Uruguay is like the Netherlands of Latin America – an extremely liberal country and global leader of LGBT rights.
Same sex sexual activity has been decriminalised in Uruguay since 1934, anti-discrimination laws in place since 2003, adoption laws since 2009 and gay marriage implemented in early 2013. There are also many government supported events, in particular the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Uruguay‘s annual gay travel conference in September.
In addition, Uruguay was the second country in Latin America (after Cuba) to legalise abortions in 2012 and the first in the continent to establish a welfare state in 1903.
There’s of course another reason why it reminded us a lot of the Netherlands, which kicks off our 10 fun and interesting facts about Uruguay:
#1 POT PARADISE: LENIENT MARIJUANA LAWS
The coffee shops of Amsterdam are famous worldwide; Holland’s cannabis laws are well known for being one of the most relaxed in Europe. Uruguay has the same reputation amongst its Latino neighbours.
In December 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalise the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana for recreational use. Instead, the focus by the Uruguayan government is to prosecute large scale traffickers and regulate the industry by taxing it.