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Uruguay

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Uruguay

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Quick Facts
CapitalMontevideo
Governmentconstitutional republic
CurrencyUruguayan peso (UYU)
Areatotal: 176,220 sq km
land: 173,620 sq km
water: 2,600 sq km
Population3,386,575 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageSpanish (official), Portuñol, or Brasilero (Portuguese-Spanish mix on the Brazilian frontier)
ReligionRoman Catholic 66% (less than half of the adult population attends church regularly), Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, nonprofessing or other 31%

Uruguay is a country in Southern South America. It has a South Atlantic Ocean coastline and lies between Argentina to the west and Brazil to the north. It is the second-smallest country in South America (after Suriname). The country has a mostly low-lying landscape and three-quarters of the country is grassland, ideal for cattle and sheep raising.

Map of Uruguay

Regions

Administrative divisions 
19 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Artigas, Canelones, Cerro Largo, Colonia, Durazno, Flores, Florida, Lavalleja, Maldonado, Montevideo, Paysandu, Rio Negro, Rivera, Rocha, Salto, San Jose, Soriano, Tacuarembo, Treinta y Tres

Cities

Other destinations

Understand

Climate

Warm temperate; freezing temperatures almost unknown.

Natural hazards 
seasonally high winds (the pampero is a chilly and occasional violent wind which blows north from the Argentine pampas), droughts, floods; because of the absence of mountains, which act as weather barriers, all locations are particularly vulnerable to rapid changes from weather fronts


Terrain

Mostly rolling plains and low hills; fertile coastal lowland.

highest point 
Cerro Catedral 514 m

History

A violent Marxist urban guerrilla movement, the Tupamaros, launched in the late 1960s, led Uruguay's president to agree to military control of his administration in 1973. By the end of the year the rebels had been crushed, but the military continued to expand its hold throughout the government. Civilian rule was not restored until 1985. Uruguay's political and labor conditions are among the freest on the continent.

Get in

By plane

From North America, United Airlines and American Airlines fly to Montevideo via a connection in Buenos Aires. There are currently no non-stop services from North America to Montevideo.

http://www.uair.com/ flies to Punta del Este and Montevideo from South American cities such as Buenos Aires, Santiago, and Porto Allegre.

Pluna is another Uruguayan carrier.

By train

No train services.

By car

Certain Buquebus crossings from Argentina carry cars in the hold for an additional charge.

By bus

By boat

The "Buquebus" ferry service operates between Buenos Aires, Argentina, and both Colonia and Montevideo, Uruguay. Some services continue to Punta del Este. The buquebus website is always down.

Between Buenos Aires and Montevideo, fares are currently U$ 1460 pesos for tourist class, and U$ 1760 pesos for first class. Journey time is approximately three hours.

Get around

Talk

Languages 
Spanish, Portunol, or Brazilero (Portuguese-Spanish mix on the Brazilian frontier)

Buy

Yerba Mate gourds.

Antiques.

Eat

Drink

Yerba Mate is widely drunk on the streets, but it is difficult to order in restaurants. You may have to buy a package at a super mercado and make your own. The drinking gourds are widely available from economical to super-luxe silver and horn.

Sleep

The Hotel Apart Bremen is a renovated old building with rental flats.

The Radisson is on a main square and costs about USD $80-$100 per night. It has a pool. It may have been a former Moonies building. Room 1958 has a horrible problem with windows creaking in the night and morning, probably due to the changing temperature. Breakfast buffet is included in the rate, as well as several pieces of underwear washed for you daily. (March 2005)

Red Hostel at http://www.redhostel.com/ is a 2004 renovated old Montevideo classic French home. Typical hostel traffic, but very nice staff who like to hang out with their friends late night on the hostel roof.

Learn

Work

Stay safe

In an emergency, call 911 or 999.

Stay healthy

Respect

Contact

A man named Sergio walks around and offers to guide people around the city for USD $15 an hour. Either his mother or father is from Brazil, while the other parent is from Uruguay. He has bad things to say about Argentina and portenos.

External links

An article on places of gay interest in Uruguay including the Edificio Liberaij in Montevideo, where two gay Argentine bankers died in 1965. Montevideo also has South America's first sexual diversity monument.

