Uruguay is a smal state with Brazil and Argentina as mighty neighbours. Half of its 3 million citizens live in
the greater Montevideo area.
Little is known about the history. Early inhabitants known as Charrúa were all slaughtered in 1831
and effectively sent into oblivion.
Portuguese explorers discovered Uruguay in 1512, a few years ahead of the Spanisch. Lack
of gold and fierce resistance from the locals postponed settlements to the 17th century.
Spain and Portugal struggled for dominance
and in 1724 Spain build a stronghold at Montevideo to keep the Portuguese at bay.
Uruguay's struggle for independence
lasted from 1811 till 1828, with fighting the Spaniards, the Portuguese and finally themselves.
At the end of the 19th century
many immigrants arrived, mostly from Italy and Spain giving the country a distinct European feeling.
Uruguay is South
America's prime example of democracy, press freedom, tolerance and quality of living. Its economy is mainly based on
exports of agricultural products.
It is the only country that has legalized the growing (up to 6 plants) and possession of a
few grams of cannabis for personal use. SInce 2016 you can buy pot in pharmacies, but only after registration and limited
to 40 grams per month.