With the colder temperatures putting a damper on the tourist population, it is becoming easier to get a clear picture immigration trends in Uruguay without tourists dirtying the lens so much.
- Argentines and Brasileros come and go freely thanks to Visa free travel through Mercosur. Some Argentines go through the residency process for the sake of having a set of papers that aren't Argentine. A number of them live here, sometimes for years, but they usually don't bother with papers because they don't need them.
- Venezolanas come here to escape socialism. The Venezolanas here tend to skew towards educated professionals though realizing their professions here is often a challenge. Venezolanas in Uruguay are likely among the more literate South American populations. More recent arrivals however appear to be shifting to lower value indiviuals, with one recent arrival being a humble cashier in old country. Otherwise the distance seems to select for quality as refugees without the means for a plane ticket end up walking or taking a bus to Colombia.
- An increase in Dominican arrivals appears to be very recent. Early impressions are this phenomenon is not adding value.
- Chileños and Uruguayos travel back and forth between the two countries rather freely. The local newspapers seem to blame the recent spike in ATM crackings1 on unidentified Chileños.
- Paraguay does not seem to be a major source of immigrants despite its proximity. Many countries in Latin America are poor, but Paraguay seems to be especially poor.
- Other South Americans are scattered around. Even long embedded immigrants often manage to resist completely surrendering to the Uruguayo idea of culture. On this point a Peruana nurse with nearly a decade in Uruguay hit none of the Uruguaya stereotypes and retained a functional Northern South American sense of humor.
- There are some extended stay gringos in Montevideo, but most seem transient except for the retirees. They commonly say Uruguay is fun for the young, but the prospect of putting their children through local schools usually ends their time in the country.
Absent from Uruguay is any notable Arab, Pinoy, Asian, African, or Indian subcontinental immigration. Welcome to Eisenhower's America.
- They load up the ATM with explosives and see if they can get to the tasty filling. [↩]