Posted on December 1, 2013 by jpoertner
I tend to avoid Paraguayan political stories. I know that I never know the whole story. Things are just too complex and Kansas-Paraguay Partners is about mutual understanding not taking sides in political matters. However the story that has been widely reported in ABC Color and other papers is just too interesting and more about the emerging democracy than supporting a political position. It may be that social media and new political activism have made the Paraguayan Congress reconsider a decision. Part of the story is that business establishments have refused to serve the 23 senators that voted to support a colleague. Is this a tactic we could adopt in the north? Take a look at this BBC report on the matter.
Filed under: Civil Society, History, News from Paraguay | Tagged: Paraguayan Democracy | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 11, 2013 by jpoertner
Kansas-Paraguay Partners is an all volunteer organization. That means that what gets accomplished happens because someone steps up and helps make it happen. The above picture is a short history of some significant KPP people and projects. From right to left (I know that is backwards).
Alberto Granada who is visiting Kansas is a long time active member, officer and volunteer for Comite Paraguay Kansas. For many years Alberto was the go to person for Paraguayans wanting to study in Kansas. Many Paraguayans who have studied in Kansas credit Alberto for helping make it happen. Alberto was always there to host those from Kansas who traveled to Paraguay. He opened his house, his heart and his calendar to make it possible for visitors to accomplish their goals He was also a main person behind the KPP-CPK tours to Paraguay and other countries in South America. That is just the tip of the iceberg of Alberto’s involvement with CPK.
Edith Black was the go to person for Paraguayan students studying at the University of Kansas for many years. She kept track of student on the ‘list’, helped many move into their dorms and hosted meriendas to get to meet students and have them meet each other.
John Poertner was able to spend a year in Paraguay by combining a sabbatical from the University of Kansas with a special volunteer experience through the Peace Corps. He is also the past president of KPP.
Charlie Stansifer was the originator of the agreement to allow Paraguayan students to study at Kansas Regents universities for in-state tuition. Through this program hundreds of Paraguayans have studied in Kansas and returned home to make a significant impact on Paraguay. Charlie also started the KPP-CPK Scholarship Fund that provides a scholarship each year to a Paraguayan to study in Kansas and a Kansan to study in Paraguay.
Mary Miller was an active member of the League of Women Voters when she teamed up with KPP member Nan Wilson to work with Women for Democracy. This was a Paraguayan organization that promoted democracy when Paraguay was just beginning to develop democratic institutions.
This is a short and inadequate part of KPP history. Shortly a much more detailed history will be available. Stay tuned.
Filed under: Civil Society, History, Scholarship, University Linkage | Leave a comment »