Greece in Uruguay: A Cultural Tapestry Across Borders

In this article, G Kouzalis LLC your Cyprus lawyers, will explain about the Greek Culture in Uruguay.

The Greek Influence on Uruguayan Landscape

Uruguay, a small country with less than 4 million inhabitants, showcases a profound love for Greek culture, evident in its streets and public spaces adorned with Greek names and statues of ancient philosophers. In Montevideo, the central street proudly bears the name “Ellas” (Greece).

Symbiosis of Generations – Greek Language and Heritage

Over 3,500 second and even third-generation Greek immigrants, along with a substantial number of native speakers, contribute to Uruguay’s rich Hellenic tapestry. Neoclassical buildings proudly display the word “Athenaios,” and the Athens-named park along the coastline features a bust of Homer. Uruguayans embrace modern Greek culture, literature, and arts.

Cultural Corners and Literary Havens

Every bookstore, regardless of size, houses the works of iconic Greek writers such as Nikos Kazantzakis, Cavafy, and Ritsos. Montevideo boasts at least 23 streets named after ancient philosophers, with the central avenue proudly titled “Ellas.”

Hellenic Spirit in Daily Life

Two squares in the capital, named “Platia Athinon” and “Platia Ellados,” honor Greek heritage, and the statue of Socrates graces the entrance of the National Library of Montevideo, built in the style of ancient Greek Doric architecture. Even a public school, named “Grecia,” celebrates Greek national holidays on March 25th and October 28th.

Greek Community Institutions

The Greek community in Uruguay maintains a school, led by two Greek teachers, along with event halls, a church dedicated to Saint Nicholas, a dance ensemble, orchestra, soccer field, and volleyball court.

Greek Business Prowess in Uruguay

Greek entrepreneurs, particularly in shipping, imports, exports, and textiles, have left a lasting impact on Uruguay’s economic landscape. Greeks lead three major shipping companies: Tsakos, Navios, and Lavinia.

Centenary Celebration of the Greek Community in Uruguay

According to, the Greek Community in Uruguay, officially recognized in June 2016, celebrated its centenary, marking the first organized structure of Greeks in South America. Citizens proudly identify themselves not just as “philhellenes” but as “Greek enthusiasts.”

Moreover, a significant portion of the country culturally aligns with Europe, with Greece being the foremost country that comes to mind. During the 1950s and 1960s, Uruguay welcomed numerous Greek immigrants and sailors seeking a better life.


Written accounts indicate that the first Greek to settle in the country was Dimitrios from Cheimari in 1687, who initially changed his name to “Metropoulos” and eventually to “Mitis.”