Pioneer Public Television’s new documentary "Hello Montevideo" explores the relationship between two cities with the same name that, although are on different continents and of greatly differing sizes, have been Sister Cities for over 100 years.
Produced by award-winning filmmaker Dana Johnson and partially funded through a grant from Partners of the Americas (Partners), the documentary compares the 5,000-person Montevideo, Minnesota to Uruguay’s 1 million-person capital, illuminating how a Sister City friendship developed into a lasting partnership.
The connection between the two Montevideo's began in 1905 when Uruguay sent the Minnesota city a flag. That initial spark of kindness developed into today’s relationship that encompasses all ages through educational and cultural exchanges. High schoolers learn about their similarities and differences through Skype conversations and Uruguayan teachers travel to Minnesota through Partners grants to educate students about their culture.
“The idea of connecting with another culture, learning another language, seeing the world through the eyes of another country is really essential,” Patrick Moore, Director of the governing board of the Minnesota-Uruguay Partners chapter, said.
In addition to the Sister City relationship, Uruguay and Minnesota have been linked for the last 50 years through Partners, which matches its state-based U.S. chapters with chapters across in the Western Hemisphere to implement projects, events, exchanges, and other activities that change lives in the Americas.
“Minnesota-Uruguay Partners has enjoyed long-lived and rich collaborations between our chapters, which have included work with at-risk youth, justice reform initiatives, health and medicine, and visual and musical arts programs,” Mandy Mattke, Minnesota Partners chapter president, said. The chapters have hopes for expanding the partnership through entrepreneurship-based exchanges and endowed youth travel exchanges.
"We will continue to collaborate as we have been doing for the last 50 years and we will create new projects that will benefit the people of Minnesota and Uruguay," Maria Gilda Battagliese, Uruguay Partners chapter president, said.