Uruguay is south of Brazil and east of Argentina, it is about the size is Oklahoma. Languages spoken are Spanish, Portunol, or Brazilero. Major religions are Roman Catholic 66%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%. Literacy rate is 98%!!!
Uruguay looks like a beautiful place that is not saturated with a bunch of tourists!
Soccer is the most important sport in Uruguay!!!
Uruguay Coat of Arms
The climate in Uruguay is temperate in the southern part of the country and subtropical in the north, it has warm summers and cold winters. The predominantly gently undulating landscape is also somewhat vulnerable to rapid changes from weather fronts. It receives the periodic influence of the polar air in winter, and tropical air from Brazil in summer. Without mountains in zone that act as a barrier, the air masses freely move by the territory, causing fast variations of the climate. The coolest month is June, while the warmest is January. The rainfall is equally distributed throughout the year, but tends to be a bit more frequent in the autumn months. There can be frequent thunderstorms in the summer.
Church and state are officially separated. Most Uruguayans adhere to the Roman Catholic faith (62%), with smaller Protestant (4%) and Jewish (3%), as well as a large nonprofessing group (31%).
Although the majority of Uruguayans do not actively practice a religion, they are nominally church members in the Catholic, Protestant and Jewish communities. Political observers consider Uruguay the most secular country in the western and southern hemispheres.
Gender and Race inequality
The average income of women in 2002 in Uruguay was 71.9% of the income of men for the same activity.
The average income of African heritage workers is 65% of that of those of European heritage.[
Money of Uruguay
The peso has been the name of the Uruguayan currency since 1835. The present currency, known as the peso uruguayo (ISO 4217 code: UYU) has circulated since 1993 and is subdivided into 100 centésimos.
Current Exchange Rate:
1 US Dollar = 24.34800 Uruguayan Peso
1 Uruguayan Peso (UYP) = 0.04107 US Dollar (USD)
The landscape is made up of hilly meadows broken by streams and rivers. There is a string of beaches along the coast. The country enjoys 500km (300 miles) of fine sandy beaches on the Atlantic and the Rio de la Plata, woods, mountains, hot springs, hotels, casinos, art festivals and numerous opportunities for sport and entertainment. Montevideo, the capital, is the country's natural trading centre. There are nine major bathing beaches, the best of which are Playas and Miramar. The Atlantic coast resorts are popular from December to April, and have fine beaches. Local dishes include asado (barbecued beef) and bife de chorrizo (rump steak). Theatre, ballet and symphonic concerts are staged in Montevideo from March to January.
Montevideo, founded by the Spanish in 1726 as a military stronghold, soon took advantage of its natural harbor to became an important commercial center. Annexed by Brazil as a separate province in 1821, Uruguay declared its independence four years later and secured its freedom in 1828 after a three-year struggle. The administrations of President BATLLE in the early 20th century established widespread political, social, and economic reforms. A violent Marxist urban guerrilla movement, the Tupamaros, launched in the late 1960s, led Uruguay's president to agree to military control of his administration in 1973. By yearend, the rebels had been crushed, but the military continued to expand its hold throughout the government. Civilian rule was not restored until 1985. Uruguay's political and labor conditions are among the freest on the continent. Another interesting fact, according to Wikipedia's page on the country: According to Transparency International, it is the second least corrupt country in Latin America (after Chile).
Uruguay's well-to-do economy is characterized by an export-oriented agricultural sector, a well-educated workforce, and high levels of social spending. After averaging growth of 5% annually during 1996-98, in 1999-2002 the economy suffered a major downturn, stemming largely from the spillover effects of the economic problems of its large neighbors, Argentina and Brazil. For instance, in 2001-02 massive withdrawals by Argentina of dollars deposited in Uruguayan banks led to a plunge in the Uruguyan peso and a massive rise in unemployment. Total GDP in these four years dropped by nearly 20%, with 2002 the worst year due to the serious banking crisis. Unemployment rose to nearly 20% in 2002, inflation surged, and the burden of external debt doubled. Cooperation with the IMF limited the damage. The debt swap with private creditors carried out in 2003, which extended the maturity dates on nearly half of Uruguay's $11.3 billion in public debt, substantially alleviated the country's amortization burden in the coming years and restored public confidence. The economy grew about 10% in 2004 as a result of high commodity prices for Uruguayan exports, the weakness of the dollar against the euro, growth in the region, low international interest rates, and greater export competitiveness.
