead-SENA, Partners of the Americas aims to strengthen mutual understanding, awareness, and cooperation between the people of the United States and Colombia. 

By promoting and developing interaction between these two countries, youth realize their potential to promote positive changes in their communities through social entrepreneurship. The youth were hosted in homestays by volunteers around the St. Paul area. Minnesota has hosted 13 travelers from the group who are spending two weeks in Minnesota engaging with local government and civic organizations, building relationships with host families and other youth, visiting universities and participating in skills-based workshops that enable and empower them to mobilize their communities towards positive change. 

Their itinerary has included visits with leaders from the MN Department of Agriculture, Chicano Latino Affairs Council, the Main Street Project, Latino Economic Development Center, Willmar Area Multicultural Business Center, the Weisman Art Museum, Cookie Cart, MN Youth Council, U of M Agricultural Dept, Normandale Community College, Agstar, and others. 

In addition, the youth met with entrepreneurs to discuss business skill development that included: Jeff Heegard of Coco-Coworking and Collaborative, Rob Scarlett of Clearwater Layline, Grupo Avance, Medical Equipment Exporters, Hunter Scarlett Consulting, Tom Olson of TKO Wines and others. 

Upon returning to the Colombia, youth use what they learned throughout the exchange to design and implement service projects that benefit their communities. The YouthLead-SENA participants were selected competitively for their outstanding academic performance , leadership qualities and a demonstrated interest in improving their local community through agricultural and rural entrepreneurial projects . YouthLead is sponsored by the Colombian government supported SENA (Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje) and implemented by Partners of the Americas.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Minnesota Chapter leader carries out projects with Partners in Colorado and Texas

Three leaders from Partners chapters in the United States teamed up to carry out some wonderful projects this summer in Peru.

Betty Brown, with Colorado-Minas Gerais Partners, Mandy Mattke, with Minnesota-Uruguay Partners and Iliana Diaz, with Texas-Peru Partners are featured on the Partners of the Americas blog this month for their work and accomplishments.

This blog touched up their trip earlier this year, but Partners has many more photos posted and new details.

Please make plans now to attend the second "What Works!" Regional Meeting in Portland, Oregon in September 2015.  "Be prepared to pack your suitcase a second time," Betty advises. The travel bug is infectious! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Annual Asado a Big Success

Scores of people came out to enjoy the Minnesota-Uruguay Partners annual asado on September 13.

Members and guests from around the hemisphere convened at the National Sports Center in Blaine to share grilled meats and friendship, and, not least, a great soccer match.

Congratulations all!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Peruvian Youth Work with Partners Traveling from Minnesota, Texas Chapters

Minnesota-Uruguay Partners of the Americas welcomes back Mandy Mattke, vice president of the Minnesota chapter, from her summer exchange in Peru. 

Mandy joined with Iliana Queirolo-Diaz, president of the Texas Partners of the Americas chapter, in mentoring the Youth in Action program, which Iliana organizes to empower youth to actively serve others through volunteer programs in their home communities and abroad. 

Texas Partners of the Americas enjoys a lively trilateral partnership between Texas, Peru, and Mexico. 

Mattke, who takes over as president of the Minnesota chapter next year, said she was "honored" to have the opportunity "to learn directly from such a dynamic, multi-faceted, and tireless leader" within the Partners of the Americas network. 

The Texas chapter has been partnering with Alamo colleges, Accenture, CUSO International, and USAID in its programming. 

During the three-week exchange, the American Youth in Action group joined with Peruvian alumnus from past Youth in Action exchanges to secure local government commitments to develop future projects in water, sanitation, and healthcare, to construct a local community center, and to teach English and enrichment courses to local youth. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Excellent video with candombe music from last weekend's festivities in Montevideo, Minnesota

Patrick Moore has shared this excellent video from Pioneer Public Television with footage from last weekend's festivities in Montevideo, Minnesota, featuring candombe music.

A grant from Partners of the Americas made it possible for the musicians to be in Minnesota for the annual Fiesta Days events celebrating the Montevideo sister-city ties, with Minnesota-Uruguay Partners providing additional funding and volunteers for the activities, which featured performances in Montevideo as well as the Twin Cities. Congratulations all!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Honoring Dr. Nury Bauzan, Consul General of Uruguay

Dr. Nury Bauzán (left), Rachel Limon and Sec. Mark Ritchie

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie on Tuesday was the featured speaker at a reception in Minneapolis to honor Uruguayan Consul General  Dr. Nury Bauzán for the work she has done to support and advance the "people to people" relationships between Minnesota and Uruguay during her four-year term of service, which is ending this year.

The dinner at the Minneapolis Club, graciously hosted by Silvia Ontaneda, Ecuador's Consul General in Minnesota, and Rob Scarlett, the president of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners, and its board of directors brought together members and friends from around the region to celebrate the constructive and warm relationships that Dra. Bauzán has fostered across the state.

Secretary Ritchie and Rachel Limon, the State of Minnesota's trade representative for Latin America and a former chair of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners, presented Dr. Bauzán with an official commendation signed by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton.

