How immigrants have shapped Uruguay
This paper will make a comparative analysis of how nine immigration groups and a black population brought as slaves have shaped the culture of Uruguay. The most common image of Uruguay, at home and also abroad, is of a homogeneous and Europeanized country built by immigrants from Spain and Italy, without a large Afro population and with no natives. This image is at best only half the truth, because there have also been contributions from immigrants from Asia, Russia, other European countries, and also from African slaves and their descendants. In particular we will analyze how people of African descent, Basques, Italians, Swiss, Russians, Armenians, Lebanese, Jews, Muslims, and Peruvians have contributed to building the Uruguayan nation, and examine what their impact on Uruguayan society and culture has been. This paper presents the most important conclusions from research based on almost one hundred in-depth interviews with people descended from these communities.