Paraguay (; ), officially the Republic of Paraguay ( es, República del Paraguay, links=no; gn, Tavakuairetã Paraguái, links=si), is a landlocked country
in South America. It is bordered by
Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country in the southern half of South America. Argentina covers an area of , making it the second-largest country in South America after Brazil, ...
to the south and southwest,
Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At and with over 217 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area ...
to the east and northeast, and
, image_flag = Bandera de Bolivia (Estado).svg
, flag_alt = Horizontal tricolor (red, yellow, and green from top to bottom) with the coat of arms of Bolivia in the center
, flag_alt2 = 7 × 7 square p ...
to the northwest. It has a population of seven million, nearly three million of whom live in the
Capital may refer to:
* Capital city, a municipality of primary status
** List of national capital cities
* Capital letter, an upper-case letter Economics and social sciences
* Capital (economics), the durable produced goods used fo ...
and largest city of
Asunción (, , , Guarani: Paraguay) is the capital and the largest city of Paraguay.
The city stands on the eastern bank of the Paraguay River, almost at the confluence of this river with the Pilcomayo River. The Paraguay River and the Bay o ...
, and its surrounding metro. Although one of only two landlocked countries in South America (Bolivia is the other), Paraguay has ports on the Paraguay
rivers that give exit to the Atlantic Ocean, through the Paraná-Paraguay Waterway.
Conquistadors (, ) or conquistadores (, ; meaning 'conquerors') were the explorer-soldiers of the Spanish and Portuguese Empires of the 15th and 16th centuries. During the Age of Discovery, conquistadors sailed beyond Europe to the Americas, O ...
es arrived in 1524, and in 1537, they established the city of
Asunción (, , , Guarani: Paraguay) is the capital and the largest city of Paraguay.
The city stands on the eastern bank of the Paraguay River, almost at the confluence of this river with the Pilcomayo River. The Paraguay River and the Bay o ...
, the first capital of the Governorate of the Río de la Plata
. During the 17th century, Paraguay was the center of Jesuit missions
, where the native Guaraní people
were converted to Christianity and introduced to European culture. After the expulsion of the Jesuits
from Spanish territories in 1767, Paraguay increasingly became a peripheral colony, with few urban centers and settlers. Following independence from Spain
in the early 19th century, Paraguay was ruled by a series of authoritarian governments characterized by nationalist, isolationist and protectionist
policies. This period ended with the disastrous Paraguayan War
(1864–70), during which the country lost half its prewar population and around 25–33% of its territory to the Triple Alliance
Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At and with over 217 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area ...
Uruguay (; ), officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay ( es, República Oriental del Uruguay), is a country in South America. It shares borders with Argentina to its west and southwest and Brazil to its north and northeast; while bordering ...
. In the 20th century, Paraguay faced another major international conflictthe
The Chaco War ( es, link=no, Guerra del Chaco, gn, Cháko Ñorairõ [Alfredo Stroessner, which lasted until his overthrow in 1989 by an internal military coup. This marked the beginning of Paraguay's democratic era, which continues to this day.
Paraguay is a ](_blank) developing country
A developing country is a sovereign state with a lesser developed industrial base and a lower Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries. However, this definition is not universally agreed upon. There is also no clear agreeme ..., ranking 105th in the Human Development Index
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of life expectancy, education (mean years of schooling completed and expected years of schooling upon entering the education system), and per capita income indicators, .... It is a founding member of Mercosur
The Southern Common Market, commonly known by Spanish abbreviation Mercosur, and Portuguese Mercosul, is a South American trade bloc established by the Treaty of Asunción in 1991 and Protocol of Ouro Preto in 1994. Its full members are Argentin ..., the United Nations
The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization whose stated purposes are to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harmoniz ..., the Organization of American States
The Organization of American States (OAS; es, Organización de los Estados Americanos, pt, Organização dos Estados Americanos, french: Organisation des États américains; ''OEA'') is an international organization that was founded on 30 April ..., the Non-Aligned Movement and the Lima Group. Additionally, the city of Luque
Luque () is a city in Central Department of Paraguay, part of the Gran Asunción metropolitan area. Both 1635 and 1750 have been recorded as dates of its founding.
It was temporarily the capital of Paraguay in 1868 during the Paraguayan War b ..., in metropolitan Asuncion, is the seat of the South American Football Confederation
The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL, , or CSF; es, Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol; pt, Confederação Sul-Americana de Futebol) is the continental governing body of football in South America (apart from Guyana, Surina ....
The majority of Paraguay's seven million people are '' mestizo
(; ; fem. ) is a term used for racial classification to refer to a person of mixed European and Indigenous American ancestry. In certain regions such as Latin America, it may also refer to people who are culturally European even though thei ...'', and Guarani culture remains widely influential; more than 90% of the population speak various dialects of the Guarani language
Guaraní (), specifically the primary variety known as Paraguayan Guarani ( "the people's language"), is a South American language that belongs to the Tupi–Guarani family of the Tupian languages. It is one of the official languages of ... alongside Spanish. Despite a history of poverty and political repression, in a 2017 Positive Experience Index based on global polling data, Paraguay ranked as the "world's happiest place".
The origin of the name Paraguay is uncertain. One version postulates the name takes from Guaraní ''paraguá'' "feather crown" and ''y'' "water" thus ''paraguaí'' "feather crown of waters". Other versions affirm that the name derives from the Payaguá people, for the
The Paraguay River (Río Paraguay in Spanish, Rio Paraguai in Portuguese, Ysyry Paraguái in Guarani) is a major river in south-central South America, running through Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina. It flows about from its headwaters in ... was called the ''Payaguá-y'', or "river of the Payaguás" by the Guaraní and hence would have come the name for the country; or that, also from the Guaraní, ''para'' would mean sea, ''gua'', originates, and ''y'', river, thus Paraguay would mean "river which gives birth to the sea".
The indigenous Guaraní had been living in eastern Paraguay for at least a millennium before the arrival of the Spanish. Western Paraguay, the
The Gran Chaco or Dry Chaco is a sparsely populated, hot and semiarid lowland natural region of the Río de la Plata basin, divided among eastern Bolivia, western Paraguay, northern Argentina, and a portion of the Brazilian states of Mato Gro ..., was inhabited by nomads of whom the Guaycuru peoples were the most prominent. The Paraguay River was roughly the dividing line between the agricultural Guarani people to the east and the nomadic and semi-nomadic people to the west in the Gran Chaco. The Guarcuru nomads were known for their warrior traditions and were not fully pacified until the late 19th century. These indigenous tribes belonged to five distinct language families, which were the bases of their major divisions. Differing language speaking groups were generally competitive over resources and territories. They were further divided into tribes by speaking languages in branches of these families. Today 17 separate ethnolinguistic groups remain.
The first Europeans in the area were Spanish explorers in 1516.
[Sacks, Richard S. "Early explorers and conquistadors". In Hanratty & Meditz.] The Spanish explorer Juan de Salazar de Espinosa founded the settlement of Asunción
Asunción (, , , Guarani: Paraguay) is the capital and the largest city of Paraguay.
The city stands on the eastern bank of the Paraguay River, almost at the confluence of this river with the Pilcomayo River. The Paraguay River and the Bay o ... on 15 August 1537. The city eventually became the center of a Spanish colonial province of Paraguay.
