“Health, wealth, love and the time to enjoy it.” (Uruguayan wine wish)
(Palacio Legislativo, Montevideo)
Uruguayans name their house, the same way everyone names their shop or their pet.
President Jose Mujica, a former communist activist Tupamaro, was known as the poorest and the humblest head state in the world. During his term (2010 – 2015), he refused to move to the presidential mansion; he ran the country from his farm.
Uruguay supplies a free laptop to every school child.
In Uruguay, summer vacation falls in January and February.
Along with Chile, Uruguay boasts the lowest corruption score in South America.
With 98.6% the literacy rate, Uruguay has one of the highest in the world.
In 1903, Uruguay was the first country, in the Americas, to become a cradle to grave welfare state. The individual income tax rate is 36%.
There is no official religion in Uruguay.
In Uruguay, Holy Week has been renamed Tourism Week.
95% of the electricity used in Uruguay comes from renewable sources.
Uruguay counts four cows per citizen.
Uruguay has the longest national anthem in the world; it lasts six minutes.
Uruguay has the longest carnaval in the world (40 days).
In Uruguay, football is the national passion, the countrywide priority; it is more like a religion than a sport. Uruguay is the smallest country that has ever won a World Cup. Not one, two World Cups.
Like Brazil, Uruguay is quite a gay-friendly country.
Montevideo seems to have the highest concentration of McDonald restaurants, outside of the United States. Moreover, the Coca Cola sign is omnipresent.
La Rambla is a 19-mile seaside promenade, by the Rio de la Plata, totally different from La Rambla (or Las Ramblas), the 0.8-mile emblematic boulevard in Barcelona.
(O. Robert Jeanlouie, Monday, February 17, 2020)