How did you like the people of Uruguay? is a common question that people ask me about my trip to this beautiful South American Paradise.
I went to Uruguay during November and early December when I knew there wouldn’t be too many tourists.
I wanted to get a feel for the local people without being distracted by thousands of tourists.
Almost all of the people I met in Uruguay were very welcoming and hospitable. When i was looking for my bus outside the Montevideo Airport, I was immediately impressed with how friendly the people were. They happily gave me directions in broken English and apologized for not knowing better English.
During the entire time I spent exploring Uruguay, I was welcomed with open arms like a long lost relative whom they hadnt seen in years. I was constantly asked where I was from and most of the people I met assumed I was an American. I would say no, I am Canadian and they would look at me closely, then smile and pat me on the back or shake my hand and say "Oh Canada good Country!"
They made me feel so welcome, that I decided to move there for several months out of the year,
One of the first things that struck me about the Uruguay culture and the people of Uruguay is how clean the streets were.
Now Ive read on the internet that there is lots of garbage on the streets in Uruguay and that the people of Uruguay litter more than in North America.
I have to disagree with this statement as there are always areas in any major city throughout the world where it is dirty or seems rundown and neglected.
I found that the dirtiest areas of Uruguay that I visited were still cleaner than the East end of Vancouver British Columbia. I believe this can also be said about most other large North American cities.
At least in areas in the cities of Uruguay that are perhaps not the cleanest, I didnt worry about stepping on a drug syringe or see any used condoms laying around.
What you see in the above picture of Uruguay is a very common site.
There are street cleaners everywhere who wheel around these garbage containers with brooms and shovels and are always tidying up the streets of Uruguay. The people of Uruguay seem very clean, well groomed and take pride in their appearance and that our their cities
I felt very safe while exploring Uruguay.
This police officer was kind enough to stop and pose for a picture. He was very friendly and spoke no English. He was however, gracious and a good natured Ambassador for his country.
You could also see a strong police presence not only on the streets but also in the shopping malls and even uniformed police walking through grocery stores.
Now you might be thinking, well that sounds like a police state or that it is somewhat intimidating to see all these police officers in Uruguay. I found it to be quite the opposite. All the police were friendly, smiling and very comfortable to be around.
While exploring the sea side towns of Uruguay I stopped in Punta del Diablo for lunch. I took this picture of the restaurant owners son who I think found my curiousity about their culture and food comical.
He laughed and joked with me as showed me how they eat what his father had prepared for me. Some of which, I might add, I had never eaten before.
If I were to sum up in one sentence how the people of Uruguay made me feel while visiting this South American paradise, it would be: