URUGUAY

Information about travelling to Uruguay

Uruguay is located in Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Argentina and Brazil

Facts about Uruguay
Population3,477,778 (July 2008 est.
CapitalMontevideo
Time zoneUTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time) daylight saving time: +1hr, begin
Location Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Argentina and Brazil

General info about Uruguay
Montevideo, founded by the Spanish in 1726 as a military stronghold, soon took advantage of its natural harbor to become an important commercial center. Claimed by Argentina but annexed by Brazil in 1821, Uruguay declared its independence four years later and secured its freedom in 1828 after a three-year struggle. The administrations of President Jose BATLLE in the early 20th century established widespread political, social, and economic reforms that established a statist tradition. A violent Marxist urban guerrilla movement named the Tupamaros, launched in the late 1960s, led Uruguay's president to cede control of the government to the military in 1973. By yearend, the rebels had been crushed, but the military continued to expand its hold over the government. Civilian rule was not restored until 1985. In 2004, the left-of-center Frente Amplio Coalition won national elections that effectively ended 170 years of political control previously held by the Colorado and Blanco parties. Uruguay's political and labor conditions are among the freest on the continent.
Languages spoken
Spanish, Portunol, or Brazilero (Portuguese-Spanish mix on the Brazilian frontier)
What about drugs?
small-scale transit country for drugs mainly bound for Europe, often through sea-borne containers; law enforcement corruption; money laundering because of strict banking secrecy laws; weak border control along Brazilian frontier; increasing consumption of cocaine base and synthetic drugs
Ethnic division
white 88%, mestizo 8%, black 4%, Amerindian (practically nonexistent)
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
0.3% (2001 est.)
Climate
warm temperate; freezing temperatures almost unknown
Resources
arable land, hydropower, minor minerals, fisheries
Economy
Uruguay's economy is characterized by an export-oriented agricultural sector, a well-educated work force, 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 Argentine citizens made massive withdrawals of dollars deposited in Uruguayan banks after bank deposits in Argentina were frozen, which led to a plunge in the Uruguayan peso, a banking crisis, and a sharp economic contraction. Real GDP fell in four years by nearly 20%, with 2002 the worst year. The unemployment rate rose, inflation surged, and the burden of external debt doubled. Financial assistance from the IMF helped stem the damage. Uruguay restructured its external debt in 2003 without asking creditors to accept a reduction on the principal. The construction of a pulp mill in Fray Bentos - at $1.2 billion the largest foreign direct investment in Uruguay's history - came online in November 2007, boosting GDP and exports. Other large projects in the pulp and paper industries also are planned. Economic growth for Uruguay averaged 8% annually during the period 2004-08.
Environment
water pollution from meat packing/tannery industry; inadequate solid/hazardous waste disposal

Cities in Uruguay

artigas     bella union     canelones     carmelo     chuy     colonia     delta del tigre     dolores     durazno     florida     fray bentos     juan lacaze     la paz     las piedras     maldonado     melo     mercedes     minas     montevideo     nueva helvecia     pando     paso de carrasco     paso de los toros     paysandu     progreso     rio branco     rivera     rocha     salto     san carlos     san jose     santa lucia     tacuarembo     treinta y tres     trinidad     young    


Airports in Uruguay
ArtigasATI
Bella UnionBUV
ColoniaCYR
DuraznoDZO
MeloMLZ
CarrascoMVD
Punta Del EstePDP
PaysanduPDU
RiveraRVY
SaltoSTY
TacuaremboTAW
VichaderoVCH


Beer in Uruguay (0.33l)
Montevideo~ 0.8 EUR
Montevideo~ 0.8 EUR

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