United Kingdom Strengthens Ties with Paraguay

Here is an interesting piece about the United Kingdom increasing business with Latin America and particularly Paraguay. It includes some of the historical ties.  For example, the first railroad in Latin America was in Paraguay built by British engineers.  I also recall thinking it was strange when I met a Paraguayan who spoke English with a British accent.  Of course I am sure that the reverse is also true.

I would like to see a comparable news story about increasing US and Paraguayan ties.  Perhaps there has been one recently that I missed.  If so, please let me know.

http://en.mercopress.com/2014/11/11/minister-swire-underlines-business-opportunities-for-uk-companies-in-paraguay

 

Marianna Kistler Beach and Kansas Paraguay Partners

The Kansas Paraguay Partners (KPP) has lost a great friend and a great symbol of what the international partnership is all about, i.e., genuine caring and respect for people of all cultures and circumstances. Marianna was a gracious woman who lived through the early days of KPP, serving as president 1978 – 1981. In later years, she served as Membership Chair.  Marianna was also influential in establishing an Advisory Council “to capture the experience and statewide connections” of leading citizens.

Over many years, Marianna consistently supported the partnership through financial underwriting and personal involvement. In addition to KPP, she was committed to other international organizations related to children with special needs such as, The Council of the Inter-American Children’s Institute, of the OAS.  On some occasions, she was asked to provide consultation to these organizations.

Her extensive connections with business and political leaders helped build strong relationships linking Paraguay and Kansas. Marianna was a supporter of Sister Cities International, leading to a sister city relationship between her home town, Hays, and Santa Maria de Fe in Paraguay. This resulted in her, and husband Ross, helping establish an amazing museum exhibiting the artifacts recovered from the historic Jesuit Missions in Paraguay.  In 1975, Marianna was declared an honorary citizen by the city of Santa Maria de Fe. Later she and Ross accompanied K-State President Jon Welfeld and his wife to Paraguay which included a visit to Santa Marie de Fe and meeting with their close Paraguayan friends, Mika and Carlos Mersan.

In 1989 she was named “Kansan of the Year” by the Native Sons and Daughters. In 1996, the Topeka Capital Journal named Marianna “Kansan of Distinction.” In the same year, the KPP Board met in Manhattan at the newly constructed K-State Marianna Kisler Beach Museum of Art.  This was also a special time of recognizing Marianna’s long time multiple contributions to KPP.  In 2000, Marianna and Ross established an Endowment Trust to be a long term benefit to KPP.  Finally, in 2010, Marianna was a major contributor to the newly established KPP Merit Scholarship Fund.

In brief, Marianna, has been a solid link, over many years, in a chain of significant KPP events that could not have happened without her.  She will be greatly missed but her legacy of kindness, generosity, and leadership will live on as a model for us all.

Written by Merrill Raber

Rutherford B. Hayes Popular in Paraguay

NPR did a nice piece on Rutherford B. Hayes and what he did for Paraguay.  Take a look and/or listen.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/10/30/360126710/the-place-where-rutherford-b-hayes-is-a-really-big-deal

Artist Exchanges Between Kansas and Paraguay

Below is a link to a nice article that appeared in ABC Color about Kansas artist Eric Conrad and his visit to Paraguay.  I want to use this opportunity to mention some of the artist exchanges that have occurred between Kansas Paraguay Partners and Comite Paraguay Kansas.  It is a remarkable history all made possible through travel grants from Partners of the Americas.There have also been many musical artist exchanges. I will review those another time. I will miss some artists so feel free to let me know who I missed.

Eric Conrad is an art professor at Emporia State University and is part of the most recent project where Kansas artists are helping judge contests in Paraguay with the winners coming to Kansas in the future.  Amber Hansen traveled to Paraguay a few months ago as part of this same project.  She helped judge a photography contest.  Judith McCrea is an art professor at the University of Kansas (KU) who is helping with this project and has traveled to Paraguay several times and hosted the well respected artist Carlos Colombino in Kansas.  The work that he created while in Kansas is part of the collection of the Spencer Museum of Art at KU. Another very recent Paraguayan artist who visited Kansas is Teresita Gonzalez who presented her photographs of the Paraguayan Hospital de Clinicas.

The ABC Color article mentions other Paraguayan sculptors who met with Eric.  One of those is Gustavo Beckelmann who visited Kansas during the Paraguayan art exhibit held at Washburn University in 2008.  He in turn was greatly influenced by Elden Teft a KU professor who traveled to Paraguay many years ago to teach sculpture.  Gustavo took one of Elden’s classes and was greatly influenced by what he learned.

The art exhibit at the Mulvane Museum at Washburn University in 2008 was curated by Reinhild Janzen who was director of the museum.  She travel to Paraguay and met many artists and brought back works that helped make the exhibit a success.  Speaking of Paraguayan art exhibits in Kansas, there was an exhibit of 20 pieces way back in 1969. This exhibit was at the Wichita Public Library.

Gene Ernst was a professor at Kansas State University who traveled to Paraguay to make sketches from the Jesuit Missions. He turned his sketches into beautiful note cards that I still use and treasurer.

A wonderful large sculpture along Interstate 70 was constructed by Herman Guggiari who was hosted many years ago by Ross and Marianna Beach.  The Beaches also were critically important in the creation of a museum of wood carved saints in Santa Maria de Fe.  The saints were carved by indigenous Paraguayans during the time of the Jesuit Missions.

Let me know what I missed.

Here is the link to the ABC Color article.

http://www.abc.com.py/edicion-impresa/artes-espectaculos/intercambio-a-traves-de-la-escultura-1297490.html

Ireland Anyone?

Charleville, Cork Ireland is having a weekend celebration (Sept. 19,20) of Eliza Lynch. So why is this on the Kansas-Paraguay blog? Because she became the “Queen of Paraguay.”  It is a great story. So book now for an early fall trip to lovely Ireland.  Then you could drop down to Paraguay.
http://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/Eliza-Lynch-the-Irish-Queen-of-Paraguay-remembered-in-Cork.html

New Train in Paraguay?

Could it really be true? Check out this article that says that there is a contract with a South Korean company to explore light rain in Asuncion.  Thanks to the British, Paraguay had the first train in South America.  And then there is the joke that it is the last train in Paraguay.  The photo below is from 2005 and is indeed a working steam locomotive.  When I lived in Aregua the train woke me most mornings upon its arrival.  Occasionally I would stumble out of my bed and watch it take on water. A blast from the past.  Imagine Asuncion with light rail.  I bet it wouldn’t be as low cost as the bus.

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/biz/2014/08/123_162325.html

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War of the Triple Alliance

In case you are not up to date on the Paraguayan War of the Triple Alliance here is an interesting piece.  This is from Wiki Wormhole.  Anyone want to do some fact checking?  The entry seems to on target according to my reading but I am no historian. I am always fascinated by the role of President Hayes.

http://www.avclub.com/article/war-nearly-destroyed-paraguay-and-made-hero-medioc-205545

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