One thing that perplexed me on this trip to Uruguay was the fact that the government had placed “zone restrictions” on this one farmers land. When I think of zoning restrictions in the United States or in Georgia, I think of the zones that state if it is for agricultural purposes, residential purposes, if you can place a mobile home on the land,etc. But in this case, the government told the farmer how they had to use the land. One zone was extremely regulated because it was to be used as a “safe haven” for the birds to utilize. He could not take any precautions to prevent damages or profit loss from the birds. Each year, he lost a good majority of whatever was in the zone from the birds that migrated. This would not have been such an issue, but in Uruguay there are no subsidies or crop insurance. Therefore, if the drought destroyed their yield, as it did in many farms, or if the birds ate most of the crops, the farmers had to take the loss without any help or safety net to lean on.
With that being said, our trip to Uruguay was more than just a trip. This trip was an escape; an escape from worrying about the COVID-19, the rest of our classes, and our everyday lives. One thing that will stick with me for years to come is how one farmer brought us out into the middle of one field and asked us what we heard? Nothing. He said that was the point. Most of Uruguay is agricultural land and farms. Even when in the middle of Montevideo, a big city in Uruguay, traffic is bare. The streets are silent compared to the streets in the United States. While Montevideo is comparable to Atlanta, the feeling and experience is completely different. Anyone who has ever traveled to Atlanta knows how everything feels rushed, busy, and stressful. But in Montevideo or Uruguay as a whole, it has a slower pace. You can tell that people work hard, but they do not let their lives get consumed by it.