Uruguay

Cabo Polonio. Utopia in the Desert

A peaceful and creative place for very special people

Right in front of the the Atlantic ocean, hidden behind the sandy dunes, there’s a small strip of Uruguayan coast swept by the wind and away frm all usual travellers’ routes. So far. Cabo Polonio today is still a surreal place where a very strange community lives: no more than 50-60 people indeed decided to reside permanently in this natural environment, miles away from civilization and rules, creating a kind of a diehard individualists tribe. Some of them are former Argentinian exiles who decided to disappear for a while, some are writers, musicians, surfers or ex-hippies searching for an inspiring place; some are simply local fishermen and hunters.

In Cabo Polonio there is no electricity or running water, the houses are just no little more than wooden shacks, built with recycled materials. But what everyone has in common here, is the idea of social equanimity and absolute individual freedom which, basically, reflects the same concepts with which the government of José “Pepe” Mujica – the world’s most popular president, as the international media defined him, is running his country. Today, however, the small community of “pobladores” (permanent residents), is exposed to two different threats: on one side there is the National Park Authority of the province of Rocha (which is part of Cabo Polonio) who plans to tear apart most of the houses in order to preserve the natural area. On the other hand tourists are coming, especially in the summer months (December to February), and have begun to spoil the peaceful community’s vibe.

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