An attempt to create an autonomous Christian Indian nation was undertaken by Jesuit
, image = Ihs-logo.svg
, image_size = 175px
, caption = ChristogramOfficial seal of the Jesuits
, abbreviation = SJ
, nickname = Jesuits
, formation =
, founders = ... missions and settlements in this part of South America in the eighteenth century. They developed Jesuit reductions to bring Guarani populations together at Spanish missions and protect them from virtual slavery by Spanish settlers and Portuguese slave raiders, the Bandeirantes
The ''Bandeirantes'' (), literally "flag-carriers", were slavers, explorers, adventurers, and fortune hunters in early Colonial Brazil. They are largely responsible for Brazil's great expansion westward, far beyond the Tordesillas Line of 149 ..., in addition to seeking their conversion to Christianity. Catholicism in Paraguay was influenced by the indigenous peoples; the syncretic
Syncretism () is the practice of combining different beliefs and various schools of thought. Syncretism involves the merging or assimilation of several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, t ... religion has absorbed native elements. The ''reducciones'' flourished in eastern Paraguay for about 150 years, until the expulsion of the Jesuits by the Spanish Crown in 1767. The ruins of two 18th-century Jesuit Missions of La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná and Jesús de Tavarangue have been designated as World Heritage Sites
A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for ... by UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences and culture. It ....
In western Paraguay, Spanish settlement and Christianity were strongly resisted by the nomadic Guaycuru and other nomads from the 16th century onward. Most of these peoples were absorbed into the mestizo
(; ; fem. ) is a term used for racial classification to refer to a person of mixed European and Indigenous American ancestry. In certain regions such as Latin America, it may also refer to people who are culturally European even though thei ... population in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Independence and rule of Francia
Paraguay overthrew the local Spanish administration on 14 May 1811. Paraguay's first dictator was
José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia
José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia y Velasco () (6 January 1766 – 20 September 1840) was a Paraguayan lawyer and politician, and the first dictator (1814–1840) of Paraguay following its 1811 independence from the Spanish Viceroyalty of ... who ruled Paraguay from 1814 until his death in 1840, with very little outside contact or influence. He intended to create a utopian
A utopia ( ) typically describes an imaginary community or society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its members. It was coined by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book ''Utopia'', describing a fictional island society ... society based on the French theorist Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, ; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Age of Enlightenment throughout Europe, as well as aspects of the French Revol ...'s ''Social Contract''. Rodríguez de Francia was nicknamed ''El Supremo''.
Rodríguez de Francia established new laws that greatly reduced the powers of the Catholic church (Catholicism was then an established state religion) and the cabinet, forbade colonial citizens from marrying one another and allowed them to marry only blacks, mulattoes or natives, in order to break the power of colonial-era elites and to create a mixed-race
Mixed race people are people of more than one race or ethnicity. A variety of terms have been used both historically and presently for mixed race people in a variety of contexts, including ''multiethnic'', ''polyethnic'', occasionally ''bi-eth ... or mestizo society. He cut off relations between Paraguay and the rest of South America. Because of Francia's restrictions of freedom, Fulgencio Yegros and several other Independence-era leaders in 1820 planned a ''coup d’état'' against Francia, who discovered the plot and had its leaders either executed or imprisoned for life.
Rule of the López family
After Francia's death in 1840, Paraguay was ruled by various military officers under a new ''
Junta may refer to:
Government and military
* Junta (governing body) (from Spanish), the name of various historical and current governments and governing institutions, including civil ones
** Military junta, one form of junta, government led by ...'', until Carlos Antonio López
Carlos Antonio López Ynsfrán (November 4, 1792 – September 10, 1862) served as leader of Paraguay from 1841 to 1862.
López was born at Manorá (Asunción) on November 4, 1792, as one of eight children. He graduated from Real C ... (allegedly Rodríguez de Francia's nephew) came to power in 1841. López modernized Paraguay and opened it to foreign commerce. He signed a non-aggression pact with Argentina and officially declared independence of Paraguay in 1842. After López's death in 1862, power was transferred to his eldest son, Francisco Solano López.
The regime of the López family was characterized by pervasive and rigid centralism in production and distribution. There was no distinction between the public and the private spheres, and the López family ruled the country as it would a large estate.
The government exerted control on all exports. The export of yerba mate
Yerba mate or yerba-maté (''Ilex paraguariensis''; from Spanish ; pt, erva-mate, or ; gn, ka'a, ) is a plant species of the holly genus '' Ilex'' native to South America. It was named by the French botanist Augustin Saint-Hilaire. The le ... and valuable wood products maintained the balance of trade between Paraguay and the outside world. The Paraguayan government was extremely protectionist, levying high tariff
A tariff is a tax imposed by the government of a country or by a supranational union on imports or exports of goods. Besides being a source of revenue for the government, import duties can also be a form of regulation of foreign trade and pol ...s against imported foreign products. This protectionism
Protectionism, sometimes referred to as trade protectionism, is the economic policy of restricting imports from other countries through methods such as tariffs on imported goods, import quotas, and a variety of other government regulations ... made the society self-sufficient, and it also avoided the debt suffered by Argentina and Brazil. Slavery existed in Paraguay, although not in great numbers, until 1844, when it was legally abolished in the new constitution.
Francisco Solano López, the son of Carlos Antonio López, replaced his father as the President-Dictator in 1862, and generally continued the political policies of his father. Both wanted to give an international image of Paraguay as "democratic and republican", but in fact, the ruling family had almost total control of all public life in the country, including church and colleges.
Militarily, Carlos Antonio López modernized and expanded industry and the Paraguayan Army and greatly strengthened the strategic defenses of Paraguay by developing the Fortress of Humaitá. The government hired more than 200 foreign technicians, who installed telegraph lines and railroads to aid the expanding steel, textile, paper and ink, naval construction, weapons and gunpowder industries. The Ybycuí foundry, completed in 1850, initially supplied all public works with iron and was used to make tools for the populace. In the 1860s, it also started to manufacture cannons, mortars and bullets of all calibers. River warships were built in the shipyards of Asunción. Fortifications were built, especially along the Apa River and in Gran Chaco
The Gran Chaco or Dry Chaco is a sparsely populated, hot and semiarid lowland natural region of the Río de la Plata basin, divided among eastern Bolivia, western Paraguay, northern Argentina, and a portion of the Brazilian states of Mato Gro .... [Hooker, T.D., 2008, The Paraguayan War, Nottingham: Foundry Books, ] The work was continued by his son Francisco Solano and in terms of socio-economic development, the country was dubbed as "the most advanced Republic in South America", notably by the British judge and politician Sir Robert Phillimore.
According to George Thompson, Lieutenant Colonel of Engineers in the Paraguayan Army prior to and during the war, López's government was comparatively a good one for Paraguay:
Paraguayan War (1864–1870)
On 12 October 1864, despite Paraguayan ultimatums,
Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At and with over 217 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area ... (allied with the Argentine Government under General Bartolomé Mitre and the rebellious Uruguayan colorados led by Gen. Venancio Flores) invaded the Republic of Uruguay in order to overthrow the government of that time (which was under the rule of the Blanco Party, an ally of López), thus starting the Paraguayan War.
The Paraguayans, led by the Marshal of the Republic Francisco Solano López, retaliated by attacking Mato Grosso on 15 December 1864 and later declared war against Argentina on 23 March 1865. The Blanco Government was toppled and replaced by a Colorado Government under General Venancio Flores on 22 February 1865. Afterward, the Argentine Republic, the Empire of Brazil
The Empire of Brazil was a 19th-century state that broadly comprised the territories which form modern Brazil and (until 1828) Uruguay. Its government was a representative parliamentary constitutional monarchy under the rule of Emperors Dom ... and the Republic of Uruguay signed the Secret Treaty of the Triple Alliance against the Paraguayan Government on 1 May 1865.
