Today, all of Uruguay is celebrating and rejoicing its 185-year old independence from Spain. The Spanish arrived in 1516 and stayed for close to 300 years as it colonized the region and enslaved native populations. The fight for independence started in 1811 when national hero Jose Gervasio Artigas launched a revolution for freedom that was marked by the key Battle of Las Piedras. The country declared itself independent from Spain on 1825 some 14 years later.
Uruguay enjoys acclaim as one of the top 100 country’s with the highest quality of life in the world and being one of the least corrupt in South America. The country was once known as Oriental Republic of Uruguay and is home to 3.5 million people that will be celebrating today with fireworks, parades and concerts that will take place throughout the country.