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May 26, 2023
Tacuarembó, Uruguay, has a population: 55,000. Tacuarembó sits in the northern half of the country and a little to the right of center, meaning a bit east of the center.
Sant'Ana do Livramento, Brazil
Sant'Ana do Livramento, Brazil, has a population: 75,000. Livramento has become an extension of the city Rivera, Uruguay. Livramento was founded in 1857 while Rivera was founded in 1867. Now, the two are one city with the border splitting them right down the middle. "The border" is nonexistent here, people can freely pass from one to the other with no need for checking in at border crossings or immigrations. There is no wall, no fence, nothing but a few markers (see the photo album) spread out along the line where such things would be.
Rivera, Uruguay, has a population: 65,000. It is located on the border with Brazil. On the Brazil side is the town, Sant'Ana do Livramento. These two towns area one metropolitan area with no visible, physical border dividing the two countries. The people are free to cross the international border freely. If one wants to go further into either country they must check in with immigrations for the normal process. The International Plaza, inaugurated in 1943, straddles the border and is shared by both cities and is said to be the only international plaza in the world.
Artigas, Uruguay, has a population: 41,000. It is located on the border with Brazil. Between Artigas and Quaraí, Peru, is the Cuareim River which forms the border between the countries in this region. The city was founded in 1852. Here they speak with a particular dialect called portuñol - a mix of Portuguese and Spanish, which explains why I couldn't understand many of the people I spoke with, and some of them, one man in particular, did not understand my Spanish from Colombia. That particular man was rather rude and even said, "No entiendo nada de ti" and ended our attempt at a small conversation. I was simply asking about a restaurant.
Quaraí, Brazil, has a population: 24,000. It is located on the border with Uruguay. Their economy is supported mostly by cattle and sheep, rice production, and trade. The river Quaraí seperates Quaraí from Artigas, Uruguay, forming the border between Brazil and Uruguay in this region.