Mainstreaming Health Promotion in Education Policies
  • Sergio Meresman


Uruguay is a middle-income country with a population of 3.4 million; the population growth rate is 0.6%, and per capita income is US $3,790. However, Uruguay enjoys a literacy rate of 98%. Similarly, 98% of the population has access to potable water, a remarkable situation in comparison with Latin America averages. Uruguay is characterized by an export-oriented agricultural sector and satisfactory levels of social spending. Its formal health and education systems have always been recognized as among the best in the region and are valued as some of the country's most precious assets. Uruguayans are kind, well-mannered people. They can also be perceived as introverted, especially when compared with other, outgoing Latin American people. Uruguayan schools are typically overcrowded; most classrooms accommodate about 35 or 40 children for each teacher. Uruguayan boys love to play soccer whenever they can, so that is what they usually do in school breaks. Girls are sometimes welcome to join in the matches, or they walk hand-in-hand in small groups, jump hopscotch, or play an old-fashioned game called “rock-paper-scissors.”


Health Promotion Education Policy School Community Social Spending School Break 



The author had support from Education Development Center, Inc.


  1. Hart, R. (1997). Children's participation: The theory and practice of involving young citizens in community development and environmental care. New York: UNICEF; London: Earthscan. (Also available in Chinese, Japanese and Spanish)Google Scholar
  2. Uruguayan National Institute of Statistics. (2006). Poverty and inequity in Uruguay (in Spanish: Pobreza y desigualdad en Uruguay). Retrieved March 2008, from http://www.ine.gub.uy/biblioteca/pobreza/Informe%20pobreza%20y%20desigualdad.pdf Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergio Meresman
    • 1
  1. 1.CLAEH (Latin American Centre for Humane Economy)UNER (University of Entre Rios)Uruguay

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