Site Visits, Sun, & Soccer – My Second Week in Uruguay!

A busy second week in Uruguay has made the time move so fast! Class is going great and we were able to travel to a beautiful beach town this past weekend – so let me tell you about it and show you some pictures!

We’ve been walking to and from class every day because the weather has been perfect. It is currently fall here, with temperatures ranging from the high 50’s to the low 70’s. As you can imagine, the commute is quite pleasant! We also found an empanada restaurant that is on the way to and from class, tempting us every time we walk past it (the chicken empanadas are the best). 

We had two more site visits this past week as a part of our class. At the beginning of the week, we visited a manufacturing plant of Darnel, a company operating in the food packaging and wrapping industry. Their supply chain is interesting because 100% of their products can be recycled and reused to create new products! The company’s value of sustainability and reducing the carbon footprint are at the core of the business. We also visited Zonamerica, a business and technology park, where 10,000 people of 350 different companies work! Zonamerica actually operates under the Free Zone Law, meaning all goods that are manufactured and stored there are not subject to taxes. 

On Saturday, Juan arranged a trip to Punta del Este, which is in the Maldonado region about two hours east of Montevideo. I could have walked around Punta del Este all day admiring the beautiful homes, flowers, and views. Its “beach town” feel is incredibly different from Montevideo, which is a much more fast-paced city. Juan is actually from Punta del Este, so after walking around for a while, we ended up at his house, where his family welcomed us with open arms. They had so graciously prepared an “asado” for us, a traditional South American meal complete with a variety of meats and vegetables. We ate delicious steak, chorizo, ribs, corn, and sweet potatoes, all prepared on an enormous grill. We also had dulce de leche “pancakes” for dessert. I am so glad I got to experience this part of the Uruguayan culture and I truly cannot thank Juan and his family enough for the kindness they showed us!

After the asado, we made our way to the beach and spent some time there playing a soccer match. The weather was absolutely beautiful and it was a great way to run off all of the food we had just eaten. When it came time for the sunset, we hopped on the bus to Punta Ballena, a small peninsula that provided me with some of the best views of my life. I would one day love to return to the Maldonado region and explore more of its beauty, but until then, I leave you with these photos!

Until next time,

Rachel Hannum