There is no better way to describe the nation of Uruguay rather than to say that it is a small country with a big heart. Each and every stop, shop, and farm we visited opened their doors, homes and hearts with welcoming arms. Even when there was an apparent language barrier, smiles were on everyone’s faces as they tried their hardest to communicate and let us know how much they appreciated our interest in their lives and farms. I was not expecting the ranches and farms we visited to be as invested in our trip as they were. You could honestly tell that they wanted us to learn as much as possible and thoroughly enjoyed showing us their success. Even with the drought and government-protected birds eating crops, the farmers never gave up. They worked diligently and not once tried to sugar coat their situation. Some of the farmers even provided us with the actual logistics and numbers of how much everything costs, their profits, and losses. This amazed me. In America, it is rare to find any business, corporation, or person who is willing to unmask themselves and financial situations, even if it is for a learning experience. Even outside of the farms, business owners were constantly trying their best to ensure that our experience in Uruguay was a pleasant one. Whether that meant trying extra hard to understand our version of Spanish, writing down prices if we couldn’t understand, offering to take pictures, or even just an extra smile. These are the memories and people that will always come to mind when I think of hospitality and Uruguay. If you’re looking for a country where every place feels like another home and another family, then Uruguay is the place for you. They take southern hospitality to a new level that we should always strive to achieve.

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