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Paraguay Bicentennial Celebration Pictures

On May 14 and 15, 2011, Paraguay Celebrated its Bicentennial- We were very proud to celebrate our 200 hundred years of Indenpendence, there were many celebrations around the world, were Paraguayan got together and celebrated this special date in many different ways, here are some pictures of the Celebrations in Asuncion.
I hope you enjoy the great photos.

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150305517177576&saved#!/media/set/?set=a.1703843441463.2083710.1399309541

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Paraguay Pictures

I found 2 great facebook pages with many beautiful pictures of Paraguay, and the beautiful thing is that these pictures are taken by locals and tourist that share these pictures in the pages, some a professional photographs but mostly is a sharing pictures community.

Myself posted many pictures, and I really enjoy sharing the pictures of my collection with people that loves Paraguay as much as I do, I hope you find it interesting too.

The pictures are divided in albums and it goes from food to aereal pictures and also very interesting information about Paraguayan History is being shared in these pages.

Hope you enjoy these links:

 Paraguay en Fotografias: http://www.facebook.com/#!/ParaguayenFotografias

 Yo te muestro Paraguay: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/YO-TE-MUESTRO-PARAGUAY/108953912476272

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Paraguayan Bicentennial Celebration in Philadelphia on May 14th 2011

This year Paraguay celebrates 200 of Independence from Spain. Our Independence was declared 15 May 1811.  Two hundred years as a free country is a good reason to Celebrate with a Music Festival. ( “Gran Gala Festival de la Canción Philadelphia PA“)

Bicentennials celebrations will be held in many countries were fellow paraguayan citizen have migrated to.

In Paraguay there is much going on, buildings are being restored, churches are being illuminated…streets are being repaired, everybody seems to be so excited about this milestone.

It is been a pleasure to be part of the comite of the Paraguayan Bicentennial Celebration, it is great to have all these conference calls with the comite and even with our Embassator which has shown a great professionalism and support to our celebration.

This year our Celebration will be held at the Kimmel center in Philadelphia, on May 14th.  A lot of Famous Paraguayan artists residing in the US and in Paraguay are coming to perform at the event.

People Paraguayans and no Paraguayans from all around the country are coming to this big even, to celebrate together as brothers 2 hundred years as a free country.

As a part of the comite I learned a lot! I did my research and throught friends and friends of friends I found out that there are so extremely taletend musicians in Paraguay that I had no idea of.

I really had the chance to talk to some of these musicians and I’m really impressed of their talent.

Here is a link of one of them, his name is Rodrigo Pampliega and he plays 5 instruments!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVvIYNoAhfA

I’m really happy about everything what is going on, specially discovering that our country has so many talents leads me to research even more and bring these artists to light and show the world what our country has many beautiful things to offer. 

Supports and sponsorships are being accept for the Gala, you or your company will get mention on the website, on the program, on the stage and in many other places.

Please contact me if you are interested in supporting our Bicentennial Celebration which will be a Music Festival never seen before.

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Paraguay Postcards by Carlos Bittar

Carlos Bittar, a good friend of mine, a professional photographer recently launched a great project and created Paraguay’s online first Photo library, it took him years of work to scan over 4000 images of his files.
The film era transformed into the digital era, with a work pace of 8 to 9 hours a daily it took him over a year just to scan the images and another lot of time to create the page.
This project is a great way to get to know Paraguay by images…his photos tells stories, whisper emotions and shows situations that otherwise we would never have been able to see.
In the following months he will be uploading more images to the and It will be soon become the main Online Paraguayan photo library with a rich and vast content.
Carlos found a great way to share his treasures with the world, and we will surely enjoy them as much as he does.
Congratulations Carlos for the great work!
World…Enjoy: http://paraguaypostcards.com/ParaguayPostcards/Index.html

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Asuncion non conventional lodging options.

