The Easter holidays are starting. Or should I say Tourism Week is beginning. Everyone thinks of Latin America as being a bastion of religious societies, however as always Uruguay is the outlier—with complete separation of church and state for over a century.
At the end of the nineteenth century many Uruguayans were choosing the “pleasures of the countryside” rather than respecting religious holidays like Easter. In 1886, a newspaper tutted over the hunting expeditions preferred by “young people in our society who care nothing for excommunication and other trifles”.
In 1909, religious instruction in public schools was banned. Ten years later all religious holidays were secularised.
Learn more about Uruguay's separation of church and state
The working year finally starts in Uruguay 😅
Tourism week is the last long public holiday before everyone settles down to the working year.
The Uruguay equivalent of the Tour de France just began. In fact, the first leg zipped past my hotel in Colonia last night. The saying goes “When the last cyclist crosses the finishing line, the (working) year commences.” #GottaLoveUruguay