Tuesday, May 11, 2021

2021 Travel the World - Week 19

I started a 50-week series in 2019 that I called Travel the World. Each week of the series I visited a randomly-selected country, sharing bits of information about that country. I then chose one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. As I explored those 50 countries in 2019, I knew I would continue on until I've visited every one of the 195 countries in the world, so I continued the series in 2020 and here I am in 2021, the third year of traveling the world. 

This week's country is...


South America's second-smallest country, Uruguay is bordered by Brazil and Argentina and lies along the Atlantic Ocean.

It is comparable in size to the state of Oklahoma.

The country's official language is Spanish. 

The country is mainly flat with rolling hills. The south has fertile coastlands and the north is dominated by some low mountains in the Sierra de las Ánimas.

Uruguay’s coast is one of the main attractions of the country. Some of Uruguay’s beaches are considered among the most beautiful in South America

It has 410 miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean and its estuary, the Río de la Plata.

There are nine National Parks in Uruguay.

The climate in Uruguay is mild and humid with warm summers and rainfall throughout the year.

Grassland covers almost three-quarters of Uruguay.

More than half of its population lives in its capital city, Montevideo.

Its capital city has a fountain covered in love padlocks. The padlocks are not directly on the fountain but are attached to the metal railing that surrounds it. The locks typically have the initials of two people inscribed on them and are used by couples as a symbol of unbreakable love, an interesting fact about Uruguay.

The Rambla is a 14-mile long waterfront promenade in the capital city.  There are also 18 beaches nearby with life guards that also host activities such as fútbol (soccer) or volleyball matches.

Advertising is done by means of large speakers installed on the tops of vans running across the city. Van drivers use microphones to deliver advertisements.

Uruguay is the only country in Latin America which is entirely outside of the tropics.

Yerba tea, known as mate in Uruguay, is a caffeine-rich tea traditionally drunk from a hollowed-out gourd through a metal straw. It’s Uruguay’s national drink and holds an important place in the lives of the locals. When sharing mate, Uruguayans sit in a circle with their friends and pass the gourd of mate around so that each person gets a sip. The gourd will be repeatedly filled with water and continually passed around until the tea loses its flavor.

Tortas fritas is a simple fried dough snack made of flour, lard, water, and sugar. Uruguayans often enjoy this treat during the rainy days alongside their national drink, mate. The practice comes from the old days when farmers were believed to have collected rainwater to make tortas fritas. They made this snack because it was easy to cook quickly out in the open. The custom eventually became part of the Uruguayan culture.

Los Dedos Sculpture: The sculpture named 'Los Dedos' which mean 'The Fingers' in English, is one of the main landmarks and attraction in Punta del Este. The port city is also known for the mix of colonial and modern buildings.

It is one of the few countries in South America to have access to clean water for its entire population.

There are more sheep in Uruguay than humans.

Major exports in Uruguay include rice, meat, leather products, dairy products, fish, and wool.

Uruguay has a National Milk Festival. On the last weekend of every October, locals and milk enthusiasts gather in the town of Cardal for live music, dancing, and lots of food. The small town of Cardal is the milk capital of the country. It accounts for a third of all dairy production in this country.

Lunarejo Valley in northern Uruguay is known for its narrow valleys, beautiful waterfalls and gorges. The national park is near Rivera at the border to Brazil. 

Uruguay’s national anthem, which lasts more than five minutes, is the world’s longest in terms of performance duration (and is quite catchy too)!

Instead of numbers, Uruguayans use names to identify their address. This is most common in the rural areas; you can expect to see a signboard that says Mi Casa or Caviahue in place of a regular lot number. To find a house, locals will often rely on descriptions instead of an address. Homeowners may also choose to have their packages delivered to a pick-up center if their house is too difficult to find.

In Uruguay there many different animal species. You will find armadillos and capybara, flamingos and greater rheas. Coatis can be found mainly in northern Uruguay.

Coatis are mammals that grow up to 27 inches tall, they have strong limbs and can walk on their feet as human do but have raccoon-like paws. The long snout is very flexible and so can rotate when they need to push objects or look for food. Coatis are omnivores.

In 2009, Uruguay became the first country in the world to provide every schoolchild with a free laptop and Wi-Fi access.

Uruguay has a literacy rate of 98.1% for adults, one of the highest in the world. This is thanks to the country’s provision of free, compulsory education.

Uruguay is the most non-religious country in the Americas. So much so that they have renamed many of their traditional holidays. Now, Christmas is called Family Day and Holy Week is called Tourism Week.

At one time Uruguay had the world’s poorest politician. He was President of Uruguay between 2010 – 2015. His only declared asset was a 1987 Volkswagen Beetle worth about $1,900. He lived in simplicity, donating 90% of his $12,000 monthly salary to charities to benefit the poor and small entrepreneurs. He owned a one-bedroom house and a three-legged dog.

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about Uruguay... Uruguay is the only country in the world to keep track of 100% of their cattle. There are three cows for every person in the country.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Set: Picket Fence No Need to Tip stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Paper: Cougar 110# White and SU Creamy Caramel CS

Dies: MFT Stitched Rectangle

Embellishments: Fun Stampers Journey Ribbon


Beth Norman-Roberts said...

That's one big stamp. Cute.

kiwimeskreations said...

Fabulous card Jeanette - so appropriate to that little known fact :). As usual I enjoyed your tour of Uruguay.
Stay safe

Lynn McAuley said...

What a fun birthday card with that awesome cow and punny sentiment! I have never seen the Los Dedos sculpture! I LOVE it!!