Besides the conventional hotels in Asuncion which are pretty much the same in the whole world, I made a research and want to present you 4 good alternatives to the hotel options.
Finding a good place to stay in Asuncion is not easy, it took me a lot of time to research and to come out with these interesting options.
Obviously if you are an “hotel” kind of person, these are not good options for you.
But if you want a non conventional and still save approach to lodging one of these options could fit you very well.
Lets start.
1- The black Cat hostel:
Address: Dirección: Eligio Ayala,129 – Asunción, Paraguay (downtown Asuncion) shared rooms cost around 11$ and the ambiance is like any hostel, fun, relaxed and bohemian. You can make reservations here: http://www.hostelsclub.com/hostel-es-16056.html

2- Asuncion Vacation Rentals: A fun place to stay in the house of a local person, with independent entrance, security, internet, living room and bedroom, its like owing an own apartment in Asuncion, close to main malls, Annie is very friendly and will make you stay at home, you can contact here here: http://sites.google.com/site/paraguayrentals/Paraguayrentals
Prices from around 40$ per day but the place is big, could sleep many people. Even if you have kids you can take them and you may even get free babysitting if you want to go out at night =)

3- Another good and hidden option is the Internado Evangelico of Asuncion, my friend stayed there for less than 10$ a day, she said it was ok, she had a shared room, and the location is pretty good too, It is Evangelic so I guess it is kind of safe to stay there, and it looks pretty decent too, I just found a link from a text written by a person that stayed there and here is what she says regarding this place: http://www.thowra.com/internado.html

4- And last but not least a good option is to find “couch” on couchsurfing, (http://www.couchsurfing.org/) I have many friends in Paraguay that offer “couch” for free at their places, So check it out, even if you are not staying there you can always meet for drinks or coffee with local people to share experiences and they will be happy to show you around and give you safety and fun advices.

I hope you enjoyed my guide to a fun and non conventional lodging options.

Let me know which options describes you best! Enjoy your trip!

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Asuncion nightlife!

I visited recently Paraguay and while I was there I saw a lot of new stuff going on, for instance there are so many new buildings and constructions going on specially close to the Shopping del Sol area, sometimes I wonder where all this money comes from? I surely have no idea.
There are a lot of new stores, bars and restaurants are blooming!
Asuncion night life is at its best point, a lot of different places for different tastes, now you can find from sushi to mexican food and all in between, great and exquisite cusine everywhere.
People go out from monday to mondays and it seems that Asuncion’s nightlife is here to stay.
I was surprised to see the many new places they inaugurated in less than 1 year.
T.G.I. Fridays, Hooters, Pizza Hut, Burger King and Mc. Donalds are some American Chains available in Asuncion.
A new very popular thing is to go out for a coffee and most coffee places even open until midnight and 1 or 2 am during the weekends, you can find very nice sweets and pastries in these places…specially great cakes.
To mention a few great places to visit for a coffee or tea with friends, during the afternoon or early evening I would recommend my favorites:
El Cafe de Aca ( the coffee or here, very typical place, visit it is a MUST, please try the Mbeyu while there), Medialunas Calentitas (their specialty are different types of croissants but you also will find anything from toasts to empanadas there), Havanna Cafe, 1811 a very nice place to hangout and Abuela Goye (a bit pricey but their cakes are the best)…all these places mentioned above are close to each other around Lillio and Senador Long. Asuncion.
My favorite places to go out at night are: Britannia Pub, 904 (both in Downtown), Cafe Bohemian, Kilkenny, Kamastro, El Bar, Liquido…the Whole Paseo Carmelitas Area where you can find these places and more…also the new Moby Dick, and Glam and Candy could be a good option if you like to go out to dance.
All places are very fun, with great music, great people and fantastic ambience, you wont regret getting to know Asuncion’s nightlife!
A great place I recommend is the Peruvian Restaurant called la Flor de la Canela in downtown Asuncion.
Some places are pretty pricey, so be ready to spend around 30$ or 40$ per person at night if you visit high profile places like Moby Dick and dont forget to make reservations, in some places you can not enter without a reservation.
Im going to make a list of the best restaurants pretty soon.
To know a little bit more about Asuncion’s nightlife and see some pictures of people enjoying the night dont forget to visit: http://2night.com/asuncion

I hope you enjoy Asuncion’s Nightlife!