The Paraguayans put up a ferocious resistance but ultimately lost in 1870 in the Battle of Cerro Corá, where Marshal Solano López refused to surrender and died in action. The real causes of this war, which remains the bloodiest international conflict in the history of the Americas
The Americas, which are sometimes collectively called America, are a landmass comprising the totality of North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World.
Along with th ..., are still highly debatable.
Paraguay lost 25–33% of its territory to Argentina and Brazil, paid an enormous war debt, and sold large amounts of national properties to stabilize its internal budget. The worst consequence of the war was the catastrophic loss of population. At least 50% of the Paraguayans died during the conflict, numbers which took many decades for the country to return to. About the disaster suffered by the Paraguayans at the outcome of the war, William D. Rubinstein wrote:
"The normal estimate is that of a Paraguayan population of somewhere between 450,000 and 900,000, only 220,000 survived the war, of whom only 28,000 were adult males."
During the pillaging of Asunción in 1869, the Imperial Brazilian Army
The Imperial Brazilian Army ( Portuguese: Exército Imperial Brasileiro) was the name given to the land force of the Empire of Brazil. The Brazilian Army was formed after the independence of the country from Portugal in 1822 and reformed in 1889, ... packed up and transported the Paraguayan National Archives to Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro ( , , ; literally 'River of January'), or simply Rio, is the capital of the state of the same name, Brazil's third-most populous state, and the second-most populous city in Brazil, after São Paulo. Listed by the GaWC as a .... Brazil's records from the war have remained classified. This has made Paraguayan history in the colonial and early national periods difficult to research and study.
Following the attacks, in 1870, The Republic of Colombia officially offered to all citizens of Paraguay, the Colombian citizenship, just by stepping on Colombian national territory.
In 1904 a revolution against the rule of the Colorados, who had been in power since the 1880s, broke out. The subsequent period, on which Paraguay was governed by the Liberals, was one of great political instability. Between 1904 and 1954 Paraguay had thirty-one presidents, most of whom were removed from office by force. Conflicts between the factions of the ruling Liberal party led to the Paraguayan Civil War of 1922.
A long-lasting unresolved border conflict with Bolivia over the Chaco region erupted in the early 1930s in the
The Chaco War ( es, link=no, Guerra del Chaco, gn, Cháko Ñorairõ
[February Revolution brought colonel Rafael Franco to power. Between 1940 and 1948, the country was ruled by general Higinio Morínigo. Dissatisfaction with his rule resulted in the Paraguayan civil war of 1947. In its aftermath Alfredo Stroessner, began involvement in a string of plots, which resulted in his military coup d'état of 4 May 1954. In the aftermath of ](_blank) World War II
World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ..., Paraguay had become a hideout for Nazi fugitives accused of war crimes.
Stroessner era, 1954–1989
A series of unstable governments ensued until the establishment in 1954 of the regime of the dictator Alfredo Stroessner, who remained in office for more than three decades until 1989. Paraguay was modernized to some extent under Stroessner's regime, although his rule was marked by extensive human rights abuses.
Stroessner and the ''Colorado'' party ruled the country from 1954 to 1989. The dictator oversaw an era of economic expansion, but also had a poor human rights and environmental record (see "Political History"). Paraguay actively participated in Operation Condor. Torture and death for political opponents was routine. After his overthrow, the ''Colorado'' continued to dominate national politics until 2008.
The splits in the ''Colorado'' Party in the 1980s, and the prevailing conditions – Stroessner's advanced age, the character of the regime, the economic downturn, and international isolation – were catalysts for anti-regime demonstrations and statements by the opposition prior to the 1988 general elections.
'' PLRA'' leader Domingo Laíno served as the focal point of the opposition in the second half of the 1980s. The government's effort to isolate Laíno by exiling him in 1982 had backfired. On his sixth attempt to re-enter the country in 1986, Laíno returned with three television crews from the U.S., a former United States ambassador to Paraguay, and a group of Uruguayan and Argentine congressmen. Despite the international contingent, the police violently barred Laíno's return.
The Stroessner regime relented in April 1987, and permitted Laíno to return to Asunción. Laíno took the lead in organizing demonstrations and reducing infighting among the opposition party. The opposition was unable to reach agreement on a common strategy regarding the elections, with some parties advocating abstention, and others calling for blank voting. The parties held numerous 'lightning demonstrations' (''mítines relámpagos''), especially in rural areas. Such demonstrations were gathered and quickly disbanded before the arrival of the police.
In response to the upsurge in opposition activities, Stroessner condemned the Accord for advocating "sabotage of the general elections and disrespect of the law". He used national police and civilian vigilantes of the ''Colorado'' Party to break up demonstrations. A number of opposition leaders were imprisoned or otherwise harassed. , another key leader of the ''PLRA'', was imprisoned for four months in 1987 on charges of sedition. In early February 1988, police arrested 200 people attending a National Coordinating Committee meeting in Coronel Oviedo. Laíno and several other opposition figures were arrested before dawn on the day of the election, 14 February, and held for twelve hours. The government declared Stroessner's re-election with 89% of the vote.
The opposition attributed the results in part to the virtual Colorado monopoly on the mass media. They noted that 53% of those polled indicated that there was an "uneasiness" in Paraguayan society. Some 74% believed that the political situation required changes, including 45% who wanted a substantial or total change. Finally, 31% stated that they planned to abstain from voting in the February elections.
Stroessner's overthrow, post-1989
On 3 February 1989, Stroessner was overthrown in a military coup headed by General Andrés Rodríguez. As president, Rodríguez instituted political, legal, and economic reforms and initiated a ''rapprochement'' with the international community. Reflecting the deep hunger of the rural poor for land, hundreds immediately occupied thousands of acres of unused territories belonging to Stroessner and his associates; by mid-1990, 19,000 families occupied . At the time, 2.06 million people lived in rural areas, more than half of the 4.1 million total population, and most were landless.
[Nagel, Beverly Y.(1999) "'Unleashing the Fury': The Cultural Discourse of Rural Violence and Land Rights in Paraguay"](_blank)
The June 1992 constitution established a democratic system of government and dramatically improved protection of fundamental human rights. In May 1993, Colorado Party candidate Juan Carlos Wasmosy was elected as Paraguay's first civilian president in almost forty years, in what international observers deemed free and fair elections.
With support from the United States, the Organization of American States, and other countries in the region, the Paraguayan people rejected an April 1996 attempt by then Army Chief General Lino Oviedo to oust President Wasmosy.
Oviedo was nominated as the Colorado candidate for president in the 1998 election. However, when the Supreme Court upheld in April his conviction on charges related to the 1996 coup attempt, he was not allowed to run and was detained in jail. His former running mate, Raúl Cubas, became the Colorado Party's candidate, and was elected in May in elections deemed by international observers to be free and fair. One of Cubas' first acts after taking office in August was to commute Oviedo's sentence and release him. In December 1998, Paraguay's Supreme Court declared these actions unconstitutional. In this tense atmosphere, the murder of Vice President and long-time Oviedo rival Luis María Argaña on 23 March 1999, led the Chamber of Deputies to impeach Cubas the next day. On 26 March, eight student anti-government demonstrators were murdered, widely believed to have been carried out by Oviedo supporters. This increased opposition to Cubas, who resigned on 28 March. Senate President Luis González Macchi, a Cubas opponent, was peacefully sworn in as president the same day.
In 2003, Nicanor Duarte was elected as president.
, in ''Comparative Studies in Society and History'', 1999, Vol. 41, Issue 1: 148–181. Cambridge University Press.
Election of Fernando Lugo
For the 2008 general elections, the Colorado Party was favored in polls. Their candidate was Minister of Education Blanca Ovelar, the first woman to be nominated as a candidate for a major party in Paraguayan history. After sixty years of Colorado rule, voters chose Fernando Lugo, a former Roman Catholic Bishop and not a professional politician in civil government, and a member of the Authentic Radical Liberal Party, Paraguay's largest opposition party. Lugo was an adherent of
Liberation theology is a Christian theological approach emphasizing the liberation of the oppressed. In certain contexts, it engages socio-economic analyses, with "social concern for the poor and political liberation for oppressed peoples". I .... Lugo achieved a historic victory in Paraguay's presidential election, defeating the ruling party candidate, and ending 61 years of conservative rule. Lugo won with nearly 41% of the vote, compared to almost 31% for Blanca Ovelar of the Colorado party. Outgoing President Nicanor Duarte Frutos hailed the moment as the first time in the history of the nation that a government had transferred power to opposition forces in a constitutional and peaceful fashion.
Lugo was sworn in on 15 August 2008. The Lugo administration set its two major priorities as the reduction of corruption and economic inequality.
Political instability following Lugo's election and disputes within his cabinet encouraged some renewal of popular support for the Colorado Party. Reports suggested that the businessman Horacio Cartes became the new political figure amid disputes. Despite the US Drug Enforcement Administration's strong accusations against Cartes related to drug trafficking
A drug is any chemical substance that causes a change in an organism's physiology or psychology when consumed. Drugs are typically distinguished from food and substances that provide nutritional support. Consumption of drugs can be via inhalati ..., he continued to amass followers in the political arena.
On 14 January 2011, the Colorado Party convention nominated Horacio Cartes as the presidential candidate for the party. However, the party's constitution did not allow it. On 21 June 2012, impeachment proceedings against President Lugo began in the country's lower house, which was controlled by his opponents. Lugo was given less than twenty-four hours to prepare for the proceedings and only two hours in which to mount a defense. Impeachment was quickly approved and the resulting trial in Paraguay's Senate, also controlled by the opposition, ended with the removal of Lugo from office and Vice President Federico Franco assuming the duties of president. Lugo's rivals blamed him for the deaths of 17 people – eight police officers and nine farmers – in armed clashes after police were ambushed by armed peasants when enforcing an eviction order against rural trespassers.
Lugo's supporters gathered outside Congress to protest the decision as a "politically motivated coup d'état". [ Lugo's removal from office on 22 June 2012 is considered by UNASUR and other neighboring countries, especially those currently governed by leftist leaders, as a coup d'état. However, the Organization of American States, which sent a mission to Paraguay to gather information, concluded that the impeachment process was not a coup d'état, as it had been carried out in accordance with the Constitution of Paraguay.
From August 2013 to 15 August 2018, the President of Paraguay was Horacio Cartes. Since 15 August 2018, the President of Paraguay has been Mario Abdo Benítez. They are both from the conservative Colorado Party.
Paraguay is divided by the Río Paraguay into two well differentiated geographic regions. The eastern region (Región Oriental); and the western region, officially called Western Paraguay (Región Occidental) and also known as the Chaco, which is part of the
The Gran Chaco or Dry Chaco is a sparsely populated, hot and semiarid lowland natural region of the Río de la Plata basin, divided among eastern Bolivia, western Paraguay, northern Argentina, and a portion of the Brazilian states of Mato Gro .... The country lies between latitudes 19° and 28°S, and longitudes 54° and 63°W.
The terrain consists mostly of grassy plains and wooded hills in the eastern region. To the west are mostly low, marshy plains. Paraguay contains six terrestrial ecoregions: Alto Paraná Atlantic forests, Chaco, Cerrado
The ''Cerrado'' (, ) is a vast ecoregion of tropical savanna in eastern Brazil, particularly in the states of Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Tocantins, Minas Gerais, and the Federal District. The core areas of the Cerrado biome are t ..., Humid Chaco, Pantanal
The Pantanal () is a natural region encompassing the world's largest tropical wetland area, and the world's largest flooded grasslands. It is located mostly within the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, but it extends into Mato Grosso and po ..., and Paraná flooded savanna. It had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 6.39/10, ranking it 74th globally out of 172 countries. The Guarani Aquifer is an important exorheic basin to the region.
Although Paraguay is landlocked, there are a number of noteworthy lakeside beaches.
The overall climate is
The tropics are the regions of Earth surrounding the Equator. They are defined in latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere at N and the Tropic of Capricorn in
the Southern Hemisphere at S. The tropics are also referred to ... to subtropical. Like most lands in the region, Paraguay has only wet and dry periods. Winds play a major role in influencing Paraguay's weather: between October and March, warm winds blow from the Amazon Basin in the north, while the period between May and August brings cold winds from the Andes.
The absence of mountain ranges to provide a natural barrier allows winds to develop speeds as high as . This also leads to significant changes in temperature within a short span of time; between April and September, temperatures will sometimes drop below freezing. January is the hottest summer month, with an average daily temperature of 28.9 degrees Celsius (84 degrees F).
Rainfall varies dramatically across the country, with substantial rainfall in the eastern portions, and semi-arid conditions in the far west. The far eastern forest belt receives an average of of rain annually, while the western Chaco region typically averages no more than a year. The rains in the west tend to be irregular and evaporate quickly, contributing to the aridity of the area.
Wildlife in Paraguay include marsh deer,
Monkey is a common name that may refer to most mammals of the infraorder Simiiformes, also known as the simians. Traditionally, all animals in the group now known as simians are counted as monkeys except the apes, which constitutes an incompl ...s, armadillo
Armadillos (meaning "little armored ones" in Spanish) are New World placental mammals in the order Cingulata. The Chlamyphoridae and Dasypodidae are the only surviving families in the order, which is part of the superorder Xenarthra, alo ...s, anteater
Anteater is a common name for the four extant mammal species of the suborder Vermilingua (meaning "worm tongue") commonly known for eating ants and termites. The individual species have other names in English and other languages. Together with ...s, otter
Otters are carnivorous mammals in the subfamily Lutrinae. The 13 extant otter species are all semiaquatic, aquatic, or marine, with diets based on fish and invertebrates. Lutrinae is a branch of the Mustelidae family, which also includes we ...s, wild boars, tapirs, jaguars, ocelot
The ocelot (''Leopardus pardalis'') is a medium-sized spotted wild cat that reaches at the shoulders and weighs between on average. It was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758. Two subspecies are recognized. It is native to the southwe ...s, bat
Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera.''cheir'', "hand" and πτερόν''pteron'', "wing". With their forelimbs adapted as wings, they are the only mammals capable of true and sustained flight. Bats are more agile in flight than most bi ...s, and the coypu.
Government and politics
Paraguay is a representative democratic republic, with a
In political science, a multi-party system is a political system in which multiple political parties across the political spectrum run for national elections, and all have the capacity to gain control of government offices, separately or in coal ... and separation of powers across three branches. Executive power is exercised solely by the President
President most commonly refers to:
*President (corporate title)
*President (education), a leader of a college or university
*President (government title)
President may also refer to:
* Nissan President, a 1966–2010 Japanese fu ..., who is head of state
A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a stateFoakes, pp. 110–11 " he head of statebeing an embodiment of the State itself or representatitve of its international persona." in its unity and l ... and head of government
The head of government is the highest or the second-highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, autonomous region, or other government who often presides over a cabinet, .... Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the National Congress. The judiciary is vested on tribunals and Courts of Civil Law and a nine-member Supreme Court of Justice, all of them independent of the executive and the legislature.
