Not because of any geographical similarity! • 4 times larger than Switzerland • highest peak is only 501 m • no chocolate or watches! • and certainly no Yodeling!
Swiss-like attributes (30-60s): • peaceful country with a bountiful economy • home to South America's first democracy • cradle-to-grave welfare system • urban, homogeneous and educated population Changes in world trade patterns led Uruguay into economic and political decline: not longer the Switzerland of South America
Denmark Albania Ireland Lesotho plus 9 x Andorra or 9000 Vatican cities!!!
Brazil Paraguay Argentina ? Spain Portugal England
Charrúas • nomadic people • fishing and foraging • no permanent structures • killed explorer Juan Díaz de Solís during his 1515 voyage up the Río de la Plata • 1831: massacred at Salsipuedes ("Get-out-if-you-can") • 4 survivors were taken to a museum and died in France
1680: Portuguese founded Colonia as a rival to Spanish-held Buenos Aires • 1726: Spain responded by building its own citadel at Montevideo • 1815: the national hero, José Gervasio Artigas, declared independence • 1816-1820: Portuguese captured Montevideo and Artigas fled to Paraguay • 1821: Uruguay was annexed to Brazil
1825: “33 orientales" ("33 Easterners") issued a declaration of independence • Uruguay's first president, Rivera: the Colorados party (reds). • The second president, Oribe: the Blancos party (whites) • 1903-1929: President Batlle y Ordóñez: welfare state funded by meat and wool exports: “the Switzerland of South America” • 1950s: decline as successive governments struggled to maintain a large bureaucracy and social benefits
1960s: political and social crisis and left-wing terrorist activity 1973: military dictators control government, thousands of prisoners 1985: the brutal military regime ended; political and civil rights were restored 1980-90s: reforms to reduce inflation and public sector, and privatization 2002: recession and budget deficit, a growing public debt, and a weakening of the peso on international markets 2004: first victory of a left party: Socialist Broad Front won
Population • white 94% (European) • mestizo 6% • amerindian nonexistent • estimated 600,000 Uruguayans emigrated • Spain, Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Australia and USA • Roman Catholic (62%) • Protestant (4%) • Jewish (3%), • nonprofessing group (31%)
Education • High literacy rate • Compulsory for students aged 6–11 • Free at all levels • Montevideo: centre for higher education • The University of the Republic (1849): distinguished medical school • that draws students from the region • Vocational training: Labour University of Uruguay (1878) • Catholic University of Uruguay (1985): prominent private institution • Discrepancy between university training and job opportunities • Substantial level of emigration of the best-educated young professionals
March to June 60-70F December to March 80-100F June to September 40-60F September to December 60-70F
August 2005 • 120 miles/h wind • 20,000 lost electricity and telephone • airport was shut down • 7 people killed
Economy • Gross domestic product: U$11,646 (ranked 61st) • Unemployment rate: 10.8% • External debt: $11.4 billion • Exports: $ 4.0 billion • Meat, rice, leather products, dairy, wool, electricity • Brazil , US, Argentina, China, Germany, Russia, Mexico • Imports: $4.5 billion • Vehicles, electrical and industrial machinery, metals, petroleum • Brazil, Argentina, US, Paraguay, China, Venezuela
Economy • Tourism • Seaside resorts • Punta del Este: jet set playground of South America • Ecotourism • International cruises: October to March • Montevideo: Mercosur secretariat, • Common Market of the South (Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay) • Software and consulting • well-educated workforce and lower wages: IT field • Tata Group: headquarters for the Spanish speaking world • “Zona America” Business and Technology Park • Financial and educational center for the Mercosur ???
Tango Carlos Gardel
Soccer: Two world Cups • 1930: vs Argentina 4-2 • 1950: vs Brazil 2-1 • Maracana stadium • Maracanazo: "The Maracana Blow“ • one of the biggest upsets in football history
“Monte vide eu” “Monte VI De Este a Oeste”
Punta del Este “Pearl of the Atlantic“ “the Hamptons of Latin America”
Hector’ s tavern “Uruguayans love beef, mate, soccer, the beach, and relaxing (but they are not lazy)!”