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Connect, Serve, Change Lives
Conceived by John F. Kennedy, Partners of the Americas Inc. is a community-driven, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting economic and social development throughout the Western Hemisphere. It has emerged as one of the most influential forces building goodwill and private sector cooperation among the people of the Americas. Today, more than 15,000 people in 46 U.S. States and 28 Latin American and Caribbean nations are active in 60 Partnerships.
Promoting friendship, cultural understanding and societal development in Uruguay and Minnesota for more than 40 years, the Minnesota-Uruguay Partners chapter engages people through a variety of programs that include but are not limited to:
Agriculture : Working in aspects of crop and animal production and marketing. Most recently, Minnesota members hosted a visit by a Uruguayan grazing scientist to discuss sustainability of different cropping and grazing systems for Minnesota farmers.
Architecture and Housing : Restoring historical buildings in Montevideo, and fostering international experiences of Uruguayan and Minnesota
Arts and Culture : Encouraging exchanges in the performing and visual arts. Minnesotans have hosted visits by Uruguayan visual artists to
participate with Heart of the Beast artists in the May Day parade in Minneapolis, be in residence and exhibit work at the Katherine Nash Gallery
at the University of Minnesota, and teach workshops at the Adams Spanish Immersion Elementary School in St Paul. Uruguayans have hosted
Minnesota artists to learn and perform 16th century European choral works, and give digital drawing workshops at the Dodeca Center and Cebollati Atelier. One result of these activities is an exchange of students and faculty between the Escuela Bellas Artes of the Universidad de la Republica and the Department of Art, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
Business and Economic Development : Encouraging trade and business
development between Uruguay and Minnesota. In 2006, members hosted visits by the Uruguayan Ambassador to the United States and Uruguayan
Minister of Trade, to develop trade with Minnesota manufacturers and food
Criminal Justice Reform : Since 2006, teams have been traveling between Uruguay and Minnesota and may soon establish the first pilot parole
program in Uruguay's history.
Education : Supporting high school and college-level student exchanges between Minnesota and Uruguay. A delegation of 9 high school students
from Uruguay and 10 from Minnesota enjoyed reciprocal visits, and two college University of Minnesota seniors completed single-semester research projects in Montevideo.
Medical and Public Health : Improving health care and institutional development. Uruguayan health care providers recently toured Minnesota to
acquire ideas for AIDS prevention and care.
Natural Resources and Environment : Improving forest management, lumber production and marketing, and protection of Uruguay’s non-forest
natural resources. Members are currently organizing a wood drying project in Uruguay to evaluate a new way to dry Eucalyptus boards for improved
Sports : Raising appreciation for and skills in athletics at all levels. Minnesotans have hosted the Uruguayan "under 17" basketball team to
participate in a high school tournament, and basketball coaches to broaden their coaching techniques. Uruguay is one of three pilot countries involved in Partners’ A Ganar! soccer program.
Veterinary Medicine : Members of this committee are devoted to improving veterinary education, through research and education projects
and exchanges. Minnesota experts recently traveled to Uruguay to conduct workshops for
veterinary authorities to diagnose and develop biosecurity measures for dairy and bird pathogens. Uruguayan veterinary students are frequently
enrolled in College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota.
Youth at Social Risk : Fostering development of youth. They recently coordinated donation, transport and distribution of vegetable seeds for planting in rural family gardens throughout Uruguay; supports projects intended to encourage education and economic opportunities for children at
risk. They recently obtained funding for "Free butterflies" project, to teach skills to urban girls Montevideo who are at risk of entering prostitution.
Women in Development : Improving the health, safety and economic opportunities for women.
- Mandy Mattke
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