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Uruguay is a country located in the south east part of South America. It is home to 3.3 million people, of which 1.7 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area.
It is bordered by Brazil to the north, by Argentina across the bank of both the Uruguay River to the west and the estuary of Río de la Plata to the southwest, and the South Atlantic Ocean to the southeast. It is the second smallest independent country in South America, larger only than Suriname and the French overseas department of French Guiana.
Montevideo was founded by the Spanish in the early 18th century as a military stronghold. Uruguay won its independence in 1828 following a three-way struggle between Spain, Argentina and Brazil. It is a constitutional democracy, where the president fulfils the roles of both head of state and head of government.
The economy is largely based on agriculture (making up 10% of GDP and the most substantial export) and the state sector, and relies heavily on world trade. Consequently, it is affected by any change in global prices. However, Uruguay's economy is on the whole more stable than in its surrounding states, and it maintains a solid reputation with investors.
According to Transparency International, Uruguay is the second least corrupt country in Latin America (after Chile),[2] with its political and labour conditions being among the freest on the continent.
In November 2007 it became the first Latin American country and the second in the American Continent to recognize same-sex civil unions at the national level. [3] 88% of the population are of European descent. Just under two-thirds of the population are declared Roman Catholics. However, the majority of Uruguayans are only nominally religious.[4]
All of South America, and this land called Uruguay, was occupied by large groups of indigenous Indian peoples long before the Europeans arrived.

When the Spanish Explorer, Juan Diaz de Solis, came ashore in the area in 1516, his welcoming was rather unfriendly, as Solis, and most of his landing party were promptly killed by Indians.

In 1680, the Portuguese founded Colonia on the edge of the River Plate, directly across from the Spanish controlled city of Buenos Aires.

In response, the Spanish established Montevideo as a military stronghold, and with its natural harbour, this upstart settlement soon became an important regional centre of commerce.

Uruguay stretches over 176,000 sq. km. In the north, its hills are an extension of Brazil The terrain is more even as one moves west of Montevideo. Go to the Atlantic coast and you will see the beautiful beaches, dunes and headlands. Rainfall averages1000mm and it is evenly distributed throughout the year. Forests are difficult to find.
The grasslands in Uruguay will remind you of the Pampas of Argentina or Southern Brazil. Along the Brazilian border, in the southeast, you can marvel at the palm savanna.
All that’s left of animals here is the Rhea that races across the grasslands in the northwestern part of Uruguay. You can hope to find sea lions colonies in some islands off the shore.


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