Introduction / History Uruguay is located in southeastern South America bordered by Argentina, Brazil, and the South Atlantic Ocean. Covering an area slightly smaller than the US state of Washington, Uruguay has a warm climate with rolling hills, meadows, and fertile coastal lowlands. The country is inhabited predominately by white Uruguayans and Spanish is the official language. Approximately 3.5 million people call Uruguay home with half of them living in the capitol city of Montevideo. The urban areas enjoy all of the modern conveniences of the western world but the rural areas can be less connected to the high tech world of the 21st century.
Montevideo, founded by the Spanish in 1726 as a military stronghold, soon took advantage of its natural harbor to become an important commercial center. After becoming a nation and undergoing many years of struggle, the country overcame military control and returned to civilian rule in 1985. In 2004, the left-of-center Frente Amplio Coalition won national elections that effectively ended 170 years of political control previously held by the Colorado and Blanco parties. Uruguay's political and labor conditions are among the freest on the continent.
Where are they located? Uruguay is located in southeastern South America bordered by Argentina, Brazil, and the South Atlantic Ocean. Composed of coastal lowlands, meadows, and rolling hills, the elevation extremes range from sea level near the coast to a height of 1700 feet in the hills. The climate is moderate to warm with the only threats from the weather coming in the form of seasonally high winds that can damage property.
What are their lives like? Uruguay's culture is strongly influenced by Europe and the predominate language is Spanish. Their art, music, media, food, and sports testify to their European heritage.
Uruguay's economy is characterized as export-oriented agricultural with a well-educated work force and with high levels of social spending. Following financial difficulties in the late 1990s and early 2000s, economic growth for Uruguay averaged 8% annually during the period 2004-08. The 2008-09 global financial crisis slowed Uruguay's vigorous growth. Nevertheless, the country managed to avoid a recession and keep positive growth rates through higher public expenditures funded by increased taxes.
Urban Uruguayans enjoy a high standard of life much like many in the western world. They work in service sector, industrial, agricultural, or governmental occupations.
Uruguay is a representative democratic republic with a presidential system. The members of government are elected for a five-year term by a universal suffrage system. Uruguay is a unitary state with justice, education, health, security, foreign policy, and defense being administered nationwide. The Executive Power is exercised by the president and a 13-member cabinet. Legislative power is exercised by the General Assembly which is composed of two houses of representative officers. Judicial power is exercised by the Supreme Court which consists of the Bench and Judges nationwide. The members of the Supreme Court are elected by the General Assembly, the members of the Bench by the Supreme Court with the consent of the Senate, and the judges are directly assigned by the Supreme Court.
Air and land transportation as well as all forms of voice, data, fax, radio, and television communication are very similar to the rest of the western world. The capitol city of Montevideo is also the seaport for the country. The country is protected by a standing military force composed of land, air, and sea divisions. Uruguay is not involved in any international dispute. The major criminal concern for them is the smuggling of narcotics and guns in the region between Uruguay and Brazil.
What are their beliefs? Europe also shows its influence upon the heritage of Uruguay in the fact that Roman Catholicism is the primary religion practiced. Protestant Christianity, nondenominational Christianity, and small amounts of several other belief systems are also present in the country.
Despite a rather strong representation of religious practices, this nation, like the rest of the world, is susceptible to being led astray by false teaching. Television, radio, internet, and church programs cannot be assumed to be Biblical. As a matter of fact, much of what is being done in the name of Evangelical Christianity is questionable when compared to scripture.
What are their needs? Every nation, regardless of wealth and prominence, needs kind oversight and instruction from Godly people. Uruguay is open to Christian outreach as evidenced by the large numbers of people who associate with various churches. The opportunity to minister to these churches and to rural peoples of the country should not be overlooked.
Prayer Points * Pray for God to invigorate His people in Uruguay to accomplish His work
* Pray for the opportunity to reach out to other nations in the region utilizing Uruguay as a launching place
* Pray for access for God's people to evangelize the lost throughout the world
References Information used with permission from http://goo.gl/d5yke
Information used with permission from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uruguay (Information used was verified via another source. No information marked as "further citation needed" was used