The military of Paraguay consists of an
An army (from Old French ''armee'', itself derived from the Latin verb ''armāre'', meaning "to arm", and related to the Latin noun ''arma'', meaning "arms" or "weapons"), ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on ..., navy (including naval aviation
Naval aviation is the application of military air power by navies, whether from warships that embark aircraft, or land bases.
Naval aviation is typically projected to a position nearer the target by way of an aircraft carrier. Carrier-based ... and marine corps) and air force. Paraguay's constitution establishes the president of Paraguay as commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
Paraguay has compulsory military service; all 18-year-old males, as well as 17-year-old males in the year of their 18th birthday, are liable for one year of active duty
Active duty, in contrast to reserve duty, is a full-time occupation as part of a military force. In the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations, the equivalent term is active service.
The Indian Armed Forces are considered to be one .... While the constitution allows for conscientious objection
A conscientious objector (often shortened to conchie) is an "individual who has claimed the right to refuse to perform military service" on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, or religion. The term has also been extended to obje ..., no enabling legislation has yet been approved.
Paraguay has partnered with Argentina, Brazil, and the United States in regional anti-terrorism and anti-narcotics efforts. In July 2005, U.S. special forces began arriving at Paraguay's Mariscal Estigarribia air base to support joint training and humanitarian operations. [US Marines put a foot in Paraguay](_blank) In 2019, Asuncion hosted the first meeting of the Regional Security Mechanism (RSM), which promotes cooperation between Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, and the U.S. in addressing
, '' El Clarín'', 9 September 2005
transnational crime Transnational crimes are crimes that have actual or potential effect across national borders and crimes that are intrastate but offend fundamental values of the international community. The term is commonly used in the law enforcement and academic c ... and terrorism in the "triple frontier" region.
Paraguay consists of seventeen departments and one capital district (''distrito capital'').
It is also divided into two regions: The "Occidental Region" or Chaco (Boquerón, Alto Paraguay and Presidente Hayes), and the "Oriental Region" (the other departments and the capital district).
These are the departments, with their capitals, population, area and the number of districts:
For many years, the country's image was associated with the illicit trade in electronic products,
A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used to deter, threaten, inflict physical damage, harm, or kill. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficiency of activities such as hunting, crime, law enforcement, s ... and drugs
A drug is any chemical substance that causes a change in an organism's physiology or psychology when consumed. Drugs are typically distinguished from food and substances that provide nutritional support. Consumption of drugs can be via inhalati .... However, this scenario began to change in the 2000s, with the rise of legalized businesses such as the production of soy, maize, beef, among others. Data from the Central Bank of Paraguay (BCP) showed that, in 2006, exports related to the triangulation trade (China-Paraguay-Brazil), treated by Brazil – in most cases – as smuggling and embezzlement, represented 22% of the country's GDP. In 2016, this percentage dropped to 12%. With higher tax collections through legalized employment, the country has been able to improve its infrastructure, which was precarious. Paraguay has an economic development policy based on exports and dependence on the Brazilian market prevails. The triangulation trade has in its essence the export of products originating in China, with Brazil as its main destination. The energy exported is essentially the hydroelectric surplus generated by the Itaipu Power Plant, for which Brazil is the main buyer. And maquilas, whose main investors are Brazilians, also have a large consumer market in Brazil for their products. Therefore, in these three pillars of Paraguay's development strategy, there is the outstanding characteristic of re-exports. In the case of agricultural commodities, it is the export of products originating in Paraguay.
In the 2010s, the economy, largely directed towards soybean production, grew by an average of 4%. The economic growth did not, however, reduce poverty, which in 2018, according to official figures, reached more than 26% of the population. According to ''The New York Times'', Paraguay is "one of the Latin American countries where the gap between rich and poor has widened the most in recent years." In the countryside, 85% of agricultural land is owned by 2.6% of the owners. In addition, people of indigenous descent have been expelled to make way for soybean companies.
In 2005, the International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a major financial agency of the United Nations, and an international financial institution, headquartered in Washington, D.C., consisting of 190 countries. Its stated mission is "working to foster glo ... stated that fewer than 10% of workers in Paraguay participate in the pension system, 95% of which is administered by two institutions. Both are financed on a pay as you go system by worker contributions; the first, is for private sector employees, and the for public employees (including university professors, teachers, judicial employees, army officers and police officers) and veterans of the Chaco War (or their descendants).
The market economy is 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. Nonetheless, over the last 10 years the Paraguayan economy diversified dramatically, with the energy, auto parts and clothing industries leading the way.
Paraguay's most important urban area
An urban area, built-up area or urban agglomeration is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created through urbanization and are categorized by urban morphology as cities, ...s are located along the Argentina-Paraguay border: Asunción
Asunción (, , , Guarani: Paraguay) is the capital and the largest city of Paraguay.
The city stands on the eastern bank of the Paraguay River, almost at the confluence of this river with the Pilcomayo River. The Paraguay River and the Bay o ..., Alberdi, Encarnación, Pilar and Ciudad del Este, the latter being the third most important free commercial zone in the world, only trailing behind Miami
Miami ( ), officially the City of Miami, known as "the 305", "The Magic City", and "Gateway to the Americas", is a coastal metropolis and the county seat of Miami-Dade County in South Florida, United States. With a population of 442,241 at the ... and Hong Kong
Hong Kong ( (US) or (UK); , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (abbr. Hong Kong SAR or HKSAR), is a List of cities in China, city and Special administrative regions of China, special .... 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. The economy grew rapidly between 2003 and 2013 as growing world demand for commodities combined with high prices and favorable weather to support Paraguay's commodity-based export expansion.
In 2012, Paraguay's government introduced the MERCOSUR (FOCEM) system in order to stimulate the economy and job growth through a partnership with both Brazil and Argentina.
Paraguay is the sixth-largest
The soybean, soy bean, or soya bean (''Glycine max'') is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean, which has numerous uses.
Traditional unfermented food uses of soybeans include soy milk, from which tof ... producer in the world, the second-largest producer of stevia
Stevia () is a natural sweetener and sugar substitute derived from the leaves of the plant species '' Stevia rebaudiana'', native to Paraguay and Brazil.
The active compounds are steviol glycosides (mainly stevioside and rebaudioside), whic ... and the ninth-largest exporter of beef
Beef is the culinary name for meat from cattle (''Bos taurus'').
In prehistoric times, humankind hunted aurochs and later domesticated them. Since that time, numerous breeds of cattle have been bred specifically for the quality or quantity ....
In 2018, in addition to soy, the country had a large production of maize
Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American and Australian English), is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples in southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago. T ... and sugar cane
Sugarcane or sugar cane is a species of (often hybrid) tall, perennial grass (in the genus '' Saccharum'', tribe Andropogoneae) that is used for sugar production. The plants are 2–6 m (6–20 ft) tall with stout, jointed, fibrous stalks ..., where it positioned itself as the 21st largest producer in the world; other important cultures of the country are cassava, rice
Rice is the seed of the grass species '' Oryza sativa'' (Asian rice) or less commonly ''Oryza glaberrima'' (African rice). The name wild rice is usually used for species of the genera ''Zizania'' and ''Porteresia'', both wild and domesticated, ..., wheat, orange, yerba mate
Yerba mate or yerba-maté (''Ilex paraguariensis''; from Spanish ; pt, erva-mate, or ; gn, ka'a, ) is a plant species of the holly genus '' Ilex'' native to South America. It was named by the French botanist Augustin Saint-Hilaire. The le ..., and sorghum. In livestock, Paraguay produced, in 2020, 481 thousand tons of beef, being the 26th largest producer in the world.
