Dylan Meyers Brian Newberry Baylie Hellman 05/03/09



1. General Information
2. History
3. Culture
4. Food
5. Works Cited

(A Smidgen of ) General Information

Uruguay, República Oriental del Uruguay, is a South American country. Approximately 3.46 million people live in Uruguay while 1.7 million of those live in its capital, Montevideo.
Geographically, Uruguay only borders Brazil, which is to the north. West of Uruguay is the Uruguay River and the Rio de la Plata lies southwest while Argentina is across either river. The Atlantic Ocean lies to the southeast.
Uruguay has 68,036 square miles of land and 142,199 miles of water territory as well as small islands, making it second smallest country, only larger than Suriname.
Uruguay is run by a presidential representative democratic republic with a president who is head of state and government as well as a multi-party system. The current president is Tabare Vazquez.
Uruguay is the most secular country in South America because it has no official religion and church and state are completely separate. The majority of Uruguay is Roman Catholic, 66%, though about 1% are Jewish and 2% are of various Protestant groups.
Spanish is the national language but English is common in the business world while French, Italian, Portuguese, and Portuñol are also spoken. ("Uruguay")

History of Uruguay

History of Uruguay

Uruguay was originally inhabited by Charrua indians, who were living very simple lives. They were a nomadic people who relied heavily on fishing to sustain themselves. While Spain was still exploring the new world, they stumbled upon the Charrua indians and the first few groups of spanish explorers were originally killed or sent back by the Charruas. In response to Spain’s first few colonies such as Buenos Aires, Portugal founded the first colony in 1680 in what is now Uruguay (Discover Uruguay). Eventually as more Spanish and Portuguese settlers began to appear, they subjugated the indigenous people, the Charruas, who fought for their freedom and independence from Spanish and Portuguese inhabitants (Country Reports). However, the lack of gold and silver in the area combined with the ferocity of the Charrua, the Spanish lost interest in Uruguay quickly. Though with Portugal’s continued colonization and conquest of the area, Spain felt as if they had to compete, and Spain increased it’s colonization efforts, so as not to let Portugal to get too much of a hold on the area (Wikipedia). This mounting tension would materialize into nothing short of bloodshed between Spain and Portugal. Spain had constructed a Citadel at Montevido (Discover Uruguay) and used the terrain in the area as a harbour to import cattle and other goods (Country Reports). Causing the need for Gauchos , or cowboys.

Eventually the Provincia (Uruguay) wanted independence from Spain. The revolt began in the early 19th century, and it was started by José Gervasio Artigas . (Discover Uruguay) Artigas began to gather forces, and would eventually march on the Spanish troops controlling what is now Uruguay in the Battle of Las Piedras (Country Studies). With all of the turmoil going on, Portugal took advantage of the opportunity and attacked the revolutionary forces under Artigas, and after a three year struggle, defeated them. Brazil then Annexed the Provincia, and as a result a militant revolutionary group called the Thirty Three Orientals led by Juan Antonio Lavelleja declared the Provincia an independent state on August 25th, 1825. (Wikipedia) The United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata (present day Argentina) supported them in this action.
This is José Gervasio Artigas.

This all led up to a full scale war between Brazil and Argentina lasting about one and a half years. British intervention in this conflict helped resolve the quickly deteriorating situation with the Treaty of Montevideo , which declared Uruguay an independent state in 1828 (Country Reports).
This is a picture of the Treaty of Montevideo in which Uruguay became independent.

Political tensions in Uruguay were far from over. The liberal group called themselves the Colorados, the conservatives, the Blancos, and a third group, the Unitarios who were ex-Argentinian soldiers that had been exiled and chose to live in Montevideo. (Country Studies) The Colorados liked the Unitarios, and the Blancos did not. Turmoil began to build when it came to a head with the War of the Tripple Alliance. In which there was an armed uprising against the Blancos (supported by Argentina) by the Colorados. (Wikipedia) With Brazilian help, the Blancos were overthrown. Paraguay had issues over border lines and high tariffs from Brazil and Argentina, and decided to go to war with them, which included Uruguay. Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina went to war with Paraguay in which the Triple Alliance destroyed Paraguay. (Country Studies) The leaders of the Colorados and Blancos were murdered on the same day, leaving both parties in chaos shortly after their victory. Both groups were agitated with one another, but eventually worked things out and compromised to share the land and power of the country (Wikipedia).


Uruguay has many different forms of music. “The most distinctive ones are Tango, Murga…and Candombe…also Milonga ” (“Music of Uruguay”)
Popular music in Uruguay includes Western genres such as rock and jazz, but features references to distinct Uruguayan sounds.
Los Shakers
Los Shakers are considered to be the band that started the Argentine rock scene followed by Los Mockers and Los Malditos. After The Beatles’ British Invasion, many bands in Uruguay became more mainstream in Argentina becoming what is known as the Uruguayan Invasion. (“Uruguayan Rock”)
As the Uruguayan Invasion began to diminish, new rock musicians began to develop like El Kinto. But when a military dictatorship came to power in 1973, the rock boom abruptly ended. Rock music’s popularity in Uruguay was renewed in 1985, however, when democracy was reestablished. Bands including Los Estamagos, Traidores, Neoh-23, Zero, and La Chancha Francisca brought the scene back to life but failed to find success in mainstream media. This movement slowly weakened and finally vanished completely to be replaced by the music of the Nineties. El Cuarteto de Nos, La Trampaand El Peyote Asesino all saw success during the 90’s.
Following 2005, La Vela Puercaand No Te Va Gustarare the most popular Uruguayan bands and they both have a strong following in Argentina.
There is also some Classical music in Uruguay from modern composers Eduardo Fabini, Hector Tosar, Corium Aharonian, Leon Biriotti, and Renee Pietrafesa Bonnet, but it is not an extremely prevalent genre.

The most popular sports in Uruguay are futbol (soccer), basketball, rugby, and tennis.

Futbol (Soccer)
Football is a favorite among Uruguay people with the most prominent players being “Diego Forlan, Alvaro Recoba, Gonzalez De Los Santos, Walter Pandiani” as well as a few others. (Uruguay Sports)
URUGUAY_-_BOLIVIA.jpgUruguay won Olympic gold medals twice for futbol (soccer), one in 1924 and another in 1928 (Wikipedia.) Uruguay also won the first World Cup in 1930 in Montevideo as well as the World Cup in 1950. The Estadio Centenario, Uruguay’s main stadium, was built for the World Cup.
Basketball Basketball continues to rise in popularity in Uruguay as an alternative to football and rugby. The Uruguayan Basketball Federation has an extensive early history. “It became 6th in the first Olympic Games held in Berlin” as well as achieving “the following ranks in the other Olympic Games: 5th in London, 3rd in Helsinki, 3rd in Melbourne, 8th in Rome, 8th in Tokyo, 6th in Los Angeles” (Uruguay Sports)
Uruguayan basketball teams have also won twelve South American championships as well as participated in various other championships. In 1967, Uruguay hosted the 1967 FIBA World Championship.
Rugby is popular in Uruguay as well. The national rugby team, Teors, “achieved 15th rank in the World Cup held in Wales in 1999 and also participated in the World Cup of Australia in 2003” (Uruguay Sports).
Rugby is considered to be the third most popular sport in Uruguay, behind futbol and basketball, respectively. It has a history dating back to the 1940s. Uruguayan rugby entered global limelight after the tragic crash of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, a plane carrying Stella Maris College’s rugby team from Montevideo to Santiago, Chile for a match. Its popularity has continued to increase after the team qualified for the 1999 Rugby World Cup and then subsequently for the 2003 World Cup (Wikipedia).
Marcelo Filippini

Tennis is also played in Uruguay, but it is not as popular as the three other main sports and Uruguayan players have not been as successful as other South American players such as those in Argentina and Chile. Uruguay’s most successful tennis player, Marcelo Filippini, has won five singles titles and qualified for the 1999 French Open’s quarterfinals. Currently, Pablo Cuevas is the highest ranked Uruguayan male tennis player.


There are a plethora of notable writers from Uruguay, such as Eduardo Acevedo Díaz (a writer, politician, and journalis), Enrique Amorim (a novelist), Eduardo Hughes Galeano (novelist and journalist), Circe Maia (known for her poetry), Jorge Majfud,
Jesús Moraes (writer of short stories), Juan Carlos Onetti (a high school dropout turned writer), Horacio Silvestre Quiroga Forteza (a modernist author similar to Edgar Allen Poe and Rudyard Kipling), and Juana de Ibarbourou (a feminist writer). (List of Uruguayan Writers).


Uruguay art comes in a variety of mediums, from painting to sculpture. One notable artist from Uruguay is Joaquín Torres García.
Like the other South American countries, Uruguay’s art history begins with pre-Colombian art of its native peoples. As the art trends changed throughout the world with time, so did the popular art of Uruguay. Uruguay's artistic style ranges from Surrealist, to Impressionism, to abstract, to realistic, and everywhere in between.
Uruguay is home to a plethora of art museums, such as the History Museum of Art, Pre-Colombian and Colonial Museum, Museo de Bellas Artes, Museo de Arte Indigena Precolombino, National Museum of Visual Arts, and Museo de Arte Contemporaneo (Uruguay’s Main Museums).


Uruguayans have a mostly varied diet, although they do eat meat with most meals. Since lamb and beef are relatively inexpensive in Uruguay, they find a variety of ways to prepare and eat it. One such way iasado.jpgs the Asado, their traditional barbeque. However, instead of cooking the meat over flames, the meat is cooked, slowly, over coals (country reports). They also prepare meats in other ways! These involve blood sausages, called, salchichas, or soups called pucheros with meat and vegetables. They also have something called a parrillada, which consists of roasted meats prepared in different ways. They also have Chivito’s, which are steak sandwiches, and húngaras, which are spicy sausages served in a roll. Another signature Uruguayan dish is the Milanesa Uruguaya, which is a breaded, deep-fried steak (Country Reports).

