Uruguay is a South American country known for its verdant interior and beach-lined coast. The capital, Montevideo, revolves around Plaza Independencia, once home to a Spanish citadel. It leads to Ciudad Vieja (Old City), with art deco buildings, colonial homes and Mercado del Puerto, an old port market with many steakhouses. La Rambla, a waterfront promenade, passes fish stalls, piers and parks. Uruguay is bordered to the north by Brazil, to the southeast by the Atlantic, and is separated from Argentina in the west and south by the River Uruguay, which widens out into the Rio de la Plata estuary. The landscape is made up of hilly meadows broken by streams and rivers.

Key Cities

Key cities in Uruguay include: Montevideo, Salto, Ciudad de la Costa, Paysandu, Las Piedras, Rivera, Maldonado, Tacuarembo, Melo, Mercedes.

Historical, Cultural facts & Religion

Montevideo was founded as a military stronghold by the Spanish in the early 18th century, signifying the competing claims over the region. Uruguay won its independence between 1811 and 1828, following a four-way struggle between Spain, Portugal, and later Argentina and Brazil. Carnaval and candombe are the most important examples of African influence by slaves, as well as Umbanda religious beliefs and practices. Guarani traditions can be seen in the national drink, mate. The culture in Uruguay is very similar to that of the culture of Argentina. According to an official survey in 2006, approximately 58.2% of Uruguayans defined themselves as Christian (47.1% Roman Catholic, 11.1% Protestant), and approximately 40.4% of the population professes no religion (23.2% as “believing in God but without religion”, 17.2% as atheist or agnostic).

Brief Country History

The first people to settle in the area before the arrival of the Europeans were the Charrua, an indigenous tribe but today they number to no more than a thousand mixed ancestry. The Spanish arrived in 1516 but have not fully colonized it until the 17th century because of the local’s hostility and unlike its other Latin American colonies, the area has no gold or silver. However, during the 17th century, the area was hotly contested by the Spanish and Portuguese who were expanding from nearby Brazil. During the early 19th century Uruguay became a battlefield between the British and Portuguese each wanting to dominate the region.

Jose Gervasio Artigas led a revolt and defeated their Spanish colonial masters and formed the Federal League assuming the title Protector, as a result, he is now recognized as the country’s national hero. Uruguay again becomes embroiled with a succession of conflicts and wars, internal and external, both for and against its two neighbors Brazil and Argentina. At one time Brazil once annexed the country as one of its provinces. Finally, the warring factions signed the Treaty of Montevideo, recognizing Uruguay’s independence.

In the late 19th century, immigrants flocked the country and they were responsible for the rapid development of the country. By the start of the 20th century, the population grew to one million. The country was the site of the First Football World Cup in 1930 and emerges victorious after defeating Argentina. In 1950 Uruguay won its second FIFA world cup after defeating Brazil, an event remembered as the Maracanazo.

Language (s) Written & Spoken

Spanish is the official language of Uruguay. It is also spoken by almost 99% of the population of Uruguay. Uruguayan Spanish has been influenced over the years by other languages of migrants to the country, especially the Italians.

Important Types of Commerce in Uruguay

Primary products of Uruguay are Amethysts, Cattle, Fish, Maize, Marble, Rice, Sheep, Topaz, Wheat. Major industries are Agriculture, Cement, Fishing, Meat Processing, Oil Refining, Tanning and Leather Goods, Tourism, Wool and Textiles.

Language Services US and others will provide working with Uruguay

Brochure, website, pamphlet, business card and important business literature with Spanish translation will impress an Uruguay business person. Certified translation creates a legally binding record recognized by Uruguay directories, ministries, officials, courts and academic universities and institutions. All documents should also be translated into Spanish to be considered by the ministry of foreign affairs in the company’s country of origin, and the Uruguay ministry of foreign affairs.

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