The culture of soy was brought by Brazilians to the country: in 2019, almost 70% of soy and rice producers in Paraguay were people from Brazil, or descendants of Brazilians (the so-called brasiguaios). The first Brazilian producers began to arrive in the country in the 1980s. Before that, there was a lot of undisturbed land in the country.
Industry and manufacturing
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and grants to the governments of low- and middle-income countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects. The World Bank is the collective name for the Inte ... lists the top producing countries each year, based on the total value of production. By the 2019 list, Paraguay had the 79th most valuable industry in the world ($6.9 billion). The country was the seventh largest producer of soybean oil in the world in 2018.
The mineral industry of Paraguay produces about 25% of the country's gross domestic product
Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced and sold (not resold) in a specific time period by countries. Due to its complex and subjective nature this measure is of ... (GDP) and employs about 31% of the labor force. Production of cement, iron ore
Iron ores are rocks and minerals from which metallic iron can be economically extracted. The ores are usually rich in iron oxides and vary in color from dark grey, bright yellow, or deep purple to rusty red. The iron is usually found in the ..., and steel
Steel is an alloy made up of iron with added carbon to improve its strength and fracture resistance compared to other forms of iron. Many other elements may be present or added. Stainless steels that are corrosion- and oxidation-resistan ... occurs commonly throughout Paraguay's industrial sector. The growth of the industry was further fueled by the maquila
A (), or (), is a word that refers to factories that are largely duty free and tariff-free. These factories take raw materials and assemble, manufacture, or process them and export the finished product. These factories and systems are present t ... industry, with large industrial complexes located in the eastern part of the country. Paraguay put in place many incentives aimed to attract industries to the country. One of them is the so-called "Maquila law" by which companies can relocate to Paraguay, enjoying minimal tax rates.
In the pharmaceutical industry
The pharmaceutical industry discovers, develops, produces, and markets drugs or pharmaceutical drugs for use as medications to be administered to patients (or self-administered), with the aim to cure them, vaccinate them, or alleviate symptoms. ..., Paraguayan companies now meet 70% of domestic consumption and have begun to export drugs. Paraguay is quickly supplanting foreign suppliers in meeting the country's drug needs. Strong growth also is evident in the production of edible oils, garments, organic sugar, meat processing, and steel.
In 2003, manufacturing comprised 13.6% of the GDP and it employed about 11% of the working population in 2000. Paraguay's primary manufacturing focus is on food and beverages. Wood products, paper products, hides and furs, and non-metallic mineral products also contribute to manufacturing totals. Steady growth in the manufacturing GDP during the 1990s (1.2% annually) laid the foundation for 2002 and 2003, when the annual growth rate rose to 2.5%. Paraguay was ranked 88th in the Global Innovation Index in 2021, up from 95th in 2019.
According to official data from the M.O.P.C (Ministry of Public Works and Communications of Paraguay), in 2019, there were a total of of roads, of which were paved. One of the most important recent investments in the country's history is the construction of the Bioceanic Corridor, which will cross the north of Paraguay in a horizontal line, connecting Brazil to Argentina, reaching both the ports of northern Chile, as to Brazilian ports. The work will open a new route for exports of products to Asia, and will enable the development of an isolated region of Paraguay, the Chaco. In February 2022, Paraguay inaugurated of the road (about half of the route), connecting Carmelo Peralta (Alto Paraguay), on the border with Brazil, to Loma Plata (Boquerón), in the center of the country. Paraguay has also been implementing the country's first double highway: of the Route 2, which connects the capital Asunción to Ciudad del Este, on the border with Brazil (the highway that also connects with Port of Paranaguá). In January 2022, there were almost duplicated.
River transport is important due to the Paraná-Paraguay system, which covers an area of of navigable network and concentrates the most intense commercial maritime traffic to the Port of Buenos Aires. Asunción is the main port of Paraguay.
Asunción airport is an important stopover for international airlines and Ciudad del Este airport, is an important international air cargo hub.
All of Paraguay's electricity is generated by hydropower, making it one of the cleanest in the world. Paraguay has an installed electrical production capacity of 8,110 MW, producing 63 billion kWh/year in 2016; with domestic consumption of just 15 billion kWh, the excess production is sold to Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, making Paraguay the world's largest exporter of electric power. This production is from two large hydroelectric power projects along its borders, including the
The Itaipu Dam ( pt, Barragem de Itaipu , es, Represa de Itaipú ) is a hydroelectric dam on the Paraná River located on the border between Brazil and Paraguay. The construction of the dam was first contested by Argentina, but the negotiations ..., the world's second largest generating station.
Paraguay's population is distributed unevenly through the country, with the vast majority of people living in the eastern region near the capital and largest city,
Asunción (, , , Guarani: Paraguay) is the capital and the largest city of Paraguay.
The city stands on the eastern bank of the Paraguay River, almost at the confluence of this river with the Pilcomayo River. The Paraguay River and the Bay o ..., which accounts for 10% of the country's population. The Gran Chaco
The Gran Chaco or Dry Chaco is a sparsely populated, hot and semiarid lowland natural region of the Río de la Plata basin, divided among eastern Bolivia, western Paraguay, northern Argentina, and a portion of the Brazilian states of Mato Gro ... region, which includes the Alto Paraguay, Boquerón and Presidente Hayes Department
Presidente Hayes () is a department in Paraguay. The capital is the city of Villa Hayes. The department was named after U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes, who awarded the territory to Paraguay while arbitrating a boundary dispute between Pa ..., and accounts for about 60% of the territory, is home to less than 2% of the population. About 56% of Paraguayans live in urban areas, making Paraguay one of the least urbanized nations in South America.
For most of its history, Paraguay has been a recipient of immigrants, owing to its low population density, especially after the demographic collapse caused by the Paraguayan War. Immigrants include Italians
, flag =
, flag_caption = The national flag of Italy
, population =
, regions = Italy 55,551,000
, region1 = Brazil
, pop1 = 25–33 million
, ref1 =
, region2 ..., Germans, Spanish, English
English usually refers to:
* English language
* English people
English may also refer to:
Peoples, culture, and language
* ''English'', an adjective for something of, from, or related to England
** English national i ..., Russians, Koreans
Koreans ( South Korean: , , North Korean: , ; see names of Korea) are an East Asian ethnic group native to the Korean Peninsula.