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Social networking in Paraguay

Since I arrived for vacation in Paraguay 2 month ago I noticed a very big internet usage growth in Paraguay, more people are connected on the internet and for more hours everyday. People in Paraguay, specially in Asuncion, spend a lot of time on Facebook and Orkut everyday, they share their photos, lives and now they even are starting buying things thru facebook.
I made a social experiment, I created a facebook fanpage to see how would people react to it and what would I get with it, I started putting some simple information, then sent the page to my friends and asked them to suggest the page to other friends, then uploaded the things I wanted to sell and in no time I had more than 500 fans and actually now I can say that most of 90% of my sales are thanks to my fanpage on facebook.
Statistics says that Paraguay has more than 230.000 facebook users at this time and that will grow on a great scale.
People in Paraguay are willing to try new technology and now most of the businesses based in Paraguay have their own fanpage where they reach most of their customers.
Unlike websites that are static a fanpage is a interactive way to reach the customer and fullfil their needs.
Using social networking people feel in a community environment and tend to trust the company and interact with it, its a great way to make new contact, make a sale, introduce a new product or share an experience or tip about something.
What I love is that Paraguayans have an open mind about tecnology, and i find that social networking is here to stay and to reach new ways creating a new economy and perhaps and most likely new and creative jobs developing interesting stuff .
Now the new tendency in paraguay is that people dont ask about your number anymore…they just assume they will find you on facebook or orkut and find out a little bit more about yourself.
I’m leaving Paraguay shortly but I’m very glad that thanks technology (facebook, orkut, email, etc) I will be in touch with a bunch of friends and of course will be following the things and people that I like.

Muna and 1000 others like this! ;)

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Happiness Land

A few years ago during Christmas time a friend came up with the idea of collecting gifts for kids that live in the country side, we collected a lot of stuff, specially Pan Dulce (Pannettone) and other small stuff.
We drove there, I had no idea where that place was, it was a little town in the middle of now where, there were no asphalted routes to arrive there, and we had to go drive thru a very long dirt road most of the way. I’m glad we didnt had a flat tire or an emergency, there was absolutely no other soul around for many miles.
After driving a good 4 hours we arrived to a place forgotten in time, it was a picture perfect landscape with many tall trees and long wild grass.
Kids were running everywhere, they approached the car, as they never saw one, smiling, laughing and speaking Guarani.
The were playing soccer barefoot, most of them were wearing old clothes full of holes, moms were not worried to leave their kids to play in that big open area, they knew they were safe and all were looking for each other like a big family…
We took the goodies to the Majors house, he was the wealthiest person in the whole town but barely had running water in his house, he offer us to great lunch and thanked us so much for all the stuff…and I thanked him…
The people in Happiness land had so little, just perhaps the basics…but they had a great connection with nature, they could see bright stars at night and play barefoot, they didnt know what internet is or even understood the concept of a video game and they didnt care because they were already happy, they didnt need that what some people call “Evolution”, or a bunch of stuff to fill the emptiness…
The kids in Happiness Land ran freely and hopeful…they enjoyed the moment, the instant
I, myself learned that one can be happy with so little and that happiness is not attached to wealth, that most things are just to fill the emptiness of the soul…nevertheless I still can not imagine my live without a microwave.
I’m glad that I visited the land of the Happy…the Happiness land like I like to call it.

