A FOREST COUNTRY IN THE HEART OF SOUTH AMERICA
Paraguay located in the heart of South America, has a 3,484 km border, with Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina. The country has an area of 406,752 and a population of 5.8 million.
It emerged as a country in the XVI century when Spanish navigators came into contact with native Indian Guarani tribes. From then on a harmony was created between the two peoples giving rise to a rich culture and the use of two languages: the Spanish of the conquerors and the Guarani of the natives. Paraguay is the only bilingual country in Latin America with two official languages.
Paraguay passed through an importance period in its history which was marked by the presence of Christian missionaries from 1609 to 1768. The conversion to Christianity of large numbers of Indian Guarani villages took place during this period. You can see the influence through the ruins left from important cities, with their Baroque style as in the remains of the cities of Trinidad, Jesus, San Cosme, San Damian and Santa Rosa, created in the Baroque style called Hispanic â€“ Guarani. It can also be observed in gorgeous wood and leather art works and in the diverse cities of Paraguay. Paraguay obtained its independence on the May 14th 1811.
Asuncion, the capital of the Republic of Paraguay, was founded in 1537 on the banks of the Paraguay River. Its architecture evokes the past, mainly with buildings like the Republican Palace, the Pantheon of the Heroes and the Train Station. But Asuncion, with its flowery patios and unforgettable dusks, is at the same time a modern, cosmopolitan city with the modern infrastructure of hotels, shopping centres, cinemas, theatres and avenues.
Among other important cities of Paraguay, are The Eastern City, Incarnation, Pedro Juan Caballero, Coronel Oviedo, Villarrica, Concepcion and others.
For nature lovers there is ecotourism. The country has more than 20 forests and nature reserves. That is why it was called the "Garden of the World". There are many rare plants, such as orchids, native trees like the Lapacho, the Quebracho and the Palo Borracho, different species of palms and exotic fruits.
The hydroelectric dam of Itaipu is located few kilometres from the waterfalls of Cataracts de Iguazu, one of natureâ€™s wonders. It is the world greatest generator of electricity, built through the cooperation of Paraguay and Brazil.
In 1991, Paraguay was a founding member of MERCOSUR, the South American Common Market. The other members are Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. Those countries share similar values and social policies which aim at eradicating poverty and improving human rights.
For more information, please logon to the official Paraguayan website: www.senatur.gov.py
Or contact the Paraguayan embassy in Cairo:
17 Portsaid St. Maadi,
Tel: (202) 378 2882
Tel/Fax: (202) 751 0360