Now offering Booking.com savings & convenience direct from Uruguay Expat Life!

Booking.com logoWe’re proud to have partnered with globally known and highly respected discount hotel booking service Booking.com to provide you with one-stop convenience for booking all your hotels for your Uruguay visit. Starting today, you can book hotels in Uruguay, or anywhere in the world, right from our site. Use the banner ad above to go directly to Booking.com‘s main website, or the handy search box in our sidebar. We’ve helpfully pre-populated it to search for hotels in Uruguay, but you can change that to any country, city, region, or attraction you like.

We, Lisa Mercer and Mark Mercer, have used Booking.com many times ourselves, both for our original exploration of Uruguay back in mid-2011, our so-called Uruguay Reality Check trip, and for the hotel stays before and after our temporary seasonal rental here in Atlántida. We’ve used other services, and many of them also are good, Continue reading Now offering Booking.com savings & convenience direct from Uruguay Expat Life!

Join the Community

Uruguay Expat Life isn’t just a website, nor a social media page. It’s also a vibrant, interactive, online web forum. Free to all, open to all. Unlike so many of the other Uruguay-based social media “groups”, it’s not hidden from the public and it won’t be. So you’re free to browse it without being a member, to learn from what our hundreds of Community members have posted. Free to join it to ask your questions, start your own topics, have private Hangout conversations as text, audio, or video chat with others, post live GIFs, if they’re relevant or at least funny!)

Plus, we welcome Company/Business Pages to join and participate, as long as they don’t spam. That’s impossible in old-school Facebook Groups. Do you, or your business have a relevant-to-Uruguay blog? Feel free to share your updates. Just please write a customized intro, relevant to expats/immigrants in Uruguay. Write about teaching English as a foreign language, in Uruguay. Tax issues, for expats in Uruguay. Not just for expats in general. Got a blog about your life in Uruguay? Fine to share your posts, as long as you also engage on them with meaningful intros, comments and replies to other members’ comments. We’re not going to ban you just because you link to something. As long as you don’t spam.

Who is “we”? Your hosts – the publishers of this website, author and sports fitness expert and travel writer Lisa Marie Mercer, and writer, technologist, traveler, and Former Corporate Tool™ Mark Mercer. Heavily moderated against Spam, lightly moderated otherwise. Continue reading Join the Community

Uruguay Basics – 1 of a new series

Plaza Fabini, Centro, Montevideo
Plaza Fabini, Centro, Montevideo ©2011 Mark Mercer

Starting a new series of posts here at Uruguay Expat Life, with just the basics. We get lots of questions in our email, social media. and other channels. Much of it keeps coming back to some of the same questions. Our several years of posts have touched on most of the regular questions, but have been in the context of larger stories, anecdotes, photo essays, commentary on news articles, or other topics.

 

 

 

Let’s start with some real basics. These will get admittedly simplified answers, but are some of our top questions we get directly, or see others asking on Uruguay-related sites.

Basic questions about moving to Uruguay:

  1. Can I visit Uruguay?
  2. Can I move to Uruguay?
  3. How much money do you need to have to move to Uruguay?
  4. What do I have to do to move to Uruguay?
  5. Can I bring my household items to Uruguay?
  6. Will my <fill in the blank> work in Uruguay?
  7. Can I bring my car to Uruguay?
  8. Can I bring my pet to Uruguay?
  9. Can I use my credit/debit cards in Uruguay?
  10. Can I get a bank account in Uruguay?

Each of those is worth a “basics” or a longer, full, post, by themselves. Many of them Lisa and I have addressed in existing posts, so please search via your favorite search engine, or the handy on-site search widget at the top of every page. Also look for our posts at our social networks, which have handy widgets on the sidebar to help you get to them. But let’s take a quick shot at each.

Answers to basic questions about moving to Uruguay:

Continue reading Uruguay Basics – 1 of a new series

Uruguay’s election – final week campaign color

We continue our eclectic, non-citizens but informed-residents, coverage of the Uruguayan national elections. Again, from the perspective that as immigrants legally resident in this welcoming nation, we have an obligation to learn how things are done in our new country. Just the same as we expected, when living in the USA as native-born US citizens, that legal immigrants to the USA should do. Learn how the system works. Learn and use, at least to a basic functional extent, the dominant language. Be part of it to the extent you are legally allowed – think about how it impacts you. Learn from your neighbors. Read, watch, listen to the local media in the local language.

In the past few weeks we’ve had some vocal “expats” criticize us for writing about the Uruguay election, as if it were supposed to be none of our business, none of any expat’s business. Sorry, we’re not that kind of “expat” and we’re glad we’re not. What’s more important is we’ve had Uruguayan friends thank us for covering it. Friends telling us that they appreciate how we are presenting some detailed and balanced information of how Uruguay’s representative democratic republic actually works, to the English-speaking expat/immigrant audience. Neighbors happy to get into political discussions with us, or to explain how the mechanism of the vote works. We’re gratified that our amigos and vecinos appreciate our interest and our election coverage, and we feel that you, the readers of our site who are considering moving to Uruguay, in the process, or already living here, need to understand its political environment and process. That’s why we share it with you.

Certainly if you ever want to become fully part of Uruguayan society and culture, you should be aware of its system of governance. Whether or not you plan to get citizenship or just remain as a resident, or even just do the “visa hop” (we don’t recommend that, and for most it’s not even a visa, but it’s disrespectful to the country), you will be living here. Paying taxes indirectly or directly here. Hopefully making some friends here beyond just expat circles. Perhaps employing people here, maybe starting a business here, possibly working in a job here. Learn about your new country. We’re learning, we’ve almost certainly getting some things wrong, but we’re trying to understand, and sharing what we learn.

First, let’s look at many of the colorful campaign banners and booths all over town. In Centro, at the weekly feria, out in front of the big supermarkets, on lampposts and phone poles, and on houses all around town, there are signs of the election almost everywhere in our medium-sized modest beach town of Atlántida.

What is the actual process of casting a ballot here, you may wonder. How does a Uruguayan citizen vote? Continue reading Uruguay’s election – final week campaign color

Reblog/reaction: No, you can’t have your own president Mujica – Medium

Reblogging a brilliant piece by Medium contributor “rabble” who covers politics and history, often for Uruguay. With our take on it, and a whole bunch of on-the-ground observation by us, added here in our Uruguay Expat Life post.

No, you can’t have your own president Mujica. — Medium.

So why can’t there be more leaders like Mujica. Well it’s complicated. He’s a reflection of the politics and country which elected him…

To explain why Mujica got elected, how he was able to govern and reshape Uruguay we need a tiny bit of a history lesson.

screencap snippet of start of article
From Medium.com

This is such a great counter-piece to all the excesses of Hipster-Uruguay articles that both Uruguayans and most expats/immigrants here are getting sick and tired of seeing. (Something we’ve skewered right here before.) We do admire Mujica, though some of our neighbors in both the Uruguayan and the Anglophone expat communities dislike, or even despise him. We understand why they do and do not demonize them for it – they have points that make sense. Continue reading Reblog/reaction: No, you can’t have your own president Mujica – Medium