Paraguay - Country Profile
Independence Day: 14 y 15 de mayo de 1811
Oficial Name: República del Paraguay
Languages: spanish and guaraní
Executive: President Horacio Cartes Jara
General Elections: Each 5 years.
Area: 406.750 km²
Geographical Location: Located in the South American continent, it is bordered by Bolivia to the North and Northeast; by Brazil to the East, and by Argentina to the South and West.
The climate in Paraguay can be distinguished in two seasons: a warm, rainy season with an average temperature of 31ºC to 38ºC, and predominant winds from the Northwest that bring a lot of rain to the country; and a cold, dry season, with little rain, predominant winds from the South, and an average temperature that ranges from 0ºC to 14.5ºC.
Organization of its territory: The Paraguay River divides the territory of the country in two great natural regions: the Oriental Region and the Occidental Region. Politically, the Paraguayan State is divided into a Capital District (the city of Asuncion) and 17 departments.
Political Divisions: 17 Departments and one Capital
Paraguay, formerly called “The Giant Province of the Indies", was born as a result of the encounter of the Spanish conquerors with the native Guaraní indigenous groups. The meeting of these two distinct cultures was a process that assumed very particular characteristics here, that differs from all its neighbors in South America. The living manifestation of this "crossing" of civilizations is expressed most notably in the use of two languages, Spanish and Guaraní, concurrently throughout the country and legally enshrined by the Constitution.
Starting in the 15th century, Paraguay became the main route to other destinations around the continent. Asunción has been traditionally known as “Mother of Cities", serving as a place from where the Spaniards departed to found new Colonies.
The Franciscans, on the other hand, arrived in Paraguay in the second half of the 16th Century and they founded several communities throughout the country. Their cultural influence was enormous, due to the fact that they consolidated the life style of locals and the daily use of both, the Spanish and Guaraní Languages. Some of these works of art can be seen in the churches and museums of the cities of Capiatá, Yaguarón, Itá, Altos, Caazapá, Atyrá, Ypané, Piribebuy, and Tobatí, just a short ride from Asunción.
A substantial chapter in the history of the country was the presence of the missionaries of the “Company of Jesus” (Jesuits) (1609 - 1768), and constituted one of the great utopian period experiences in the region establishing what was known as the Reductions of Guaraní Tribes. Important testimonies in the country left from that time are: the Ruins of Santísima Trinidad and Jesus (declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO), San Ignacio Guazú, San Cosme and San Damián, Santiago, Santa Maria and Santa Rosa. Arts and music flourished during this period and left an artistic legacy of supreme beauty also known as the “Guaraní Baroque”.
The post Jesuit era was characterized by the decrease of population in the Reductions until they were totally abandoned. The balance based on the reciprocity and redistribution, main Jesuit–Guaraní model characteristic was broken due to the spiritual and human power separation.
Paraguay becomes independent from Spain in 1811. A Provisional Government is created and ever since, the country has been through different periods including two wars, dictatorships, democratic transition and finally constitutional regimes.
Guide for tourist that visits Paraguay: “Paraguay. You have to feel it.”
Master Plan for Sustainable Development of Tourism Sector of Paraguay