Unlike their other meals, their breakfast is relatively light. Uruguayans eat bread with jam and a cup of coffee or mate (Yerba Mate), usually relatively early in the morning. Their lunch can be either a very large meal or an extremely simple one. Usually, in factories and schools, most people just have a sandwich (Country Reports). Theirmate-gourd.jpg dinner, however, is by far the largest meal of the day. Uruguayans usually eat their dinner late in the day, around 8 p.m., which is considerably later than our usual meal time of 6 p.m. Their dinner consists of soup, salad, steak, bread, wine, cheese and fruit, and followed by coffee or tea. The tea, more often than not, is mate, which many consider to be the national drink of Uruguay. However, it is not.

The national drink of Uruguay is an alcoholic beverage called Grappamiel. Grappamiel is an alcoholic drink created by mixing honey with… well… alcohol. It is very popular in the urban areas and is typically consumed on early autumn mornings to warm the body (Wikipedia). Another, more traditional drink is Mate, an infusion tea. It’s made by pouring water (at near boiling point) over the crushed leaves and twigs. It’s usually sipped through a metal or cane straw known as a bombilla (Wikipedia). Some other drinks from the area are cleríco, which is made by mixing fruit juice and white wine, and medio y medio, which is made of part sparkling wine and part white wine. Another common beverage is red wine. Uruguayans are also known for their extravagant desserts.

A sweet paste known as Dulce de Leche is called the national obsession, and is used to fill cookies, cakes, pancakes, milhojas, and alfajores. Another extremely popular dessert in Uruguay is the alfajores. They are cookies, shortbread, sandwiched together with either a fruit paste or Dulce de Leche. However there are even more deserts, such as the Chajá, which is a spongy meringue cake, and the Recardito, which is a cream filled treat that has been covered in chocolate, on a waffle base. Another, less sugary, dessert/pasty is the Bizcocho, a flaky, buttery pastry. The most common form of this are the croissants! A more traditional dessert is Flan, which is a kind of rich custard dessert with a layer of soft caramel on top. It can also be served with Dulce de Leche!

Works Cited

“Candombe”. Wikipedia. 2009. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Web. 3 May 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candombe>/
"Dulce de leche." Wikipedia. 2009. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Web.3 May 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dulce_de_leche>.
“Eduardo_Acevedo_Díaz”. Answers. 3 May 2009. <http://www.answers.com/topic/eduardo-acevedo-diaz>.
Eduardo_Acevedo_Díaz”. Wikipedia. 2009. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Web. 3 May 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eduardo_Acevedo_Díaz>.
“Estadio Cententario”. Wikipedia. 2009. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Web. 3 May 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centenario_Stadium>.
“Estadio Cententario”. World Stadiums. 3 May 2009. <http://www.worldstadiums.com/stadium_pictures/south_america/uruguay/montevideo_centenario.shtml> .
Joaquín_Torres_García”. Wikipedia. 2009. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Web. 3 May 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joaquín_Torres_García>.
“Los Shakers”. 60’s Punk. 3 May 2009. <http://60spunk.m78.com/shakers.htm>.
"Mate (beverage)." Wikipedia. 2009. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Web. 3 May 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mate_(beverage)>.
“Milonga”. Wikipedia. 2009. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Web. 3 May 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milonga>.
“Murga”. Wikipedia. 2009. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Web. 3 May 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murga>.
"Uruguay." Wikipedia. 2009. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Web. 3 May 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uruguay>.
"Uruguay — Eating & Recipes." CountryReports.org. 2009 Edition. Published by CountryReports.org. 3 May 2009. <http://www.countryreports.org>.
Uruguay’s Main Museums. 3 May 2009. <http://www.artemercosur.org.uy/museos/uruguay/frame5248.html>.
“Uruguayan Tango”. Wikipedia. 2009. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Web. 3 May 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uruguayan_tango> .
Wilkie, Richard W. "Uruguay." World Book Advanced. 2009. TRHS Library. 3 May 2009. <http://www.worldbookonline.com/advanced/article?id=ar578220>.
"Gauchos." Web, 4 May 2009 <httpwww.travelsur.net/gauchos.htm>.

"Uruguayan Colonization."
Wikipeida: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia. 4 May 2009 <__http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uruguay#Pre-Columbian_times_and_colonization__>.

"History of Uruguay."
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"Jose Gervasio Artigas."
Wikipeida: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia. 4 May 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/José_Gervasio_Artigas>.

"Thirty Three Orientals."
Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia. 4 May 2009 <http:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty-Three_Orientals>.
"Overview of Uruguay History." Country Reports. 4 May 2009 <http://www.countryreports.org/login/login.aspx?myurl=/history/Overview.aspx&countryid=253>.

"Gauchos." Travelsur. 4 May 2009 <http://www.travelsur.net/gauchos.htm>.

"Uruguay Independence." Country Studies. 4 May 2009 <http://countrystudies.us/uruguay/3.htm>.