"River of the Painted Birds"
Uruguay’s history, like that of many Latin American countries is rife with conflict between indigenous people and European settlers. Uruguay was once home to the Charrúa and Guaraní Indians who hunted and fished on the land. The first Europeans to arrive were the Portuguese in 1512 followed by the Spanish a few years later. The Spanish navigator Juan Díaz de Solís was credited as the first European to discover Uruguay in 1516, however he and many of his men were soon killed by Indians. The Spanish faced tough resistance from the natives and the Portuguese but were successful in colonizing Uruguay in 1623. Uruguay became independent on August 25th 1825. Over the subsequent years, Uruguay resisted being taken over by either Argentina or Brazil. The first constitution of Uruguay was finally established two years later in 1830. Tabaré Vázquez has been the President since March 2015 and this is his second non-consecutive term in office.