Uruguay has traditionally had one of the most equal distributions of wealth in the world but a dependence on livestock and related exports has left Uruguay vulnerable to ups and downs in world commodity prices. Recessions in Brazil and Argentina – its main export markets and sources of tourists – propelled the country into economic crisis in 2002. Since then slums have been growing around Montevideo the capital city as families move closer to the city looking for work. The lives of Laura and her 14 year old son Ale have both been transformed by the volunteers of Un techo para mi Pais in Uruguay.

by Melissa Gerber & Jesse Swanson

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