World

Uruguay's leader welcomes first Syrian refugees arriving in South American country

  • In this picture released by Uruguay's presidential press office, Uruguay's President Jose Mujica, right, welcomes a Syrian woman who arrived with a group of refugees to the Catholic Marista Brothers of San Jose home where they will reside temporarily, on the outskirts of Montevideo, Uruguay, Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014. Uruguay's government has received the first group of Syrian refugees to arrive in the South American country. The 42 refugees seeking shelter from the civil war were taken to a new home on the city's outskirts. The government has agreed to receive a total of 120 Syrian refugees, being the first one in the region to assume all resettlement costs.  (AP Photo/Uruguay Presidential Press Office)

    In this picture released by Uruguay's presidential press office, Uruguay's President Jose Mujica, right, welcomes a Syrian woman who arrived with a group of refugees to the Catholic Marista Brothers of San Jose home where they will reside temporarily, on the outskirts of Montevideo, Uruguay, Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014. Uruguay's government has received the first group of Syrian refugees to arrive in the South American country. The 42 refugees seeking shelter from the civil war were taken to a new home on the city's outskirts. The government has agreed to receive a total of 120 Syrian refugees, being the first one in the region to assume all resettlement costs. (AP Photo/Uruguay Presidential Press Office)  (The Associated Press)

  • Young Syrian refugees play in the garden of their new temporary residence, the Catholic Marista Brothers of San Jose home, on the outskirts of Montevideo, Uruguay, Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014. Uruguay's government on Thursday received the first group of Syrian refugees to arrive in the South American country. Officials say they will take Spanish lessons and classes on local customs, and the adults have already been guaranteed jobs. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)

    Young Syrian refugees play in the garden of their new temporary residence, the Catholic Marista Brothers of San Jose home, on the outskirts of Montevideo, Uruguay, Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014. Uruguay's government on Thursday received the first group of Syrian refugees to arrive in the South American country. Officials say they will take Spanish lessons and classes on local customs, and the adults have already been guaranteed jobs. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)  (The Associated Press)

Uruguay's government has received the first group of Syrian refugees to arrive in the South American country.

President Jose Mujica on Thursday welcomed 42 refugees seeking shelter from the civil war when they arrived at Montevideo airport.

The five families were taken to a new home on the city's outskirts. For the next 12 months, they will take Spanish lessons and classes on local customs.

Officials say the adults have already been guaranteed jobs.

Uruguay has agreed to receive a total of 120 Syrian refugees. The rest are to arrive by 2015.

Argentina, Brazil and other Latin American countries have also taken in Syrian refugees. But Uruguay is the first one in the region to assume all resettlement costs.