We got there around noon on a weekday, as soon as we got off the car we noticed something strange: the city was empty, very few people on the streets and most jewelry stores closed.
I was surprised and asked a local person it there was a holiday I was not aware of, and he said no, and started to explain that the everything closes during â€œsiestaâ€ time, nap time, I certainly was surprised because in Asuncion (just 15 miles away) the siesta was no longer in use, he also said that stores open back at 3 PM.
So I had time to go around this lovely city which honestly itâ€™s among my favorites, itâ€™s a happy city, people are friendly and everything is close by.
Most Paraguayan cities are distributed in a similar way which is: In downtown there will be a Cathedral, a main Park or Plaza, the Municipal administration, some stores, rustic restaurants or bars and colonial houses.
Downtown LuqueÂ is full of jewelry stores were you can find all kind of jewelry, from Italian to costume local handmade jewelry.
I was amazed by the calm and tranquility I could feel there, just walking around was a total pleasure for me. I love to observe andÂ see unnoticeable things,Â probably that’s why Iâ€™m an amateur photographer.
I walked around the church and thru the main park were I saw some students laughing and enjoying themselves, It certainly made me think about my high school live, and I felt totally blessed to could have growing up in Paraguay, it was a peaceful time, no worries, and until nowadays it’s very laid back and peaceful.
Time for stores to open.
I really was looking for the silver filigree handmade artisan jewelry…when I realized that it was already 3 PM and the stores started opening so I went there to see their work and talked with the artisans.
I was very impressed by the look and quality I could observe, every piece seemed unique and so well done.
I was told that filigree or filigrana inÂ Spanish was an old technique brought by the Moors to Spain and from Spain to South America in time of colonization, now days the only South American country that keeps this tradition alive is Paraguay.
At the store an old artisan told me thatÂ Filigrana jewelry itâ€™s handmade by skilled artisans and that is an old tradition that passes from generation to generation, a simple piece Â it could involve around 10 hours per piece for a simple design and around 35 hours of work for a more complex one.
The work basically consists in very thing silver threads twisted and soldered together to make a very fashionable piece of jewelry.
A certainly was very impressed and bought a lot of unique pieces because Iâ€™m very interested in unique jewelry and I want the world to know about this really great work at super affordable prices.
Paraguay produces a greatÂ variety of handmade artisan items, some made by native South American Indians like Chamacocos, Nibacles and other tribes, and some made by local artisans, fabrics, embroideries, Aho Poi, Ceramic, Encaje Yu, diverseÂ leather items, etc.
Unfortunately Paraguay isnâ€™t explored at all, there are a lot to do, and to see and to be done here, I think the main problem isÂ the language barrier, a very few percentage of the population speaks English and that makes Paraguay aisle from the rest of the world.
I wish some day I could somehow help my country, build more schools because education itâ€™s the first step to freedom, and for a uncorrupt country…Someday (I hope soon) with help I will do that, that is a dream of mine and my duty as a citizen and human being.