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Geography

Geographic coordinates 
33 00 S, 56 00 W
Area - comparative 
slightly smaller than the state of Washington
Coastline 
660 km
Maritime claims 
contiguous zone: 24 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
Natural resources 
arable land, hydropower, minor minerals, fisheries
Land use 
arable land: 7.21%
permanent crops: 0.27%
other: 92.52% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land 
1,800 sq km (1998 est.)
Environment - current issues 
water pollution from meat packing/tannery industry; inadequate solid/hazardous waste disposal
Environment - international agreements 
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban

People

Population 
3,386,575 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure 
0-14 years: 24.4% (male 422,826; female 402,324)
15-64 years: 62.6% (male 1,047,740; female 1,072,032)
65 years and over: 13% (male 181,522; female 260,131) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate 
0.79% (2002 est.)
Birth rate 
17.28 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate 
9 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate 
-0.41 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio 
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate 
14.25 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth 
total population: 75.66 years
female: 79.17 years (2002 est.)
male: 72.32 years
Total fertility rate 
2.35 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 
0.33% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 
6,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths 
150 (1999 est.)
Nationality 
noun: Uruguayan(s)
adjective: Uruguayan
Ethnic groups 
white 88%, mestizo 8%, black 4%, Amerindian, practically nonexistent
Religions 
Roman Catholic 66% (less than half of the adult population attends church regularly), Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, nonprofessing or other 31%
Literacy 
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.3%
male: 96.9%
female: 97.7% (1995 est.)

Government

Country name 
conventional long form: Oriental Republic of Uruguay
conventional short form: Uruguay
local short form: Uruguay
former: Banda Oriental, Cisplatine Province
local long form: Republica Oriental del Uruguay
Government type 
constitutional republic
Independence 
25 August 1825 (from Brazil)
National holiday 
Independence Day, 25 August (1825)
Constitution 
27 November 1966, effective February 1967, suspended 27 June 1973, new constitution rejected by referendum 30 November 1980; two constitutional reforms approved by plebiscite 26 November 1989 and 7 January 1997
Legal system 
based on Spanish civil law system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage 
18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch 
chief of state: President Jorge BATLLE Ibanez (since 1 March 2000) and Vice President Luis HIERRO (since 1 March 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Jorge BATLLE Ibanez (since 1 March 2000) and Vice President Luis HIERRO (since 1 March 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president with parliamentary approval
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for five-year terms; election last held 31 October 1999, with runoff election on 28 November 1999 (next to be held NA 2004)
election results: Jorge BATLLE Ibanez elected president; percent of vote - Jorge BATLLE Ibanez 52% in a runoff against Tabare VAZQUEZ 44%
Legislative branch 
bicameral General Assembly or Asamblea General consists of Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (30 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and Chamber of Representatives or Camara de Representantes (99 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: Chamber of Senators - last held 31 October 1999 (next to be held NA 2004); Chamber of Representatives - last held 31 October 1999 (next to be held NA 2004)
election results: Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Encuentro Progresista 12, Colorado Party 10, Blanco 7, New Sector/Space Coalition 1; Chamber of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Encuentro Progresista 40, Colorado Party 33, Blanco 22, New Sector/Space Coalition 4
Judicial branch 
Supreme Court (judges are nominated by the president and elected for 10-year terms by the General Assembly)
Political parties and leaders 
Colorado Party [Jorge BATLLE Ibanez]; National Party or Blanco [Luis Alberto LACALLE Herrera]; New Sector/Space Coalition or Nuevo Espacio [Rafael MICHELINI]; Progressive Encounter/Broad Front Coalition or Encuentro Progresista/Frente Amplio [Tabare VAZQUEZ]
International organization participation 
CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMEE, UNMOGIP, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UNTAET, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador Hugo FERNANDEZ-FAINGOLD
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York
FAX: [1] (202) 331-8142
telephone: [1] (202) 331-1313 through 1316
chancery: 1913 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20006
Diplomatic representation from the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador Martin J. SILVERSTEIN
embassy: Lauro Muller 1776, Montevideo 11200
mailing address: APO AA 34035
telephone: [598] (2) 418-7777
FAX: [598] (2) 418-8611
Flag description 
nine equal horizontal stripes of white (top and bottom) alternating with blue; there is a white square in the upper hoist-side corner with a yellow sun bearing a human face known as the Sun of May and 16 rays alternately triangular and wavy

