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On the 16th of January the students of La Herradura went to the Juan Manuel Blanes museum and the botanical gardens located in the wealthy neighbourhood of Prado in Montevideo. We started off by visiting Juan Manuel Blanes museum which displays an eclectic collection of art from throughout the years since the founding of Uruguay. The museum displays art from numerous artists including Juan Manuel Blanes, Pedro Figari, Rafael Barradas and Jose Cuneo.

Blanes has painted a number of pieces which are key to the Uruguayan national identity. The moment of Uruguayan independence was depicted by Blanes’ in the portrait “Thirty Three Easterners”. This displays the moment when the revolutionaries in Uruguay successfully held an insurrection against the brazilian authorities that were in control of Uruguay at that time – this event resulted in Uruguay gaining independence. A further painting of significance to the history of the Uruguayan history was ‘The battle of Sarandi’, another milestone in Uruguay’s history.

Blanes was also well-known for his portrait paintings which were particularly successful with the local gentry. His most famous portrait painting was that of Artigas en la Ciudadela, which he painted as a homage to the adored Uruguayan patriot Jose Gervasio Artigas.

After this we visited the nearby botanical gardens.The Botanical Garden was created in the year 1902 by the Economic Board of Uruguay and named after its greatest advocate, “Atilio Lombardo” who worked tirelessly to instate the gardens.  The park is comprised of a huge area of greenery with many different types of plants and trees which Montevideanos are able to admire and be at peace with, as they walk through the extensive area of the park. The park was designed by the landscape architect Carlos Racine. The function of a botanical garden is to illustrate a way of living peacefully with nature and to show us the importance of respecting the environment that we have before we lose it due to our own selfish actions of deforestation and pollution. We also passed many impressive houses due to the fact that Barrio Prado is a very wealthy neighbourhood.  

The park receives more than 400,000 visitors every year and so that they can recognise the over 1000 different types of plants that exist, cards are placed below the plants which contain their common and scientific names. There is also a greenhouse that exists in the botanical gardens which houses various types of tropical, medicinal and aquatic plants. The international exchange of seeds between more than 500 botanical gardens worldwide allows for the cultivation of new seeds in greenhouses and enables the parks to display many non-native plants as well.

At the end we visited a bar also located in the Prado neighbourhood. We enjoyed the beers and wines on offer including the traditional uruguayan media y media drink, consisting of a mixture of wine and champagne. There were also a large selection of reasonably priced pizzas so we were able to dine there as well. Overall it was a very enjoyable experience for all the students at La Herradura!

Have a look at the video as well:


Hola a todos!

My name is Toby, I am from England and I am undertaking the marketing internship here at La Herradura. I have been here for 3 weeks now and thought I’d give an update on my experience so far at La Herradura and in Montevideo to give prospective students an idea of what to expect.

Image result for montevideo

The lifestyle here in Montevideo is much more laid back than that of the UK and other European countries. I have gotten to know many Uruguayans through other people that are either living or studying at La Herradura, which has enabled me to have lots of Spanish practice as well as make plenty of new friends. I have also made plenty of international friends as the school receives students from all across the globe. There are also lots of sporting opportunities to get involved in. I have joined a local gym 10 minutes walking distance from the school and have played 5 a side football with Uruguayans I have met through mutual friends. Many Uruguayans also enjoy running along the Rambla which is the beautiful 26km long walkway which runs along the beach.

The Spanish teaching at the school has also impressed me. The classes are kept small, the quality of teaching is high, and the teachers are very personable. These aspects help create a friendly and supportive learning environment in which one can learn a great deal in just a small amount of time. You are given a language level test at the start to assess your Spanish level so that classes can be tailored to your level. The school have produced their own Spanish exercise books as well which is very useful for self-study.

La Herradura has also organised numerous trips for all the students to attend. We have visited museums ranging from the Gaucho Museum to the Museum of Art History, which displayed many iconic pieces from a multitude of cultures. The school’s pupils have also visited the local Ferias which are huge market stalls dotted across the city selling everything from fresh fruit and veg to clothing and accessories.  I have written in greater detail about these experiences in my other blog posts.

Overall my experience here so far has been very enjoyable and I would recommend to anyone interested in learning Spanish to attend the Spanish courses here on offer at La Herradura. You have the option of attending courses in the bustling capital city of Montevideo or the picturesque beach-laden location of Punta Del Este. Not only will you receive excellent teaching, but you will be able to discover more about the fascinating and truly welcoming Uruguayan culture.

Make sure to keep an eye out on this page for more updates regarding my experience at La Herradura and in Uruguay.




Entre un amigo común y un amigo uruguayo, me quedo con el uruguayo.
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