Welcome to Montevideo…Minnesota

Patrick Archer arts & entertainment, creative class, uruguay

Paris, Texas…Athens, Georgia…Versailles, Kentucky…the list is long of U.S. towns named after some of the world’s greatest cities. Add to that list Montevideo, Minnesota, a town of 5,383 with a rich history of cultural ties with Uruguay’s capital city 6,100 miles away.

Minnesota’s West Central Tribune shares a great story about a Uruguayan photographer who did a random Google search one day for the weather in his hometown and discovered the Minnesota town in the process. Federico Estol was so intrigued by the thought of a Montevideo far away, he relocated and made the Chippewa County county seat the focal point for his second book of photographs, Hello Montevideo.

While capturing the unique sights of the other Montevideo, Estol told the Tribune he learned some valuable lessons about life in small town America, especially the sense of community, volunteerism and willingness to help one’s neighbors, especially in the current economic environment. He said the experience opened his eyes to the reality of daily life in the U.S. which is so often overlooked or unappreciated in Latin America where foreign journalists tend to focus solely on our “foreign policy image.”

Estol returns to Uruguay later this month following a brief book tour to other U.S. cities with strong Uruguayan communities like Elizabeth, New Jersey. For more information about the Minnesota-Uruguay partnership, visit the official website.