Interesting Facts About Paraguay | Little-Known Facts

Paraguay is a landlocked country located in the heart of South America. With a population of approximately 7 million people, Paraguay is the sixth-smallest country in South America. Despite its small size, Paraguay has a rich history and culture, and there are many interesting facts about Paraguay that are worth exploring.

Interesting Facts About Paraguay

A Rich Cultural Heritage

Paraguay has a rich cultural heritage that is reflected in its music, dance, and crafts. The country is home to a unique style of music called Guarani, which blends traditional indigenous music with Spanish and Portuguese influences. Paraguay’s vibrant folk dance is well-known for its energetic movements and colorful costumes. Paraguay also produces the famous ñandutí lace, which is a delicate and intricate lacework made by hand.

A Land Of Yerba Mate

Yerba mate is a type of tea that is popular in many countries in South America, including Paraguay. In fact, Paraguay is one of the largest producers and consumers of yerba mate in the world. Steeping the leaves of the yerba mate plant in hot water makes the tea, which people often drink from a gourd using a special straw called a bombilla.

The Jesuit Missions

During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Jesuit order established a series of settlements in Paraguay known as the Jesuit Missions or Jesuit Reductions. They created these settlements to convert the local indigenous population to Christianity and protect them from slave traders. Today, the Jesuit Missions are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are an important part of Paraguay’s cultural heritage.

The Triple Frontier

Paraguay shares borders with two other countries: Argentina and Brazil. The Triple Frontier is the point where these three countries meet. Tourists are attracted to this region due to its natural beauty. It is also an important hub for trade and commerce, as it connects Paraguay with its neighbors.

The Chaco

The Chaco is a vast, sparsely populated region that covers much of western Paraguay. It is known for its rugged terrain, dry climate, and unique flora and fauna. The Chaco is home to several indigenous communities, many of which have managed to maintain their traditional way of life despite the pressures of modernization.

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The Guarani Language

The Guarani language is one of the official languages of Paraguay, alongside Spanish. It is an indigenous language that is spoken by around 90% of the population. Guarani is a unique language that has its own grammar and vocabulary and is an important part of Paraguayan culture.

The Itaipu Dam

The Itaipu Dam is a hydroelectric dam that is located on the border between Paraguay and Brazil. It is one of the largest dams in the world and is a major source of electricity for both countries. Both Paraguay and Brazil built the dam in the 1970s and 1980s, showcasing their engineering capabilities.

Amazing Interesting Facts About Paraguay You Need To Know

  1. The Guarani Aquifer – the world’s largest water reserve: Located underneath Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina, the Guarani Aquifer is an essential source of fresh water. It stretches across 1.2 million square kilometers and has a volume of 40,000 cubic kilometers, which could supply fresh drinking water to the world for approximately 200 years. As water becomes a more crucial natural resource, control over it has become more controversial.
  2. Paraguay is a bilingual nation: Paraguayans are typically bilingual, speaking both Guaraní and Spanish. Unlike other South American countries, Paraguay has retained Guaraní as an official language. Interestingly, Guaraní is also an onomatopoeic language. Most of its words imitate the natural sounds of animals and the surrounding environment, like music.
  3. Dueling is legal: If you’re looking to get rid of someone the old-fashioned way, in Paraguay, duels are still legal. However, you’ll need to be a registered blood donor to take part, and a professional medic must be on hand.
  4. The largest navy of any landlocked country in the world: Despite not having a coastline, Paraguay boasts the largest navy of any landlocked country in the world. It boasts naval aviation, a coastguard, and a river defense corps too. In 2005, more than 30 states participated in the world’s first conference of landlocked nations hosted by Paraguay. The Paraguayan navy operates on the country’s rivers and can reach the ocean through Argentina.

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Fun And Interesting Facts About Paraguay

  1. Paraguay’s central location in the continent has led many to refer to it as the “Heart of South America.”
  2. From 1858 to 1861, the Asunción-Encarnación railway line, constructed by British engineers, became the first railway line in South America.
  3. In 1811, Paraguay was the first country on the continent to declare its independence, which it did at the Casa de la Independencia in Asunción, proclaiming its sovereignty.
  4. Brazil acquired the Iguassu Falls from Paraguay, which is now one of the world’s and Brazil’s most visited tourist destinations.
  5. Alfredo Stroessner’s dictatorship ruled Paraguay for three decades in the 20th century until the people finally ousted him in 1989.
  6. Paraguay’s sole UNESCO World Heritage Site is the Jesuit Missions of La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná and Jesús de Tavarangue, featuring ruins dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries.
  7. Paraguay’s dependence on hydroelectric power may come as a surprise, with almost all of its electricity (99.9%) generated from hydroelectric plants, and 75% of that power being supplied by the Itaipu Dam.
  8. 2.5% of the population holds 80% of the land in Paraguay, and 161 individuals control 90% of the country’s wealth, highlighting a markedly unequal distribution of wealth.
  9. The flag of Paraguay features horizontal stripes of red, white, and blue. It stands out from other national flags because it displays the country’s coat of arms on one side and the treasury seal on the other.
  10. Paraguay boasts one of the most biodiverse forests in the world, covering an area of 1,300,000 hectares. However, prior to 2004, the country had the highest deforestation rate in the Americas and the second-highest in the world.

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Fun Facts About Paraguay

  1. One of the deadliest fires in world history occurred in Asunción in 2004 when the Ycuá Bolaños supermarket caught fire. It claimed the lives of 464 people and left 500 injured. Even today, victims are still seeking reparations for the tragic event.
  2. British engineers, along with many British laborers, constructed the first Paraguayan railroad line between 1858 and 1861.
  3. The United States Army deployed hundreds of soldiers to Paraguay from 2005-2006, primarily in the town of Mariscal Estigarribia. Currently, discussions are ongoing regarding the establishment of a joint military base.
  4. Farming and agriculture provide a livelihood for around half of Paraguay’s total population. Even those who are not involved in agriculture tend to consume locally grown fresh fruit on a regular basis.
  5. The Paraguayan climate is subtropical to temperate, varying depending on the elevation.
  6. With a literacy rate of approximately 94%, Paraguay ranks as the 96th most literate nation out of 215 countries in the Americas.
  7. Paraguay is a bird lover’s paradise, home to over 1,000 different species of birds. The Jardín Zoológico’s jaguar refuge center offers a visit to America’s largest feline cat, the Jaguar, and also houses ocelots and panthers. Additionally, numerous species of snakes, most of which are harmless, can be found in the country. However, there are eight species of coral snake in Paraguay, and piranha fish also inhabit its waters.