Koreans mainly live in the two Korean nation states: North Korea and South Korea (collectively and simply re ..., Chinese, Japanese
Japanese may refer to:
* Something from or related to Japan, an island country in East Asia
* Japanese language, spoken mainly in Japan
* Japanese people, the ethnic group that identifies with Japan through ancestry or culture
** Japanese diaspor ..., Arabs, Ukrainians
Ukrainians ( uk, Українці, Ukraintsi, ) are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine. They are the seventh-largest nation in Europe. The native language of the Ukrainians is Ukrainian. The majority of Ukrainians are Eastern Or ..., Poles
Poles,, ; singular masculine: ''Polak'', singular feminine: ''Polka'' or Polish people, are a West Slavic nation and ethnic group, who share a common history, culture, the Polish language and are identified with the country of Poland in ..., Jews
Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is the age of the Israelites""The ..., Brazilians, Argentines, Americans
Americans are the citizens and nationals of the United States of America.; ; Although direct citizens and nationals make up the majority of Americans, many dual citizens, expatriates, and permanent residents could also legally claim Ame ..., Bolivians
Bolivians ( es, Bolivianos) are people identified with the country of Bolivia. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Bolivians, several (or all) of these connections exist and are collectively the source of ..., Venezuelans
Venezuelans ( Spanish: ''venezolanos'') are the citizens identified with the country of Venezuela. This connection may be through citizenship, descent or cultural. For most Venezuelans, many or all of these connections exist and are the source o ..., Mexicans
Mexicans ( es, mexicanos) are the citizens of the United Mexican States.
The most spoken language by Mexicans is Spanish, but some may also speak languages from 68 different Indigenous linguistic groups and other languages brought to Mexico ..., Chileans
Chileans ( es, Chilenos) are people identified with the country of Chile, whose connection may be residential, legal, historical, ethnic, or cultural. For most Chileans, several or all of these connections exist and are collectively the source ..., Taiwanese and Uruguayans.
Along with German Argentines, German Paraguayans are one of the most prominent and growing German
German(s) may refer to:
* Germany (of or related to)
**Germania (historical use)
* Germans, citizens of Germany, people of German ancestry, or native speakers of the German language
** For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law
**Ger ... communities in South America, with some 25,000 German-speaking Mennonite
Mennonites are groups of Anabaptist Christian church communities of denominations. The name is derived from the founder of the movement, Menno Simons (1496–1561) of Friesland. Through his writings about Reformed Christianity during the Radi ...s living in the Paraguayan Chaco. German settlers founded several towns, such as Hohenau, Filadelfia, Neuland
Neuland is a German typeface that was designed in 1923 by Rudolf Koch for the Klingspor Type Foundry.
Koch designed it by directly carving the type into metal. The original typeface thus had a great deal of variance between the sizes, something ..., Obligado and Nueva Germania. Several websites that promote German immigration to Paraguay claim that 5–7% of the population is of German ancestry, including 150,000 people of German-Brazilian descent. Similarly, from the 1920-30s, Paraguay received waves
Waves most often refers to:
*Waves, oscillations accompanied by a transfer of energy that travel through space or mass.
*Wind waves, surface waves that occur on the free surface of bodies of water.
Waves may also refer to:
* Waves (band ... of Slavic people who settled in Asunción and Southern Paraguay ( Itapúa, Misiones
Misiones (, ''Missions'') is one of the 23 provinces of Argentina, located in the northeastern corner of the country in the Mesopotamia region. It is surrounded by Paraguay to the northwest, Brazil to the north, east and south, and Corrientes P ... and Ñeembucú), especially in the towns of Fram, Coronel Bogado, Encarnación, San Juan del Paraná, San Ignacio and Pilar Paraguay has also been a haven for communities persecuted for the religious faith, like the Bruderhof who were forced to leave England in 1941 because of their pacifist beliefs. Many of these communities have retained their languages and culture, particularly the Brazilians
Brazilians ( pt, Brasileiros, ) are the citizens of Brazil. A Brazilian can also be a person born abroad to a Brazilian parent or legal guardian as well as a person who acquired Brazilian citizenship. Brazil is a multiethnic society, which me ..., who represent the largest and most prominent immigrant group, at around 400,000. Many Brazilian Paraguayans are of German, Italian and Polish descent. There are an estimated 63,000 Afro-Paraguayans
Afro-Paraguayan are Paraguayans of African descent. They can be found in Camba Cua outside Asuncion; Kamba Kokue outside Paraguari, and the city of Emboscada. Currently, the black Paraguayan population accounts for less than 1% of the total pop ..., comprising 1% of the population.
There is no official data on the ethnic composition of the Paraguayan population, as the Department of Statistics, Surveys and Censuses of Paraguay does not ask about ''race'' and ''ethnicity'' in census surveys, although it does inquire about the indigenous population. According to the census of 2002, indigenous people made up 1.7% of Paraguay's total population.
Traditionally, the majority of the Paraguayan population is considered mixed (''mestizo'' in Spanish). HLA-DRB1 polymorphism studies have shown genetic distances between Paraguayans and Spanish populations were closer than between Paraguayans and Guaranis, suggesting the predominance of Spanish genetics among Paraguayans.
According to , Paraguay has a population of , of which 95% are Mestizo or white and 5% are labelled as "other", which includes members of 17 distinct ethnolinguistic indigenous groups, many of which are poorly documented.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics worldwide . It is among the world's oldest and largest international institutions, and has played a ..., is the dominant religion in Paraguay. According to the 2002 census, 89.9% of the population was Catholic, 6.2% was Evangelical Protestant, 1.1% identified with other Christian sects, and 0.6% practiced indigenous religions. A U.S. State Department report on Religious Freedom names Catholicism, evangelical Protestantism, mainline Protestantism, Judaism (Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform), Mormonism
Mormonism is the religious tradition and theology of the Latter Day Saint movement of Restorationist Christianity started by Joseph Smith in Western New York in the 1820s and 1830s. As a label, Mormonism has been applied to various aspects of ..., and the Baháʼí Faith
The Baháʼí Faith is a religion founded in the 19th century that teaches the essential worth of all religions and the unity of all people. Established by Baháʼu'lláh in the 19th century, it initially developed in Iran and parts of the ... as prominent religious groups. It also mentions a large Muslim community in Alto Paraná (as a result of Middle-Eastern immigration, especially from Lebanon
Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon () or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus ...) and a prominent Mennonite community in Boquerón.
Paraguay is a bilingual nation. Both Spanish/Castilian and Guaraní are official languages. The Guaraní language is a remarkable trace of the indigenous Guaraní culture that has endured in Paraguay. Guaraní claims its place as one of the last surviving and thriving of South American indigenous national languages. In 2015, Castilian was spoken by about 87% of the population, while Guaraní is spoken by more than 90%, or slightly more than 5.8 million speakers. 52% of rural Paraguayans are bilingual in Guaraní. While Guaraní is still widely spoken, Spanish is generally given a preferential treatment in government, business, media and education as one of South America's
A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a language systematically used to make communication possible between groups ...s. [Paraguayan Guaraní](_blank)
There are approximately 19 other indigenous languages spoken in Paraguay, many of which are threatened by extinction. Languages such as Guana, Ayoreo and Ishir (Chamacoco) are considered endangered.
Literacy in its broadest sense describes "particular ways of thinking about and doing reading and writing" with the purpose of understanding or expressing thoughts or ideas in written form in some specific context of use. In other words, hum ... was about 93.6% and 87.7% of Paraguayans finish the fifth grade according to UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences and culture. It ...'s last Educational Development Index 2008. Literacy does not differ much by gender. A more recent study reveals that attendance at primary school by children between 6 and 12 years old is about 98%. Primary education is free and mandatory and takes nine years. Secondary education takes three years.
Main universities in Paraguay include:
* National University of Asunción (public and founded in 1889)
* Autonomous University of Asunción (private and founded in 1979)
* Universidad Católica Nuestra Señora de la Asunción
Universidad (Spanish for "university") may refer to:
* Universidad, San Juan, Puerto Rico
* Universidad (Madrid)
* Universidad SC, a Guatemalan football club that represents the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala
... (private and run by the church).
