Click on map to see a detailed map of Uruguay EMU Masthead and Map of Uruguay


The Country

In November 1948, Luis Marden wrote an article for the National Geographic about Uruguay; he opened his article with the following words: "Some three quarters of a century ago, W. H. Hudson, a famous naturalist, rode the rolling plains of Uruguay and later described them in his unforgettable novel The Purple Land....Today, this smallest republic of South America has become the most densely populated."

Uruguay is located between Argentina and Brazil on the Atlantic Ocean and, unlike other South American countries, has no natural barriers to evangelism such as jungles, deserts, or mountain ranges. The fierce, nomadic Charrua Indians, indigenous to these rolling plains, were either slaughtered by the Spanish or absorbed into the conquerors' culture; consequently, the country is monolingual. Uruguay is wide open to anyone who can preach and teach in Spanish.

The people are descended primarily from Spanish and Italian immigrants; however, since the World Wars, many Germans, Russians, and other displaced peoples have found a secure home in Uruguay. In keeping with tradition, the economy is based on cattle and sheep; there are few mineral resources. The three-and-a-half million people of this republic, half of whom reside in the capital of Montevideo, live under a democratic constitution and enjoy free, open elections.

The government is officially non-partisan with regard to religion and supposedly treats all denominations equally, unlike the Roman Catholic-dominated governments of other Latin American countries. Religions of every shade and creed abound in Uruguay – from Moonies to Mennonites, from spiritists to Catholics, from Jehovah's Witnesses to Baptists. Evangelism, church planting, teaching, and limitless other ministry opportunities abound.

Click here to view a detailed map of Uruguay.

Horse drive in interior

Horse drive in interior

Uruguayan Gaucho


Uruguayan countryside

Uruguayan countryside

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EMU in Uruguay

(In Uruguay, EMU is known as MEU, Misión Evangélica del Uruguay. MEU's Spanish-language site is

Training the Uruguayan nationals to reach their own people has always been the ultimate goal of EMU International (formerly Evangelical Mission to Uruguay). Since the first group of young Uruguayans received instruction and entered the "harvest field," they have carried on a ministry of diversified evangelism to reach people in all walks of life with the Gospel message and sound doctrinal teaching. This work includes mass evangelism through radio, Christian film, open air meetings in the markets and plazas, prison evangelism, child evangelism, house-to-house visitation, tract distribution, hospital ministry, Bible study, and personal work. As a result, a number of Bible-believing churches have been established in Uruguay over the years through EMU's national missionaries.

Photographs of the Uruguayan missionary families are available at the Uruguayan National Missionaries page.

Bible Institute

The Bible Institute was founded in 1947, shortly after the Dabolds arrived in Uruguay. This school offers a comprehensive three-year training program incorporating sound doctrinal teaching and personal evangelism experience. Some of the graduates have become EMU missionaries and some are working with other conservative mission organizations, while most return to their churches to serve the Lord in their home community.

Advanced Theological Training

EMU established the first Bible Institute in Uruguay — and it has been a hallmark of the mission since the 1940's — but there has not been the opportunity for advanced formal theological studies for Uruguayans within their own country. In December 2008 the first of two families joined EMU with the goal of remedying that deficiency. (More information is at Theological Training in Uruguay.)

Camp Emmanuel

In 1976 the mission bought property outside of Montevideo and built a camp facility – Camp Emmanuel. Camps for children, teens, and families are held each summer with speakers often coming from the USA. During the rest of the year our various churches use the camp for retreats or as a conference ground. EMU also sponsors several camping programs in other regions of the country.

Child Evangelism

In the late 1940s EMU introduced child evangelism into the country. Through this ministry our missionaries have reached thousands of children and their families with the Gospel over the years.


Every Sunday morning the largest open-air market in South America is held in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. Since 1947 workers with EMU have held weekly meetings in this market, passing out tracts and preaching the Gospel to the throngs of passersby.


People from all over Uruguay travel to the main government hospital in Montevideo for medical treatment. A group of EMU missionaries and church members visit this hospital every Sunday to sing, teach, and witness to the patients there. Many people have come to know the Savior through this work. A number of our interior churches also engage in regular hospital visitation in their cities.


Our national workers were the first to be given permission to preach the Gospel in various prisons around the country. For years Christian services have been held in both the men's and women's penitentiaries.


Image of pastor teaching Uruguayan children at camp

A pastor teaching at camp

Image of Bible Institute students in Montevideo

Students in Bible Institute

Image of children playing big ball at Camp Emmanuel in Uruguay

A game of "big ball" at camp

Image of market evangelism at Feria in Montevideo

Market evangelism in Montevideo

Image of hospital visitation

Hospital visitation