Things That I Have Learned In Uruguay
“History never really says goodbye. History says see you later.” Eduardo Galeano, Uruguayan author
Uruguay is the second smallest country is South America.
Uruguay became the first country to supply a laptop for free to every school child. Uruguay has one of the highest literacy rates in the world with 98.1% for adults. This is largely thanks to Uruguayans’ access to free and compulsory education.
The national anthem of the country named the “Himno Nacional de Uruguay” is the world’s longest national anthem .
In Uruguay, state and religion are separate. The country does not have any official religion. It is one of the least religious countries in Latin America.
In December 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize the production, sale and use of marijuana.
Uruguay claims to be the birthplace of the tango (as does Argentina).
Almost 95% of electricity in Uruguay is from renewable energy resources.
Uruguay contributes more troops to the UN peace keeping missions than any other country of the world.
Uruguay is the only country in Latin America which is entirely outside of the tropics.
Football is the most popular sport in Uruguay, The first-ever FIFA World Cup was held in Uruguay in 1930. Uruguay defeated Argentina 4–2 and won the FIFA World Cup in the same year.
The name Uruguay comes from the Uruguay River which means ‘river of the painted birds’ in the Guarani language. The river starts in Brazil and ends in the Rio de la Plata Basin which forms the water border between Uruguay and Argentina.
In Uruguay, cows and sheep outnumber people four to one. It is a nation of 12 million cattle but just three million people.
In 2012, a bill was approved by its Senate to legalize abortions during first-trimester pregnancies. This bill attracted a lot of attention among other countries in Latin America. The only other country in Latin America where abortion is legal is Cuba.
It is one of the few countries in South America to have access to clean water for its entire population.
Jose Mujica, who served as Uruguay’s President from 2010 to 2015, is known for his humble lifestyle. He lived on a simple farm with his wife on the outskirts of Montevideo and donated about 90% of his monthly salary to charity. Mujica set an example for politicians all over the world.
Uruguay is now the least corrupt country in Latin America. It is ranked first in the region for democracy, peace, lack of corruption, quality of life, freedom of the press, size of the middle class, prosperity and security. (getting out the vote)
This is all the more impressive considering the country was ruled by a military dictatorship until 1985. In 2009, General Gregorio Conrado Álvarez, the country’s final dictator, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for 37 counts of murder and human rights violations.