Oriental Republic of Uruguay
Capital : Montevideo
Population : 3, 251, 526
Ethnicity : 88% White, 8% Mestizo (European & Native), 4% Afro-Uruguayos (Practically non-existent)
Official Language : Rioplatense Spanish
Currency : Uruguayan Peso
Location : Uruguay is in the South Eastern part of South America, it contains only one land border with it's neighbor Brazil in the north. To the South West is the river Rio de la Plata, this river runs along bottom of the country separating Uruguay from Argentina and acting as a border. To the West is the Uruguay River which separates Uruguay completely from Paraguay. Finally to the South East is the Atlantic Ocean, and provides Uruguay with some amazing summer hot-spots!
Attractions : Montevideo - Capital of Uruguay and the capital of Mercosur, contains half the countries population, reminiscent of Paris or other European cities. Is the 3rd most Southern capital in the world.
Colonia del Sacramento - Uruguay's oldest city, founded by the Portuguese and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Punta del Este - Uruguay's coveted 'Resort town', vacation destination and summer beach getaway, mostly for tourists coming from Argentina and Brazil as well as celebrities and the wealthy.
Salto - 'Las Termas', Spas with natural Thermal Pools (100° F) year round.
Cabo Polonia - On the North Eastern Atlantic coast only accessible by 4x4, it is a protected area by the government and has no electricity or running water. A true marvel to see a fishing village with the goal being a 'simple' life.
|Punta del Este|
Climate : The climate in Uruguay is mild, it is basically the same throughout the entire country, with only minor variations. There are however, conditions that allow the weather to change very rapidly due to the absence of many barriers; such as Mountains or other physical attributes. The temperatures are much the same as the climate and do not vary too much. In Summer (January) the average temperature is 80° F (26° C) and in Winter (July) the average is 54° F (12° C).
Economy : Uruguay is continuing to grow as one of South Americas most stable economy, if it is not already the most stable. They hold an Investment Grade Sovereign Rating with upgrades in Ratings continually. As proof, Uruguay was the only country in all of the Americas that did not experience a recession recently. Instead their economy grew, their unemployment levels are at an all time record low and their GDP has expanded 10.4% in only the first part of 2010. Uruguay is know as the 'Switzerland' of South America, as it holds Bank Privacy laws as well as it partakes in most acts for neutrality.
** Uruguay has been the first and only country to implement a plan that they call 'Plan Ceibal', which provides every single child in the entire country with a laptop computer and access to the internet. They do this with only using 5% of their accounting's for the Education Budget!
Facts and Culture : Uruguay has no Official Religion and is considered the most secular country of the Americas.
Most of Uruguay's population is of European descent, mainly from Spain and Italy. Their culture and even architecture. The food is all very distinctively European, mostly Italian.The people of Uruguay are often offended when they are considered Latin or anything other than European.
Asado, is a type of BBQ, it is grilled over the coals of firewood. It is a main stable in the Uruguayan diet. Most celebrations and Sunday get together's are accompanied by an asado.
|Asado, Uruguayan BBQ|
Uruguay's capital Montevideo is also the capital for Mercosur - Southern Common Market, which is in place to promote free trade for all participating countries.
The Gaucho is a big part of Uruguay's culture, it is in essence their form of 'cowboy' and has a very distinct place in Uruguay's folklore.
|Gaucho, Uruguayan Cowboy|
Carnival is another part Uruguay's unique culture. It is basically a huge festival in the streets complete with scantily clad samba and folklore dancers going to the beat of the candombe- African root based music which is mainly played by drums called candombe drums.
Tango, a dance originating in Argentina and Uruguay. It is a type a dance now associated in The United States and Europe, classified as a Ballroom Dance. It is a dance of passion and is exciting to watch.