Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, is often overlooked as a global major city whether by tourists or list-makers. It has always been in the expansive shadows of Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, or Mexico City when it comes to great Latin American cities. But make no mistake Montevideo stands alone, a city with few equals on this planet. The city built on top of a hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and dancing along the coastline holds more mysteries than our modern times will allow. In an era when everything is owed an explanation, no one knows with any certitude where the name Montevideo even came from. This city of over one million citizens holds the rank of rare mysterious obsession for Latin American writers; much like New York to rappers in the 1990s, Paris to artists in the 1920s, and Barcelona to painters in the 1880s.
Montevideo, like so many cities in Latin America, has its own flavour and flare. Its bold and irresistible rhythm can be felt from the sounds of the streets to the boardwalk on the beach, from colonial era architecture to the persistent pace of life in Ciudad Vieja (the Old City). The aroma of chivito, the national sandwich of Uruguay, in the morning smells more like a work of art than a city at breakfast. Montevideo influenced the writers more than the writing. That is how it left its mark on Literatura, by being ever-present in the hearts of the writers.