Paraguay

A Spanish-speaking country

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The Capital

Geography

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General description

Grassy plains and wooded hills east of Rio Paraguay; Gran Chaco region west of Rio Paraguay mostly low, marshy plain near the river, and dry forest and thorny scrub elsewhere.

Mountains

There are several mountain ranges of considerable importance located in the eastern portion of Paraguay: - Cordillera del Amambay has its highest peak measuring 700 meters, and is located in the Cerro Corá National Park in Pedro Juan Caballero.

Location:

Bordering countries:

Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina
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Extra:

It is a land-locked country, which means it has no maritime claim. (No islands)

Major Cities

Landmarks

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Cerro Cora National Park

Cerro Cora National Park is the largest protected area in Paraguay with 5,538 hectares. It is located in Amambay Department, 45 km from the departmental capital, Pedro Juan Caballero and the border with Brazil.

Economy:

Overview:

Landlocked Paraguay has a market economy distinguished by a large informal sector, featuring re-export of imported consumer goods to neighboring countries, as well as the activities of thousands of microenterprises and urban street vendors. A large percentage of the population, especially in rural areas, derives its living from agricultural activity, often on a subsistence basis. Because of the importance of the informal sector, accurate economic measures are difficult to obtain. On a per capita basis, real income has stagnated at 1980 levels. The economy grew rapidly between 2003 and 2008 as growing world demand for commodities combined with high prices and favorable weather to support Paraguay's commodity-based export expansion. Paraguay is the sixth largest soy producer in the world. Drought hit in 2008, reducing agricultural exports and slowing the economy even before the onset of the global recession. The economy fell 3.8% in 2009, as lower world demand and commodity prices caused exports to contract. The government reacted by introducing fiscal and monetary stimulus packages. Growth resumed at a 13% level in 2010, the highest in South America, but slowed in 2011-13 as the stimulus subsided and severe drought and outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease led to a drop in beef and other agricultural exports. The economy took another leap in 2014, largely due to strong export growth. Political uncertainty, corruption, limited progress on structural reform, and deficient infrastructure are the main obstacles to long-term growth.

Currency

1 Paraguayan Guarani : 0.00017 of an USD

The Language:

Spanish (official), Guarani (official)

Guarani, specifically the primary variety known as Paraguayan Guarani, is an indigenous language of South America that belongs to the Tupi–Guarani subfamily of the Tupian languages.

Food:

Lunch

  • Lunch is the main meal of the day. Businesspeople and schoolchildren go home at noon to have lunch with their family. It may be followed by an hour-long nap before everyone returns to work and school.

Dinner

  • Never invite anyone for a 7:00 p.m. dinner, which would be far too early. Invite people at 8:30 or 9:00 p.m., and serve dinner at 10:00 p.m.

Bori-bori

Bori-bori is a chicken soup served with cornmeal dumplings. Chipa is a bread made with manioc, egg and cheese. Chipa Guasú is a cake made with corn grains, and is an original and common food of Paraguay. It's often served at the asado.

The Tereré Rupa Tereré rupa

The Tereré Rupa

Tereré rupa is a combination of things eaten during breakfast or mid-morning.

Usually made of:

Chipá - bread kneaded with yuca starch (also known as cassava or locally as mandioca) cheese, eggs, milk and aniseed. It is a round shape with a hole in the middle (looks like a bagel). Chipá is consumed a lot during holidays and festivities, especially Easter.

Mate Cocido - yerba mate (a mixture of herbs) that has boiled water added to it. It is then strained and poured into cups sweetened with sugar.

Mbejú – Sometimes written as Mbeyú, this is a staple of the Paraguayan diet and is consumed at any time of the day. It is a starch cake that looks like a cross between an omelet and a pancake. It is made with mandioca and cheese and is cooked in a very hot frying pan. In the guarani language mbejú means cake.

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In Paraguay the Sopa Paraguaya, the Mandioca, the Chipá Guazú and the Chipá are present in almost every lunch or dinner at least twice a week (sometimes more and especially if it involves a social gathering)

Important people:

Music

The Spanish guitar and European harp are among the most popular instruments, while dances include the lively polka and distinctive bottle dance, which involves the performer twirling a bottle around her head. Composer and guitarist Agustín Barrios is perhaps the country's best known export.
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Climate

Subtropical to temperate; substantial rainfall in the eastern portions, becoming semiarid in the far west
The climate of Paraguay consists of a subtropical climate in the Paraneña region and a tropical climate in the Chaco. The Paraneña region has a humid climate, with abundant precipitation throughout the year and only moderate seasonal changes in temperature.

