(CNN) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton landed in Uruguay on Monday, the first stop in a Latin American tour that will take her to quake-ravaged Chile on Tuesday.
Clinton is in Uruguay for the inauguration of President Jose Mujica, a former member of a radical guerrilla group who spent 14 years in prison. He was released in 1985 when democracy was restored to Uruguay after a 17-year dictatorship.
Mujica was minister of livestock and agriculture from 2005 to 2008 and a senator until his election to the presidency in November.
Clinton is expected to later travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she will meet with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo.
The secretary of state is expected to arrive in Santiago, Chile, on Tuesday. The South American nation was struck by an 8.8-magnitude earthquake Saturday that sent tsunami waves across the Pacific. More than 1.5 million people in Chile were without electricity and at least 708 were killed.
In a statement issued Saturday, Clinton said the United States is ready to assist Chile's recovery from the disaster.
The trip was scheduled prior to the quake, and Clinton was expected to bid farewell to Chile's popular president, Michelle Bachelet, who will be leaving with high approval ratings for steering the country through the global economic downturn and promoting progressive social reforms. Conservative billionaire businessman Sebastian Pinera will take office this month. He beat former President Eduardo Frei in a runoff election in January.
Also on Clinton's itinerary are Brazil, Costa Rica and Guatemala.
Brazil, which will hold presidential elections in October, has one of the largest economies in the world and has landed the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. It has aspirations of becoming a global power.
Clinton is expected to talk with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva about his upcoming trip to Iran, which the United States and other nations believe has undertaken a program to build nuclear weapons.
In Costa Rica, which elected the nation's first female president this month, Clinton will meet separately with President Oscar Arias and President-elect Laura Chinchilla, who takes office in May.
Clinton will wrap up her five-nation trip with the stop in Guatemala, a Central American nation beset by poverty and high crime. She will meet with Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom and other Central American leaders before heading back to Washington.
(Updated at 10:00 a.m. EST with additional information)