* Universidad Americana (private).
* Universidad del Pacífico (private and founded in 1991).
The net primary enrollment rate was at 88% in 2005. Public expenditure on education was about 4.3% of GDP in the early 2000s.
Average life expectancy in Paraguay is rather high given its poverty: , it was 75 years, equivalent to far wealthier Argentina, and the eighth highest in the Americas according to World Health Organization. Public expenditure on health is 2.6% of GDP, while private health expenditure is 5.1%.
Infant mortality was 20 per 1,000 births in 2005. Maternal mortality was 150 per 100,000 live births in 2000.
The World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and grants to the governments of low- and middle-income countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects. The World Bank is the collective name for the Inte ... has helped the Paraguayan government reduce the country's maternal and infant mortality. The ''Mother and Child Basic Health Insurance Project'' aimed to contribute to reducing mortality by increasing the use of selected life-saving services included in the country's Mother and Child Basic Health Insurance Program (MCBI) by women of child-bearing age, and children under age six in selected areas. To this end, the project also targeted improving the quality and efficiency of the health service network within certain areas, in addition to increasing the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare's (MSPandBS) management.
Paraguay's cultural heritage can be traced to the extensive intermarriage between the original male Spanish settlers and indigenous Guaraní women. Their culture is highly influenced by various European countries, including Spain. Therefore, the Paraguayan culture is a fusion of two cultures and traditions; one European, the other, Southern Guaraní. Although this is common throughout the country, it is more visible around the towns of Atyrá, Tobatí and Altos. More than 93% of Paraguayans are ''
(; ; fem. ) is a term used for racial classification to refer to a person of mixed European and Indigenous American ancestry. In certain regions such as Latin America, it may also refer to people who are culturally European even though thei ...'', making Paraguay one of the most homogeneous countries in Latin America. A characteristic of this cultural fusion is the extensive bilingualism present to this day: more than 80% of Paraguayans speak both Spanish and the indigenous language, Guaraní. Jopara, a mixture of Guaraní and Spanish, is also widely spoken.
This cultural fusion is expressed in arts such as embroidery (''ao po'í'') and lace making (''ñandutí''). The music of Paraguay, which consists of lilting polkas, bouncy ''galopas,'' and languid '' guaranias'' is played on the native harp. Paraguay's culinary heritage is also deeply influenced by this cultural fusion. Several popular dishes contain manioc
''Manihot esculenta'', commonly called cassava (), manioc, or yuca (among numerous regional names), is a woody shrub of the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae, native to South America. Although a perennial plant, cassava is extensively cultivated ..., a local staple crop similar to the yuca
''Manihot esculenta'', commonly called cassava (), manioc, or yuca (among numerous regional names), is a woody shrub of the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae, native to South America. Although a perennial plant, cassava is extensively cultivated ... also known as Cassava root found in the Southwestern United States
The Southwestern United States, also known as the American Southwest or simply the Southwest, is a geographic and cultural region of the United States that generally includes Arizona, New Mexico, and adjacent portions of California, Colorado, N ... and Mexico, as well as other indigenous ingredients. A popular dish is '' sopa paraguaya'', similar to a thick corn bread. Another notable food is '' chipa'', a bagel
A bagel ( yi, בײגל, translit=beygl; pl, bajgiel; also spelled beigel) is a bread roll originating in the Jewish communities of Poland. It is traditionally shaped by hand into a roughly hand-sized ring from yeasted wheat dough that is firs ...-like bread made from cornmeal, manioc, and cheese. Many other dishes consist of different kinds of cheeses, onions, bell peppers, cottage cheese, cornmeal, milk, seasonings, butter, eggs and fresh corn kernels.
The 1950s and 1960s were the time of the birth of a new generation of Paraguayan novelists and poets such as José Ricardo Mazó, Roque Vallejos, and Nobel Prize nominee Augusto Roa Bastos
Augusto Roa Bastos (13 June 1917 – 26 April 2005) was a Paraguayan novelist and short story writer. As a teenager he fought in the Chaco War between Paraguay and Bolivia, and he later worked as a journalist, screenwriter and professor. .... Several Paraguayan films have been made.
Inside the family, conservative values predominate. In lower classes, godparent
In infant baptism and denominations of Christianity, a godparent (also known as a sponsor, or '' gossiprede'') is someone who bears witness to a child's christening and later is willing to help in their catechesis, as well as their lifelo ...s have a special relationship to the family, since usually, they are chosen because of their favourable social position, in order to provide extra security for the children. Particular respect is owed them, in return for which the family can expect protection and patronage.
The most popular instruments in Paraguayan music are the harp and the guitar. The native genres are the Paraguayan polka and the guarania, characterised by a slow song that was developed by José Asunción Flores around the 1920s.
Sport in Paraguay is an important part of the country's national culture.
Football is a family of team sports that involve, to varying degrees, kicking a ball to score a goal. Unqualified, the word ''football'' normally means the form of football that is the most popular where the word is used. Sports commonly ca ... is the most popular sport, the main national team is the Paraguay national football team
The Paraguay national football team ( es, Selección de fútbol de Paraguay) represents Paraguay in men's international Association football, football competitions, and are controlled by the Paraguayan Football Association (Asociación Paraguaya ....
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball (approximately in diameter) through the defender's h ... is also very popular. Other sports such as volleyball
Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules. It has been a part of the official program of the Summe ..., handball, futsal Futsal is a football-based game played on a hardcourt, hard court smaller than a football pitch, and mainly indoors. It has similarities to five-a-side football and Indoor soccer, indoor football.
Futsal is played between two teams of five players ..., swimming and tennis
Tennis is a racket sport that is played either individually against a single opponent ( singles) or between two teams of two players each ( doubles). Each player uses a tennis racket that is strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber ball co ... are also popular. Additional Paraguayan sports and pastimes include rugby union
Rugby union, commonly known simply as rugby, is a close-contact team sport that originated at Rugby School in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its m ..., chess, motorsport, golf
Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various Golf club, clubs to hit Golf ball, balls into a series of holes on a golf course, course in as few strokes as possible.
Golf, unlike most ball games, cannot and does not use a standar ... and rowing
Rowing is the act of propelling a human-powered watercraft using the sweeping motions of oars to displace water and generate reactional propulsion. Rowing is functionally similar to paddling, but rowing requires oars to be mechanically at ....
* Bibliography of Paraguay
* Index of Paraguay-related articles
* Outline of Paraguay
Chief of State and Cabinet Members
National Department of Tourism
Ministry of Finance with economic and government information; also available in English
from the ''
The (Latin for "British Encyclopædia") is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia. It is published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.; the company has existed since the 18th century, although it has changed ownership various ti ...''
'' The World Factbook''.
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA ), known informally as the Agency and historically as the Company, is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States, officially tasked with gathering, processing, ....
at ''UCB Libraries GovPubs''
BBC News is an operational business division of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs in the UK and around the world. The department is the world's largest broadc ...
Key Development Forecasts for Paraguay
from International Futures
La Rueda – Weekly reviews
Paraguayan Pymes News
World Bank Summary Trade Statistics Paraguay
Exchange rate of the Guaraní – Paraguayan Currency
Paraguay.com: Tradition, Culture, Maps, Tourism
Tourism in Paraguay, information, pictures and more. Turismo.com.py
Countries in South America
1811 establishments in South America
States and territories established in 1811
Former Spanish colonies
Member states of Mercosur
Member states of the United Nations
Spanish-speaking countries and territories
Southern Cone countries