Seasons

The Paraneña region has only two distinct seasons: summer from October to March and winter from May to August. In transitional months of April and September, temperatures below the midsummer averages include nocturnal minima that may dip below freezing.

The Sports

Sport in Paraguay is an important part of Paraguayan national culture. Football is the most popular sport, while other sports such as rugby union, volleyball, basketball, and tennis all have significant popularity.

The religions

Roman Catholic 89.6%, Protestant 6.2%, other Christian 1.1%, other or unspecified 1.9%, none 1.1% (2002 census)

The history

The first inhabitants of modern day Paraguay were various Indian tribes that are seminomadic and have a warrior culture. By the early 16th century the Europeans arrived led by the Spanish conquistador Juan de Salazar y Espinoza and established the Asuncion settlement on August 15, 1537. The settlement became a city and the center of the Spanish colonial authority. This was also the main site of the Jesuit settlements and missions that lasted for 150 years until the Spanish authorities expelled the religious order from the country in 1767. The country became independent on May 14, 1811 by ousting the Spanish colonial administration.

The Paraguayans then became involved in a series of fighting among themselves and with their neighbors, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. In the War of the Triple Alliance which lasted for five years, the republic fought and was defeated by its three neighbor countries 1870. It lost more than half of its population and substantial territories to Argentina and Brazil. Then in the 1930s it fought against Bolivia in the Chaco wars where it emerged victorious. The republic was able to reestablish its authority in the Chaco region but had to renounce additional territory gains as part of the peace settlement. The country from 1904 to 1954 saw 31 presidents each serving an average of more than a year and half. Most did not complete their term as they were forced out of office.

In 2008 former Bishop Fernando Lugo won by a comfortable majority the nation’s presidential election ending more than 60 years of consecutive rule by the conservative party.

Natives

Indigenous peoples in Paraguay, or Native Paraguayans, include 17 ethnic groups belonging to five language families. While only a 1.7% of Paraguay's population is fully indigenous, 95% of the population identifies as being partially of native heritage; however, the majority do not identify as being indigenous but as Mestizos. Most of the Indian population lives in the northwestern part of the country, the Gran Chaco, many still remain.

Tribes

Aché

Abipón

Ayoreo

Chané

Chamacoco (Ishir)

Ebytoso

Tomáraho

Chiripá

Chorote

Guana

Guaraní

Lengua (Enxet)

Nivaclé[2] (Chulupí)

Macá

Mbayá

Pai-Tavyter

Sanapaná

Toba

Zamuco

Natural resources

The natural resources of Paraguay includes:

hydropower, timber, iron ore, manganese, limestone

Exports

Currently Paraguay exports:

soybeans, livestock feed, cotton, meat, edible oils, wood, leather

Its export partners:

Brazil 30.8%, Russia 10.8%, Argentina 7.4%, Chile 6.9%, Netherlands 4.5% (2014)

Export amount:

$13.45 billion (2014 est.)

$13.44 billion (2013 est.)

The government

conventional long form: Republic of Paraguay

conventional short form: Paraguay

local long form: Republica del Paraguay

local short form: Paraguay

Government type:

constitutional republic

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Horacio CARTES (since 15 August 2013); Vice President Juan AFARA Maciel (since 15 August 2013); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Horacio CARTES (since 15 August 2013); Vice President Juan AFARA Maciel (since 15 August 2013)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by simple majority popular vote for a single 5-year term; election last held on 21 April 2013 (next to be held in April 2018)

election results: Horacio CARTES elected president; percent of vote - Horacio CARTES (ANR) 45.8%, Efrain ALEGRE (PLRA) 36.9%, Mario FERREIRO (AP) 5.9%, Anibal CARRILLO (FG) 3.3%, other 8%

Legislative branch:

description: bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (45 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (80 seats; members directly elected in 18 multi-seat constituencies - corresponding to the country's 17 departments and capital city - by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections: Chamber of Senators - last held on 21 April 2013 (next to be held in April 2018); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 21 April 2013 (next to be held in April 2018)

Judicial branch:

highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (consists of 9 justices divided 3 each into the Constitutional Court, Civil and Commercial Chamber, and Criminal Division

judge selection and term of office: justices proposed by the Council of Magistrates or Consejo de la Magistratura, a 6-member independent body, and appointed by the Chamber of Senators with presidential concurrence; judges appointed until mandatory retirement at age 75

Tourist places

Bibliography

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/pa.html

Google Destinations

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