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Los Nivacle – Native Community from Paraguay

In the early days of their settlement there was some resentment of the newcomers amongst the local Nivaclé Indians, because of their settled agricultural system and their proselytizing manner. But in recent years relationships have improved, and both cultures realize that cooperation is necessary for their joint survival and prosperity. One Mennonite settlement is Fernheim, a commune of 4,000 people. Founded in 1930, it originally consisted of German-speaking refugees who had fled religious oppression in Russia and the Ukraine. Filadelfia, 450km from Asuncion, and about 20km north of the Ruta Trans-Chaco, is the administrative capital of Fernheim: a pleasant, well-ordered town of well- kept houses & gardens.

The inhabitants still speak Plattdeutsch amongst themselves, but also Hochdeutsch, Spanish-Guarani and, increasingly, English. The streets, museum, hotels, shops and even the cemetery are well-ordered and cared-for, the traffic is light, the children polite. It’s like stepping back in time.

The Nivaclé live in a community of 280 families on the Southern edge of Filadelfia town, and are learning to work on the farms and in the local Cooperative Milk Factory and supermarket. The Mennonites have also provided the Indians with educational and health services, and are increasingly trying to help them retain their traditional culture, just as they have guarded their own. Handicrafts, based on local materials, are one expression of traditional values for the Nivacle, as with other Indians in Paraguay. A Mennonite-owned store, the Mensajero, just next door to the Florida Hotel, is currently the only outlet. This little shop, in addition to Christian literature and music, sells handicrafts produced by the Indians. These consist mostly of textiles and bags made from fibers of the caraguat plant, dyed brown, red, yellow, gray or violet by vegetable bark, roots, pods or resin.

Unfortunately, these traditions are in great danger of extinction and there has been a need to re-teach some of the weaving techniques. The few older women who have retained or re-acquired the skills admit that they are finding it difficult to generate any enthusiasm amongst the young. Moreover, they are unable to develop an inventory of their goods because they do not have the funds to invest either in equipment or in materials. This means that as each piece is completed, it is sold to the Mensajero in return for money that is then immediately used for the demands of daily village or family life.

The Nivaclé have been through dark days. However, a new cultural community center, funded in part by the European Community, seems to be renewing some pride and hope for the future. On Indigenes Day – April 19, 2001 – the center hosted a festival of dance and music for some of the 17,000 Indians of other tribes, who traveled there from outlying areas of the central Chaco. The Chaco is beautiful, and Filadelfia is an attractive and comfortable stop for the inquiring traveler. Both Mennonite and Nivaclé communities have singular cultures that are well worth exploring. The Mennonites are readily contacted via the Museo Unger (on Hindenburg) and the library. And the Hotel Florida shows an hour-long professional video on Mennonite history.

Text written by Maria Gallitelli

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Paraguay Fashion and Fashionistas

One of the industries with the biggest growth lately is the fashion industry, it is not unusual to see young people get very creative and become a fashion designer with some simple ideas from handmade fabric flower brooch to the more daring ideas to modernize the old traditional aho poi and Naduti fabrics and give them a more contemporary and fashionable look.

A couple of times a year we have the Asuncion Fashion Week held in Asuncion, all brands presented there are high quality Paraguayan brands, from bags, to shoes, accessories, jewelry and all kind of clothing, shows are performed by really beautiful models…it is a really big fashion show where you can see the talent and the creativity of young Paraguayan, sadly that the lack of money is the biggest problem for the young talents to create a selling line.

A Fashionistas site i really love is www.fashionistas.com.py unfortunatelly they dont have a cart in this site, however you can contact the designers directly to order something you like.

The fashion week has also his website here: http://www.afw.com.py/

Fashion Week on facebook: www.facebook.com/asuncionfashionweek

A Paraguayan Brand I really like is: http://www.facebook.com/asuncionfashionweek#/uptitude?ref=mf

My website for Paraguayan handmade filigree jewelry: www.larimoon.com

Become a fan o my website on facebook page with beautiful Paraguayan and American models, coupon, information about artisans, etc: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bellevue-WA/Larimoon/125470202364

 If you want to hire a paraguayan model for a product of so please contact me, since I’m in the fashion industry thru the years I got to know really nice and professional fashion models.

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