I lived in Minas, Uruguay with my teammate Gerardo Castro and his family during the Uruguayan summers of 2002-3 and 2003-4. The time I spent in Lavalleja (the Uruguayan "department" in which Minas is located) was some of the happiest of my life, and I remember it fondly.
Since returning from Italy, I've corresponded somewhat irregularly with The Southron, a very interesting American ex-pat living in Montevideo. I wrote about my experiences in Uruguay several times for my diary on CyclingNews.com. The Southron, however, writes a kick-ass blog from Uruguay - UruguayLiving.com - that he updates regularly, and he is leading the rapid organization of the english-speaking ex-pat community there.
Uruguay is the one country that I would move to *right now* if I had the prospects of gainful employment there, and The Southron is doing a great job chronicling why it is such a great place. Granted, I hated Uruguay and all things Uruguayan after I was robbed of my rightful victory in the Vuelta a Uruguay in 2003, but I'm over that now.
Check out UruguayLiving.com and get a taste for the American experience in Montevideo, and tell him I sent you.