47 Cool Uruguay Facts: Explore History, Culture, And Other Details | Kidadl


47 Cool Uruguay Facts: Explore History, Culture, And Other Details

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The Oriental Republic of Uruguay is South America's second smallest country, with a population of approximately 3.51 million people.

In the early 18th century, the capital of Uruguay- Montevideo, was founded by the Spanish as a military stronghold. It exhibits a rich culture, traditions, history, and well-developed economy where there are more sheep than humans and is one of the least corrupt nations.

Between 1811 and 1828, Uruguay won its independence, with the military playing a reappearing role in internal politics. It is a developed country that is ranked first in Latin America in peace, democracy, e-government, and low perception of corruption. The official language of Uruguay is Spanish. Uruguay contributes more armed forces to missions of United Nations peacekeeping than any other country. The official language name of Uruguay is La República Oriental del Uruguay, which means 'the Eastern Republic of Uruguay.'

However, it is often wondered where did the name originate from and what does it mean? Certainly, the name of the country 'Uruguay' is denominated from the similar name Río Uruguay, from the indigenous Guaraní language. Besides, the name has multiple interpretations such as river where the bird lives, winding river, the river of the snails, or river of the painted birds. Moreover, with the compulsion of education, Uruguay has free access to education and is the first country in the world to provide free laptops and Wi-Fi to school children.

Location Of Uruguay

Let's check out some Uruguay related location facts

A South American country known for its thriving interior and beach coastline.

Uruguay is located on the south-eastern coast of South America.

It covers an area of approx. 68,000 sq mi (176,000 sq km ).

The wedge-shaped country shares borders with Brazil to its North and North-East Argentina to its west and southwest and is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast and the Río de la Plata to the south.

The valleys and coastal plains of Uruguay are covered with deposits of sand, fertile alluvium, sand, and clay.

Besides continental land, the country has 54,903 sq mi (142,199 sq km) of jurisdictional water and small river islands.

After Suriname and French Guiana, Uruguay is the second smallest sovereign nation and the third smallest territory in South America respectively.

The coastline of Uruguay is 410 mi (660 km).

The hippy village of Cabo Polonio in Uruguay consists of huge sand dunes and is very a huge tourist spot that has no roads leading to it.

Cerro Catedral is the highest point in the country, whose peak is 1,686 ft (514 m) high.

Almost three-quarters of Uruguay is covered with grassland and trees.

Uruguay is the only country in South America that is situated entirely in the south of the Tropic of Capricorn.

With Gorgeous landscapes and a calm atmosphere, Uruguay has multiple wildlife reserves, including Laguna de Castillos near Barra de Valizas, Laguna de Rocha near La Paloma, and Laguna Negra near Punta del Diablo wildlife reserve.

Out of 10 national parks of Uruguay, five are in the wetland areas of the east, one is in the west by the side of the Rio Uruguay, and three are in the central hill country.

Out of 172 countries, Uruguay had ranked 147th globally in the 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index with a mean score of 3.61/10.

The country consists of four river basins- the Uruguay River, the Río de la Plata Basin, the Río Negro (Black River), and the Laguna Merín.

The capital of Uruguay- Montevideo, is the southernmost capital city in America.

Uruguay has a relatively mild and fairly uniform climate as it is located within a temperate zone.

History Of Uruguay

In 1777 with the establishment of Spanish authority, the Spanish-Portuguese rivalry ended under the viceroyalty of Buenos Aires. However, in 1810 and 1811, Uruguayans joined them in revolt against Spain. Later, in 1828, Uruguay became an independent country under the recognition of Argentina and Brazil. Uruguay is today a democratic constitutional republic, but it has a huge history and struggled a lot for its national identity.

The first people to inhabit the Uruguay area were Charrúas Amerindians.

Several colonies by the side of the river La Plata, including Sacramento, were established by the Portuguese.

The first permanent Spanish settlement was founded at Soriano on the Black River in 1624.

In 1815, the national government was formed by expelling the Spanish authorities from Montevideo.

The Thirty-Three Orientals, a group of insurgents led by Juan Antonio Lavalleja, claimed the independence of Uruguay.

August 25 is declared an Independence Day of Uruguay, a national holiday by the first President Fructuoso Rivera.

General Gregorio Alvarez was made the president of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay in 1981.

On July 18, 1830, the first constitution of the nation was adopted.

Remember the Great Depression in America? It coincided with the inauguration of President Gabriel Terra in 1931.

In 1985, Uruguay had the highest per capita in the world.

In 2012, many exemplary legalizations took place such as the legalization of same-sex marriage, abortion, and cannabis.

Uruguay flag waving in the wind on flagpole

Natural Resources And Major Exports Of Uruguay

Uruguay has a population of 3.44 million people, out of which 1.8 million live in the largest city in the country, Montevideo, which is also the capital city. The Uruguayan economy is an export-oriented economy that is classified by a highly educated labor force, the agricultural sector, and high levels of social spending. Besides, agriculture plays an important role in the country's economy to produce natural resources such as minerals, fish, hydropower, arable land, and more.

