a VirtualTourist member
Has anyone noticed if internationalists live in Colonia, or is it all locals? And how do they perceive Americans?
Well, Colonia must be the place in Uruguay with most immigrant descendant people. Many towns in Colonia have swiss, german, english, italian ancestors: towns like Nueva Helvecia and Colonia Suiza are full of swiss and german immigrants. Going to the north (near Mercedes and Fray Bentos there are russian and english colonies. Even nowadays there's a finnish plant being built in Fray Bentos (about 150 kms from COL) and many finnish people living there with their families.
Colonia is very used to tourists and was always very friendly.
I'm sure you won't have any problem there.
We were treated well and welcomed. I believe that Uruguay is the most American-friendly country in SA. Colonia is a beautiful little town with lots of charm and history. We stayed there only one day, but wished we had stayed at least two days. The people, from the cop on the street to the clerk in the store are just so hospitable and friendly. Of Argentina and Uruguay we found the latter to be the most friendliest and courteous of the two. We had no problems in Argentina, the people were simply wonderful and friendly. We made friends in both countries. The only problem is the street crime in old MVD. My wife had her purse ripped off her shoulder in a sidewalk full of shops and people. At the police stations there were many others with the same problem. The cops say the kids are "protected" and can only be detained for 5 hours. If ever caught, which is seldom. These juveniles are real pros, so stay away from old town and Puerto Mercado unless you get off right in front in a taxi, and board right in front and immediately leave the area.