PARAGUAY

Date of establishment: 14 May 1811

Brief history:

  • 16th century: Spanish conquistadors arrive in what is now Paraguay. They established a colony under Spanish rule.
  • 17th century: Paraguay was part of the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru, later the Spanish Viceroyalty of Río de la Plata.
  • 1811: The Paraguayan people declared independence from Spain on May 14, 1811.
  • 1814-1840: Paraguay went through a period of political unrest and a war of independence.
  • 1842-1870: During the rule of President Francísco Solano López, Paraguay underwent an intensive modernization program, but also engaged in military conflicts such as the Triple War (1864-1870) against Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, which had disastrous effects on the Paraguayan population.
  • 1870-1904: After the War of Independence and subsequent defeat, Paraguay was occupied, leading to a period of recovery and stabilization.
  • 1989: The dictator, Stroessner, was overthrown and an era of democratic reforms began.

 

International abbreviation: PY

 

Currency: Paraguayan Guarani (PYG)

The guarani is divided into smaller units, namely céntimos, although these are not really used any more.

The guarani was introduced as a currency in 1944. Before that, a currency called the peso was used.

 

Internet domain: .py

 

Dialing code: +595

 

Time zone: -4 (GMT)

 

Geography:

Paraguay is a landlocked country in the southern part of South America. It borders Brazil to the east and north, Argentina to the west and south, and Bolivia to the northwest. It is the only country in South America does not have access to the ocean.

Paraguay has with many rivers. The largest of these are the Paraguay and Paraná rivers, which meet near the capital Asunción and form a common border with Argentina.

The western part of the country is known as the Gran Chaco and includes a vast savannah landscape with low forests and wetlands.

The eastern part of Paraguay is characterized by a humid climate and is agriculturally very productive.

On the eastern edge of the country is a mountain range, including the Serra de Maracayú and the Amambay Mountains.

In the northwest of Paraguay is part of the Pantanal, one of the largest swamps in the world.

 

Highest peak: Cerro Pero 842 m (2 762 feet) above sea level.

Cerro Peró is located in the Amambay Mountains in eastern Paraguay, near the border with Brazil.

The Serra de Maracayú is another mountain range east of the Amambay range.

 

Climate:

The rainy season lasts from November to March and brings abundant rainfall. These months are characterized by high temperatures and humid weather. Average temperatures range from 25°C (77°F) to 35°C (95°F), with areas in the east receiving more rain than those in the west.

The dry season lasts from June to August. There is much less rainfall during this time, although temperatures remain pleasant and can range from 15°C (59°F) to 25°C (77°F).

The northwestern part of Paraguay, where part of the Pantanal is located, has a significantly different climate.

The eastern part has higher rainfall and a wetter climate, making this area ideal for agriculture. Conversely, the western part, the Gran Chaco, has a drier climate and is rather flat with less vegetation. During the rainy summer, temperatures can be extremely high in some areas, creating hot and humid conditions. In the winter dry season, the temperatures are milder and pleasant.

 

Fauna and flora:

Paraguay is one of the countries where you can find jaguars, the largest felines in the Americas. Jaguars live mainly in national parks and protected areas.

The country is home to several species of tapir, including the South American tapir. These large herbivores live in swampy and forested areas.

Capybaras are the largest rodents in the world and are common in the Pantanal region of northwestern Paraguay.

The country is a paradise for ornithologists, various species of birds, including parrots, hummingbirds and various species of birds of prey.

The eastern part of Paraguay, especially the areas near the border with Brazil, are covered with rainforest. Here you will find different types of tropical trees such as mahogany and abundant vegetation. The Pantanal in northwestern Paraguay is home to vast wetland ecosystems that support rich biodiversity including a variety of aquatic plant species.

 

Agriculture:

Paraguay is one of the main producers of soybeans in South America. Soy is an important commodity and export product.

In addition to soy, the country also grows grains such as corn and wheat. Rice cultivation is another important branch of agriculture, especially in swampy areas.

Cattle breeding is an important part of Paraguayan agriculture. Cattle are used for both meat and dairy products.

