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'Hola Montevideo' video goes viral on web, introducing Montevideo, Minn., to many in South America

"Hola Montevideo" features a playful exchange with Anna and Martin Moore (at left) holding the emblem for team Nacional, and Brendan and Andy Stermer that of arch-rival Peñarol. They are at the José Artigas statue and plaza in downtown Montevideo. Photo courtesy of Anne Queenan.

MONTEVIDEO -- Every student in South America can identify Montevideo as the capital of Uruguay.

The way things are going, every student in the countries of South America will soon be able to identify Montevideo, Minn. as well.

It's all thanks to ''Hola Montevideo,'' a You Tube video that celebrates the ties between the Uruguayan capital and its much smaller, North American counterpart. The video is fast on its way to going viral.

It had over 20,000 viewings on Friday morning, just a few days after Uruguay's national newspaper "El Observador'' posted it.

"It's not a high tech thing,'' said the star of the Spanish language video, who is as surprised as anyone by the attention it's getting.

Anna Moore was interviewed over Skype by a Uruguayan television station about the video. She's lost count of the Facebook ''friend'' requests she's been receiving from Spanish speaking countries in South America ever since.

Moore is a junior at St. Benedict's where she is majoring in Spanish. She was home in Montevideo at Christmas after a semester of study in Chili when her father, Patrick called on her skills in Spanish.

A Uruguayan television station was looking for a Spanish speaking person in Montevideo to interview over Skype about the sister city relationship between the two Montevideo's.

The show's producer also asked for a video to pitch the idea. Patrick Moore used a Flip camera to film it. Anna Moore recruited her brother and two cousins to play roles in the spontaneous and admittedly amateur production.

It's been a hit, and not just because it points to the sister city relationship between Montevideo, Uruguay and Montevideo, Min., which dates to 1905. The video actors also playfully host a shouting match featuring the emblems of Uruguay's rival soccer teams. The rivalry between the Peñarol and Nacional teams is like that between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings, ''only a hundred times more intense,'' said Anna Moore.

The You Tube video is generating hundreds of comments, some about the two soccer teams, but many others from people interested in visiting the North American version of Montevideo.

View the video below:

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

(320) 214-4335