Agriculture in Uruguay remains static as crop farming is mostly done in the south and livestock grazing thrives in the sparsely populated area of the north.

Uruguay's gross national product (GNP) per capita is much higher than other American countries.

The country's highest living standard is historically based on earnings from wool, beef, and agricultural exports.

A large number of corporations are operated by the Uruguayan government that produce electricity, process meat and fish, refine imported petroleum, and manufacture alcohol and cement.

Uruguay's most important economic activities are raising cattle and sheep.

The country has legalized the trading of Marijuana which costs approximately one dollar per gram.

Uruguay's main trading partners are Brazil. Argentina, the United States as well as China.

About two-fifths of Uruguay's export income stems from livestock products, skins and hides, wool and beef, and livestock.

Major crops cultivated on the arable land of Uruguay include wheat, corn (maize), rice, oranges, sunflower seeds, and sugarcane.

About one-fourth of the GDP of the country is accounted for by banking and financial services.

Due to no domestic sources of fossil fuels, Uruguay imports most of the fuels, vehicles, industrial machinery, and industrial raw materials.

Fish farming employs approximately 12,000 people in Uruguay.

However, fishing and mining account for only 0.1% of the country's GDP each.

Natural minerals such as sand, steel, gravel, semi-precious gemstones, clay, iron, gold, stone, and others are mined in the country.

The production of cement, gold and the extraction of granite has been more active, particularly in the country.

Culture, Traditions, And Food Of Uruguay

Uruguayan culture is somehow similar to its neighboring country Argentina and unlike many Latin American countries, Uruguay is not so influenced by indigenous culture. An important element in the art and folklore of Uruguay is the tradition of the gaucho, cowboy, usually a mestizo. Uruguay has a small but growing film industry and has a rich food culture that comes mostly from European cuisine. Apart from this, the country is a huge fan of football, wines, and whatnot.

A popular traditional contest, the payada is hosted every year.

'Rock and roll' music form was first inaugurated in Uruguay.

Most of the Uruguayan dishes are from Brazil, Spain, Europe, France, and Italy.

The Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró painted one of the longest murals in the world.

Being one of the world's largest producers of quality meat, Uruguay's principal dish is beef.

With the highest urbanization and literacy rates, the country has the lowest poverty and population-growth rates in Southern America.

Dulce de leche is one of the most consumed spreadable in Uruguay.

The most typical sweet of Uruguay includes Chajá, Pastafrola, and Alfajor.

Made from the leaves of the yerba mate plant, 'mate' is one of the traditional drinks and is the national drink of Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina.

Football being a popular sport, Uruguay internationally hosted the first World Cup tournament in 1930.

The national football team of Uruguay has won the FIFA World Cup two times.

It hosts one of the best Carnivals in the world, Carnaval which includes parades, costumes, and outdoor theater.

The capital city of Uruguay hosts a Candombe festival in May and a tango festival- Jove tango, in October.

Uruguay has been categorized as the smallest population country that has won a World Cup.

Uruguay was ranked second in the world according to FIFA World Cup 2012.

Besides football, Uruguay also hosted the official Basketball World Cup in 1967, 1988, and 1997 as well as the 2017 FIBA AmeriCup.

Uruguay's main holidays are Epiphany, New Year's Day, Independence Day, Christmas Day, Constitution Day, and Labour Day.

Punta del Este's, The Hand, a.k.a. Hamptons of South America, is located where the Río de la Plata meets the Atlantic.

Montevideo is also known as the cultural heart of the country for its principal cultural institutions, such as the national museums of history, anthropology, and art and the National Library.


What is Uruguay famous for?

Uruguay is known as a predominantly flat country that is famous for its high standard of living, unspoiled beach-lined coast, Punta del Este's ultimate symbol- The hand, rich culture of food and drink, and many more.

How did Uruguay get its name?

The name 'Uruguay' comes from the indigenous language Guaraní which has multiple interpretations, such as a river where the bird lives, a winding river, a river of painted birds, and more. It is also a derivate from the namesake Río Uruguay.

What does Uruguay look like?

Uruguay is a wedge-shaped country in South America with rich culture, traditions, history, and a well-developed economy. It has a huge landscape as well as water and small river islands.

What two countries border Uruguay?

Uruguay shares its border with Brazil to the north and northeast and Argentina to its west and southwest and is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast.

What is a person from Uruguay called?

The person from Uruguay is often called Uruguayans (uruguayos in Spanish). However, people are identified through citizenship or descent.

Is Uruguay safe to live in?

Uruguay is the second smallest country in South America but it is ranked as the safest place to live as well as to travel in Latin America. It has a high quality of life, low crime, and political stability.

What is the capital of Uruguay?

The capital of Uruguay is Montevideo which lies on the North Shore.

Which institution was established as a result of the Uruguay round?

The World Trade Organization (WTO) was established as a result of the Uruguay round, replacing GATT with a multilateral treaty of 23 countries.

What is Uruguay's religion?

The most popular religion in Uruguay is Christianity, with Roman Catholics being the maximum in numbers. However, 37% of the population is irreligious, and the rest are minorities.

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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