As previously mentioned, football (soccer) is by far the most popular sport in Uruguay. They have been competing internationally since 1901, and are considered one of the most historically successful teams in the history of the sport. Although they did not qualify for the recent 2006 World Cup, they have won two titles, including the first ever in 1930. They also won two Olympic gold medals in the 1920's. However, their success has not been continued through recent history.
The nation is home to roughly 3 million people. It is interesting to note that almost two-thirds of these people live in the country's capital, Montevido.
Playa Pocitos in Montevido
Uruguay's Location in S. America
Major Cities In Uruguay
Here is an interesting link discussing what it is like to travel to Uruguay, including the culture, interactions with the people, and sightseeing. It sounds like a unique place to travel.
This is really interesting as well… it's a video about Yerba Mate Tea, which is a traditional drink in Uruguay and Brazil and was even described as a staple in these parts of South America. In the video they mention that it's popular with students to increase concentration and energy while studying.. maybe I'll give it a try.
Location Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Argentina and Brazil
Geographic coordinates: 33 00 S, 56 00 W
Coastline 660 km
Climate warm temperate; freezing temperatures almost unknown
Terrain mostly rolling plains and low hills; fertile coastal lowland
Natural hazards seasonally high winds (the pampero is a chilly and occasional violent wind which blows north from the Argentine pampas), droughts, floods; because of the absence of mountains, which act as weather barriers, all locations are particularly vulnerable to rapid changes in weather fronts
Currency Uruguayan peso (UYU)
More About Uruguay!
In the past, Uruguay was South America's best-kept secret with only a handful of South Americans popping in to enjoy the pristine beaches, atmospheric cities and huge steaks. Then the place became more affordable and people got curious. They came, loved it and went back home to tell their friends.
Uruguay enjoys 300 miles of fine sandy beaches on the Atlantic and the Río de la Plata, woods, hills, hot springs, hotels, casinos, art festivals and numerous opportunities for sport and entertainment.
Montevideo, the capital, contains more than half of Uruguay's population. Located on the River Plate, which has been one of the essential elements for the development of the territory, Montevideo is also the country's natural trading centre. It is a delight for lovers of culture. Museums, theaters, exhibitions, shows, popular feasts… there is an intense agenda all year round and the city itself is a collection of art and history.
Known as the 'Oriental Republic' because of its location on the eastern bank of the Rio de la Plata, Uruguay is one of the smallest of the South American republics. Parts of the territory which is now Uruguay were settled by the Spanish in the 1620s and the Portuguese in the 1680s; as a result, Uruguay became a major bone of contention between these rival European powers. The Spanish prevailed in the early 18th century, after the establishment of a settlement at San Felipe de Montevideo (which eventually became the Uruguayan capital) in 1726.
The formal creation of the Uruguayan state took place in 1828. Throughout much of this early 19th-century period, the future Uruguay was occupied by Portuguese troops from neighboring Brazil; interventions – military and otherwise – by its larger neighbouring powers were to become a recurrent feature of Uruguay’s political history.
The conjunction between internal and external forces became apparent during the Great War of 1843-52, which centred on the siege of Montevideo, then under Colorado control, by Blanco forces. The war, which was eventually won by the Colorados, established the pattern whereby Argentina and Brazil became the guarantors of Uruguayan independence, with the intervention of global powers on occasion – Britain and France in the 19th century, the USA in the 20th century.
Today, the country's economic health still relies heavily on its two large neighbours and main trading partners. Although the tourism industry only brings in under US$1 billion annually, Uruguay is drawing increasingly more visitors each year, and for good reasons.
- Amanda Arreola
The beaches look really nice!