Location/Culture Reports

Culture Report – California to Uruguay

The race begins at the Pier in Santa Monica, California. Santa Monica is on the western edge of LA and is about 8 miles away from LAX. Route 66, which was built to connect the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, ends in Santa Monica.

Of course, California is well known for its movie industry - there are too many movies and television shows that have been filmed in California to mention them. Authors from and who write about California include Wallace Stegner, John Steinbeck, Bret Harte, Helen Hunt Jackson and Sue Grafton (the Kinsey Millhone series).

After the racers leave California, they are on their way to Uruguay. Uruguay is well known for several of its artists including Pedro Figari (1861-1938). Throughout his career, Figari produced paintings covering a wide range of subjects related to the traditions and customs of the Rio de la Plata region including landscapes, interiors of colonial patios, regional folk dances, fashionable salons, and horses and gauchos. He is an important figure in the history of modernism of the Rio de la Plata region.

One of the nation's greatest writers is José Enrique Rodó. Two of Uruguay's best-known contemporary writers are Juan Carlos Onetti and Mario Benedetti. Books written by Onetti include No Man's Land, The Shipyard and A Brief Life. Another book that is considered a classic is Ariel by José Enrique Rodó, a turn-of-the-century essay contrasting North American and Latin American civilization.

Some non-fiction books include George Pendle's Uruguay, South America's First Welfare State, Milton Vanger's The Model Country: Jose Battle y Ordóñez of Uruguay, 1907-1915, in Political Parties and Redemocratization in Uruguay by Luis González and María Esther Gilio's The Tupamaros Guerillas.