The República Oriental del Uruguay, known to most as just “Uruguay”, is located near the bottom of South America’s Atlantic coast.
Home to nearly 3.5 million people, the country maintains a reputation for being well-educated and socially progressive, as least as relative to its Latin American brothers. In 2009, it drew attention for its decision to grant full adoption rights to same-sex couples.
Once inhabited by the Charrúa, and later by the Guaraní, Uruguay was the site of fierce territorial contention between Spanish, Portuguese and English colonizing forces. In 1811, National hero José G. Artigas led the country’s first rebellion against the Spanish, which set in motion the sixteen-year struggle for national independence that was finally won in 1828.