Economy

Economy - overview 
Uruguay's economy is characterized by an export-oriented agricultural sector, a well-educated workforce, and high levels of social spending. After averaging growth of 5% annually in 1996-98, in 1999-2001 the economy suffered from lower demand in Argentina and Brazil, which together account for nearly half of Uruguay's exports. Despite the severity of the trade shocks, Uruguay's financial indicators remained more stable than those of its neighbors, a reflection of its solid reputation among investors and its investment-grade sovereign bond rating - one of only two in South America. Challenges for the government of President Jorge BATLLE include reducing the budget deficit, expanding Uruguay's trade ties beyond its Mercosur trade partners, and reducing the costs of public services. GDP fell by 1.3% in 2000 and by 1.5% in 2001.
GDP 
purchasing power parity - $31 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 
-1.5% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita 
purchasing power parity - $9,200 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector 
agriculture: 6%
industry: 29%
services: 65% (2001) (2001)
Population below poverty line 
6% (1997)
Household income or consumption by percentage share 
lowest 10%: 4%
highest 10%: 26% (1997)
Distribution of family income - Gini index 
42 (1989)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 
3.6% (2001) (2001)
Labor force 
1.2 million (2001) (2001)
Labor force - by occupation 
agriculture 14%, industry 16%, services 70%
Unemployment rate 
15.2% (2001) (2001)
Budget 
revenues: $3.7 billion
expenditures: $4.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $500 million (2000) (2000)
Industries 
food processing, electrical machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, textiles, chemicals, beverages
Industrial production growth rate 
-2.4% (2001 est.)
Electricity - production 
7.527 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source 
fossil fuel: 7%
hydro: 93%
other: 1% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption 
7.35 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports 
950 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports 
1.3 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products 
rice, wheat, corn, barley; livestock; fish
Exports 
$2.24 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Exports - commodities 
meat, rice, leather products, wool, vehicles, dairy products
Exports - partners 
Mercosur partners 40%, EU 20%, US 8% (2001 est.)
Imports 
$2.9 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities 
machinery, chemicals, road vehicles, crude petroleum
Imports - partners 
Mercosur partners 44%, EU 18%, US 9% (2001 est.)
Debt - external 
$7.7 billion (2001 est.)
Currency 
Uruguayan peso (UYU)
Currency code 
UYU
Exchange rates 
Uruguayan pesos per US dollar - 14.3325 (January 2002), 13.3191 (2001), 12.0996 (2000), 11.3393 (1999), 10.4719 (1998), 9.4418 (1997)
Fiscal year 
calendar year

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use 
929,141 (2001)
Telephones - mobile cellular 
350,000 (2001)
Telephone system 
general assessment: fully digitalized
domestic: most modern facilities concentrated in Montevideo; new nationwide microwave radio relay network
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2002)
Radio broadcast stations 
AM 91, FM 149, shortwave 7 (2001)
Radios 
1.97 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations 
20 (2001)
Televisions 
782,000 (1997)
Internet country code 
.uy
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 
14 (2001)
Internet users 
400,000 (2002)

Transportation

Railways 
total: 2,993 km
standard gauge: 2,993 km 1.435-m gauge
note: of the total route length, 461 km have been taken out of service and 460 km are in only partial use; moreover, not all lines offer passenger service (2001)
Highways 
total: 8,764 km
paved: 7,800 km
unpaved: 964 km (2001)
Waterways 
1,600 km (used by coastal and shallow-draft river craft)
Merchant marine 
total: 2 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 7,752 GRT/5,228 DWT
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Argentina 4, Greece 1 (2002 est.)
ships by type: petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 1
Airports 
64 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways 
total: 15
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 2 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways 
total: 49
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 16
under 914 m: 31 (2002)

Military

Military branches 
Army, Navy (including Naval Air Arm, Coast Guard, Marines), Air Force, Police (Coracero Guard, Grenadier Guard)
Military manpower - availability 
males age 15-49: 824,395 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service 
males age 15-49: 666,880 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure 
$250 million (1999)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 
1.1% (2000)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international 
uncontested dispute with Brazil over islands in the Rio Quarai (Rio Cuareim) and the Arroio Invernada (Arroyo de la Invernada)