There are abundant opportunities for fishing thanks to its rivers and wetlands.

The eastern part of Paraguay has suitable climatic conditions for growing tropical fruits and vegetables such as bananas, pineapples, papayas, and mangoes.

Palm oil production from palm plantations is also increasing.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

Paraguay has abundant forest resources and is known for its wood products such as tropical timber, wooden boards and other wood products.

In some parts of Paraguay there are  deposits of granite, which is a highly durable stone used primarily in construction and the production of statues and monuments.

Limestone is mined in some areas of Paraguay and is used in industry, especially in the production of lime and cement.

Quartz is mined for industrial purposes such as glass and electronics manufacturing.

Kaolin is a white clay rock that is mainly used in the ceramics industry.

 

Industry:

The food industry is one of the largest sectors. It involves the processing and production of foods such as meat, dairy products, grains and oils. The country specializes in the production of soy products, and the export of soybeans, oil and soy-based products is a significant source of income.

Paraguay has extensive forest resources, which supports the wood processing industry. The production of wood products such as furniture, building materials and wood panels is an important aspect of Paraguayan industry. The textiles industry includes the production of clothing, fabrics and textile products.

The energy industry includes electricity generation and oil and gas extraction. Paraguay has several hydroelectric plants that produce electricity, which it also exports, mainly to Brazil.

 

Services and other areas of the economy: services

 

Natural and historical attractions: Gran Chaco area, Encarnación, Yaguarón church, Asuncion, Basilica de Caacupé, San Rafael National Park, and Fortín Boquerón

Points of interest include the Palacio de los López (Presidential Palace), the National History Museum and the Church of La Encarnación.

The northwestern part of Paraguay includes part of the Pantanal, which is one of the largest wetlands in the world.

Paraguay shares a border with Brazil, and tourists can easily visit the famous Iguaçu Falls, which are among the largest in the world.

Paraguayan culture is rich and diverse. Visitors can discover traditional music, dance and crafts at various festivals and cultural events.

 

Waterparks in Paraguay:

 

Form of government: presidential republic

The main executive power lies with the president, who is elected for a five-year term. The president has the authority to run the government, appoint ministers and exercise the executive power of the country. The government, including the president, is elected in democratic elections.

Legislative power is vested in the parliament, known as the National Congress (Congreso Nacional). This parliament is bicameral, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The judiciary in Paraguay is independent and operates through the court system. The highest court of the country is the Supreme Court (Suprema Corte de Justicia), which is tasked with protecting the laws and the rights of citizens.

 

Capital: Asuncion

It is located on the eastern bank of the Paraguay River, close to the border with Argentina.

Asunción was founded by Spanish settlers in 1537 and is one of the oldest cities in South America.

 

Area: 406 752 km2 (157 048 square miles)

 

Population: 7 350 000 (2022)

The largest ethnic group in Paraguay are the mestizos, who make up the majority of the population. Mestizos are the descendants of both the Spanish colonizers and the original Native American inhabitants. There are also minorities of several indigenous Indian tribes, including Guaraní, Ache, and others.

The official languages of Paraguay are Spanish and Guarani. Roman Catholic Christianity is the most widespread religion in Paraguay and has deep roots in the country’s culture.

The population of Paraguay has a relatively young age structure, meaning that most people are under 30.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 1

 

1. The Jesuit missions of La Santísima Trinidad del Paraná and Jesús de Tavarangué (1993) – These missions are a reminder of the arrival of Christianity in the 17th-18th centuries.

 

National parks: 15

 

  1. Bella Vista National Park
  2. Caaguazú National Park (Caazapá)
  3. Cerro Cora National Park
  4. Defensores del Chaco National Park
  5. Medanos del Chaco National Park
  6. Nacunday National Park
  7. Paso Bravo National Park
  8. Rio Negro National Park
  9. Saltos del Guairá National Park
  10. San Rafael National Park
  11. Serrania San Luis National Park
  12. Teniente Agripino Enciso National Park
  13. Tifunqué National Park
  14. Ybycuí National Park
  15. Ypoá National Park