Lisa Marie Mercer

World traveler, writer, artistic dreamer. Widely-published and highly regarded.

Sea Goddess Festival in Uruguay

Uruguay is a land of many paradoxes. While its government encourages a strong separation between church and state, certain pagan rituals are observed with religious fervor. Should you happen to be in Montevideo or Punta del Este on February 2, you might notice people dressed in white or light blue. Toward mid-afternoon, they meander toward the beaches. Some hold small, Styrofoam boats, filled with fruits and flowers. As evening approaches, candles light the sand along the beach. Music plays. So

Big Mamma Cafe and Bar Montevideo Uruguay

Last week, Mark and I spent a considerable part of the day in Migraciones in Montevideo, working on getting our residency papers. Like any country, there’s some bureaucracy and line-waiting involved, but probably less so than other countries. Nonetheless, having been there since 8:00 in the morning, we were hungry, and ready for a good meal. Strolling along Avenida 25 De Mayo, we came upon the Big Mamma Cafe & Bar. The billboard advertised a lunch special. Priced at 279 pesos, about $13.60 U.S.

Exploring Inland Uruguay

Most people associate Uruguay with Montevideo, its capital city, or the beach resort towns that line its coast. Inland Uruguay offers a completely different travel experience. Tacuarembo Gaucho Country Located in the heart of gaucho or South American cowboy country, Tacuarembo plays host to the annual “La Fiesta Patria Gaucha” or Festival of Gaucho Culture. The event takes place in late March, and celebrates the gaucho spirit with rodeos, folkloric music and dance and local cuisine. Fern Cav

Uruguay: 7 Big Ways to Experience This Small Country

Uruguay, the second smallest country in South America, is about the size of Washington State and snuggles between Argentina and Brazil. Its name, which originates from the Guarani language, means “river of the painted birds.” Each of Uruguay’s 19 sections, called departments, embellish the coastline like charms on a bracelet, possessing a unique personality, but somehow fitting in with whole. Rolling plains and fertile farmlands merge seamlessly into white sandy beaches and coastal fishing towns

Out Of The Shadows

Uruguay once inhabited the shadows of its neighbors, Brazil and Argentina, but as travellers gradually gained sophistication, this small but bighearted country stepped boldly into the limelight. While numerous factors triggered Uruguay's growing popularity as a vacation and relocation destination, food played a key role, for just as the stomach is supposedly the way to a man's or woman's heart, it so influences an explorer. Soon, the hungry stomachs of intrepid travellers guided them to Ciudada

Amazing Facts About Uruguay's Soccer Team

During the final practice before the 1924 Paris Olympic football tournament, the Yugoslavian team sent two players to spy on the Uruguayan team. The Uruguayans, who knew that spies were watching, purposely displayed the most bizarre antics ever seen in football. Players messed up simple touches, missed open net shots while tripping and bumping into each other. When the practice completed, the Yugoslavians owned up to the Uruguayan coaches and offered sincere sympathy: ” We are saddened that thes

Meatless in Montevideo: Uruguay for Vegetarians

In Uruguay, the population of cows outnumbers human beings. As such, meat is the food of choice. Ask for a sandwich without beef, and they say "no problemo." You get ham as a substitute. What's a vegan traveler to do? Consider this: The chivito, a national favorite, layers cheese, beef, eggs, ham and mayo on a huge sandwich. It comes with a generous helping of french fries. Even if you're not a vegetarian, your cholesterol might need a reprieve. Fortunately, in addition to their well-fed c

Angloberry – A place for travellers to find services abroad

Uruguay triggers strong reactions from her current and former expats. Some think they’ve found Utopia. Detractors believe it’s Hades on earth. Somewhere down the middle lies the truth. Carolina de Robertis, author of The Invisible Mountain, sums up Uruguay in one tweet: Those of us who love it here accept Uruguay’s maddening imperfections. Others, not so much. Will Uruguay meet your expectations? That depends on your reasons for moving here. Peruse some of the expat social media pages, or atten

Plan Ceibal & Improved Education?

“Personal computers will make our future adult population simultaneously more mathematically able and more visually literate. Ten years from now, teenagers are likely to enjoy a much richer panorama of options because the pursuit of intellectual achievement will not be tilted so much in favor of the bookworm, but instead cater to a wider range of cognitive styles, learning patterns, and expressive behaviors.” Nicholas Negroponte was the Co-Founder and Director of MIT Laboratory. In 1992, he was

How to spend a day in Pocitos

Montevideo is starting to grow on me.  Last week, my husband and I spent a day in the trendy, upscale Pocitos neighborhood. It was a bit like coming back to New York City. Depending where you walk, the area evokes images of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Greenwich Village, the Upper East Side or Brooklyn.  Street vendors are everywhere, as well as every type of store,  for anything you might need, or did not realize you need. After spending over a year and a half in Atlantida, I had grown accusto

I Didn’t Choose to Live in Uruguay – It Chose Me

In 2004, my husband, Mark, and I had just moved to Colorado. We opened a sports conditioning studio and had a lifestyle that included teaching fitness classes, working at the ski resorts, performing with local theater companies and taking on freelance writing assignments. I even published a ski conditioning book in my time there. My doctor informed me that I had a rare type of illness, which prevented me from living comfortably above 1,000 feet. He also advised me that I would need to modify th

Uruguay Museums: A 2-day Look at the Quirky and Whimsical

Uruguay Museums: A 2-day Look at the Quirky and Whimsical Information about the museums of Uruguay won’t fill up the pages of your guidebook, but anyone with an affinity for the whimsical and the unusual will have a field day in this quirky South American country. This two-day museum excursion explores the wackiest wonders of two Uruguayan cities:  Atlantida and Montevideo. The carnival in Montevideo lasts 40 days, making it the longest carnival in the world. It’s an insanely joyous cultural e