Wednesday, April 23, 2008
A new home in Montevideo
Hi everyone. Here are some photos of my new home: Montevideo, Uruguay. Often described as Latin America's most laid-back capital city, Montevideo has eclectic architecture, a beautiful riverfront Rambla, fantastic food, and about 1.5 million very welcoming inhabitants.
With a population about ten times larger and the glitz, bustle, and attitude commensurately larger, Buenos Aires steals away most of the attention from Montevideo (as well as a large chunk of the population as well). However, Montevideo came out on top in a recent "quality of life" ranking.
Below is the Palacio Salvo, Montevideo's most recognizable building.
Below are a few photos of my home in the Pocitos neighborhood.
The entrance to my building
The farmers market that takes place every Friday on my street
My top-floor balcony - the main reason for my apartment selection
Uruguay's beautiful beaches are near and dear to every Uruguayan heart, it seems. And many Uruguayans will remind you that when it comes to beaches, Argentina doesn't even come close.
Here is a picture of some friends enjoying the last days of summer at a beach two hours east of Montevideo.
The next photo is of my favorite thing in Montevideo: the beachfront "rambla" (promenade), only two blocks from my apartment.
And the following photos are of particular interest to my research on secularism and religious participation in Uruguay.
A large cross that sits at a major intersection in Montevideo. It was erected in 1989 to welcome Pope John Paul II to the country, and the government allowed it to stay there permanently - a remarkable shift for a country that about 80 years earlier banned the display of the crucifix in public hospitals.
Some graffiti I found in Montevideo that speaks to my topic of research. The translation in English would be "Separation of Church and state, legalize abortion."
On April 19th I was able to take part in the largest Catholic pilgrimage in Uruguay to the shrine of the Virgin of Verdun, located near Minas (a city 2 hours from Montevideo in the interior). Based on the large turnout, religious life seems to be surprisingly vibrant in what is traditionally Latin America's most secular nation.