For her part, Dr. Bauzán presented Minnesota-Uruguay Partners president Rob Scarlett with a beautiful commemorative plaque for the anniversary year. We will miss you Nury!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Amb. Reynoso Hosts Equine Therapy Specialist from Minnesota

Amb. Reynoso (R)

U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay Julissa Reynoso hosted Minnesota traveler Lynn Baskfield, who was in Uruguay on a Partners of the Americas grant to exchange best practices in equine therapy, in her Montevideo residence last month. 

The latest stage of a project initiated by Willy Lockhart, a past board director of Partners of the Americas, the trip was the third in an increasingly advanced equine therapy exchange to share expertise. This is a fascinating field that is changing the lives of thousands of people in Minnesota and Uruguay. 

Lynn Baskfield

Willy Lockhart

Friday, May 30, 2014

Matt Clausen's article about study abroad

Many of the Minnesota-Uruguay chapter members of Partners have had the good fortune to meet Matt Clausen over the years (see photo and bio below).

Matt has made swings through the state of Minnesota (ice skating like a pro with Uruguayan Youth Ambassadors on Centennial Lakes in Edina) and has welcomed many Minnesota volunteers in the Partners of the Americas' K Street offices in Washington.

Now a vice president and senior director with Partners in Washington, Matt penned an article that was published in New Global Citizen this month that we think speaks deeply to a lot of us who studied abroad ... or aspire to do so.

Nicely done Matt! This is really inspiring.

Matt Clausen

Matt Clausen

Matt Clausen (@matthewclausen) is Vice President for Partnerships and Leadership Programs and Senior Director of President Obama’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund at Partners of the Americas. Matt leads exchange and fellowship programs, including youth leadership, professional government, business, educational and cultural, and climate change fellowship programs. Matt is Chairman of the Building Bridges Coalition, the organization that emerged from the Brookings Initiative on International Voluntary Service.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Partners President Steve Vetter Attends White House Meeting on 100,000 Strong in the Americas

We were delighted to receive word that Steve Vetter, the president of Partners of the Americas, met with U.S. President Barack Obama and other dignitaries May 5 as part of the 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative.

About 100,000 Strong...

Expanding and Enriching Study in the Americas

President Obama launched 100,000 Strong in the Americas to underscore the critical relationship between broader educational opportunity and greater regional prosperity. Expanding study abroad opportunities for students, our future leaders and innovators, strengthens bi-national relations and better prepares young people for the 21st century global workforce. In today’s interconnected, technology-driven world, quality education alone is not enough. We need to be more internationally-aware and cross-culturally adept. We need a generation of leaders who can reach across borders. For this, students need a broad base of skills and experiences, including exposure to other countries and cultures. That is the vision of 100,000 Strong in the Americas.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Uruguay's President to Visit United States This Month

The President of Uruguay, José "Pepe" Mujica, will be visiting the United States this month. See details here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Andy Stermer returns to Minnesota from Uruguay music exchange

We were delighted to learn that Andy Stermer has returned to Minnesota after an extended stay in Uruguay, where he was learning the candombe music style and sharing his talents with counterpart musicians there. Andy plans to present (and we hope perform) his trip at our annual meeting next December, and we may even see him sooner at Fiesta Days activities in Montevideo, Minn. in mid June (mark your calendars!).

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Carolina Fernandez Visits Minnesota on Partners Travel Grant

Carolina Fernandez, an equine therapy specialist from Montevideo, Uruguay, is in Minnesota this month to exchange best practices in the field with practitioners across the state.  Last weekend Carolina visited Montevideo, Minnesota, where she toured Lee Mar Ranch, a highly regarded equine therapy facility. Hosted by Minnesota-Uruguay Chapter members Patrick Moore and Sue von Bank, Carolina also got to try her hand at making maple syrup, which is in high season now in Minnesota. Temperatures rose into the 60s (about 16 centigrade) on Sunday for the first time in the area since last October, one meteorologist reported.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Rachel Limon, Past Chair of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners, Receives Business Leadership Award

We are delighted to share the news that Rachel Limon, a past chair of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners, has been awarded the 2013 Business Leadership Award by the Minnesota Consular Corps.

Nearly 100 diplomats, executives, government officials, politicians and special guests attended the awards dinner at the Minneapolis Club on Wednesday evening to celebrate Rachel's achievements. A number of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners members were on hand for the event.

Rob Scarlett, the current president of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners, was asked to introduce Rachel to the audience before the presentation of the award.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Uruguay has been named the most transparent country in Latin America for 2013

The full global report can be found at the Transparency International website:

¡ Felicitaciones a nuestros compañeros/partners en Uruguay-Minnesota Partners of the Americas !

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How the Artigas statue came to be in Minnesota

This message just in from Willy Lockhart, past president of Uruguay-Minnesota Partners...

Today I received from a friend that participated in a Branding of Museums Seminar organized by our Chapter, Ana Ines Maiorano, this link for an article that I consider is part of The History of Partners, especially of our Minnesota - Uruguay Partnership.
The article tells the history of how the Artigas statue that is in Montevideo, Minnesota arrived there.
Best regards, Willy

Monday, January 13, 2014

Business/Latin America event of potential interest

Rob Scarlett, the president of Minnesota-Uruguay Partners, is speaking on Wednesday, January 15, at the Minnesota Trade Office's breakfast discussion about upcoming elections in Latin America and their impact on business in the region.

Uruguay's presidential election, scheduled for October 2014, will be among the countries discussed.

To register, visit