A friend of mine bought a house in Uruguay because of all those reasons. But they eventually moved to Columbia because his wife had family there.
Yes, I have witnessed this also. Of course moving forward family reasons isn’t unexpected but in general for other South Americans, Uruguay isn’t actually an easy destination to come to and get accustomed to.
Many people from Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico I have met said they struggled for a few years, to find meaningful friends and to feel accepted. Not to mention it isn’t that close anyway. Think it’s an 7 hour flight from Bogota, so even Miami is closer to Colombia. In those other countries it’s very common to get invites to houses and to find close friends.
In Uruguay however (at least for non-Europeans) it takes a little more work. Culturally it’s very different, much more isolated than most of South America. More European, less densely populated too, so in the big cities people tend to keep themselves to themselves, unless involved in activities & sports. Solitude is quite normal for some reason. Not for everyone and not perfect by any stretch.
Ha, this is knit so deeply into my bones I can't even tell you. It's like when I lived in England for a bit, and people talked about how stand-offish the English were, and I was like: wtf are you talking about?
Baselines are important.