Paraguay Capital – Asunción
Facts About Paraguay • Population: 6,568,290 (2011) • Total Area: 157,048 sq. miles • Currency: Paraguayan guaraní 1 USD=4,082.10 • The guaraní is currently the least valued currency unit in the Americas.
Climate and Topography of Paraguay • The Rio Paraguaydivides the country into east and west sections • Each section has markedly different cultures and characteristics. • Eastern Region • rolling hills, mountains, valleys, lakes, dense forests and a number of cities and towns. • Western Region • almost completely unpopulated • primarily made up of the Chaco, a dry arid region. • Only about 2% of the entire population of Paraguay lives to the west of the Paraguay River
Language in Paraguay • Paraguay is a bilingual nation. • Both Spanish and Guaraní are official languages. • Spanish • the dominant language • taught in the schools • spoken by slightly more than half of the people. • A great majority speak Guaraní • Amerindian language that evolved from the southern dialect of the Tupi-Guaraní group. • It is also the language of widely esteemed literature, drama, and popular music. • Guaraní is the only indigenous language of the Americas whose speakers include a large proportion of non-indigenous people.
Religion in Paraguay • The constitution provides for freedom of conscience and recognizes no official religion. • Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion – about 90% • Remaining 10% • Protestant • Jewish • Mormon • Muslim • Baha‘i • Mennonite
Government in Paraguay • Constitutional Republic • 17 departments and 1 capital city • Voting – compulsory ages 18-75 • 3 branches • Executive – president – popular vote – single 5-year term • Judicial – Supreme Court – 9 seats • Legislative – bicameral – • Chamber of Senators – 45 seats – popular vote – 5-year terms • Chamber of Deputies – 80 seats – popular vote – 5-year terms
Families in Paraguay • Paraguayan social life revolves around the family and sports, especially soccer. • Day to day life is a peaceful, leisurely pace. • Supervising the children and managing the household are typically the responsibilities of wives. • Husbands are more occupied with work outside the home. • Protective of their children (especially daughters) • Parents expect to know when their children are going out and where they are going. • Most social activities, vacations, and weekends are family events. • Some families will not have modern facilities • Few homes have air conditioning, washing machines, dishwashers or microwave ovens. • Many of their clothing are light weight for the humid weather. • Students wear uniforms to school.
Food In Paraguay • Large meals at lunch and dinner • Breakfast is quick and light (milk, coffee or tea and bread) • Corn, rice, potatoes and wheat are important staples as are fruits in season. • SopaParaguaya, considered the most traditional dish, is a corn flour cake made with eggs, milk, cheese and onions. • Paraguayan families eat their main meal of the day together • On Sunday the extended family gathers for dinner.
Fast Facts About Paraguay • 1 of only 2 landlocked countries in the heart of South America • Agriculture and cattle ranching are the major economic activities of Paraguay. • About 95% of the population is mestizo. • Paraguay shares the title of the 'most boring country in the world' with Luxembourg. • Paraguay is home to the world’s largest hydroelectric power plant, the Itaipu Dam. • Up to 50% of the population of Paraguay lives below the poverty line