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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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Paraguay travel agencies directory

Sometimes it is fun to travel around Paraguay or perhaps take a trip to Buenos Aires or another interesting destination while in Paraguay. I defenitely recommend that while you are in Paraguay to travel around South America a bit, it is so beautiful.

There are a few agencies on this list that organize trips to Encarnacion, Iguazu Falls and Ciudad del este, called the golden triangle. There are also many options to travel inside Paraguay, you can even book a trip by boat.

Here is a complete list of all Travel Agencies available in Asuncion

Enjoy your next trip…wherever it might be to =)

http://www.vipstour.com.py/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogsection&id=11&Itemid=237&limit=10&limitstart=0&lang=

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It has been a long time…

I’m back! It has been a long time since my last post, I’m so sorry about that, many things came along but I’m finally back to blogging again =)

I have been to Prague recently…while waking on the streets of one of the most beautiful cities in the world and looking at the Vlatava river, Charles Bridge and Prague Castle, I said to myself there is no more beautiful place in the world than Paraguay, sounds crazy, no?…love is so subjective but at that moment I realized that wherever in the world Iam, there will never be a more beautiful place than my own, no matter where I go, no matter how far I go to find the perfect place…there is none but one, just one.

I found myself suddently thinking about the present Xmas time in Paraguay, that I will be missing again this year, I imagined myself buying Flor de coco from that street vendor at street a light…the smell of flor de coco is so unique, that is the Xmas smell. I cant never relate Xmas to the cold weather…Xmas for me is in summer with warm weather…hard to imagine no? well, that is the way I grew up.

Now friends are telling me that Xmas is becoming also very commercial, that is the part that doesnt make any sense for me…but well, thats the “evolution” of times I guess.

It is so funny when you go to the malls in Asuncion where they put the airconditioning on and on their Christmas trees the lay cotton simulating snow, I always observed that, they want to recreate a cold inviroment for Christmas but the true is that people even die of heat during the summer.

I hope that Asuncion is not become that fast and crazy kind of city…it’s been 8 years since I left, I guess that many things have changed but I hope that some things will always be the same…at least in my imagination.

Cheers…to the most beautiful city in the world!

Here a little xmas gift for you!

Chipa Guazu Recipe, to prepare for Xmas!, very traditional on Xmas table and one of my favorite Paraguayan Dishes!

Origin of the name

The “chipa guasu” owes its name to the conjunction of two words. The first, “chipa” refers generically to a diverse group of cakes that has corn as a base for its preparation and that is part of the “Tyra”, a Guarani term that names every food consumed to accompany the “mate cocido”, milk or coffee, or prepared just to be an addition to other dishes. The second word that intervenes in the composition of the name, “guasu”, means “big” by which it can be inferred that “chipa guasu”, is the biggest of all “chipas”.

Ingredients

In the preparation of “chipa guasu” are used: medium size onions, water, salt, pork fat, eggs, Paraguay cheese (a very fresh cheese), milk and corn grains.

Preparation

* I use butter instead of pork fat and canned corn, just modify this recipe, i wont taste as the originally but it still will taste great with some practice.

Chopped onions, water and salt, are boiled in a pot for about 10 minutes, and then let cool down. The pork fat is whipped until it turns creamy and a much lighter color, then the eggs are added one by one along pieces of fresh cheese, all without stop whipping. The boiled onions are added to this creamy preparation, and also the grains of corn (that have been previously mollified) and the milk.

Mix all together and the result is a paste that is put in a buttered or floured oven tray.

It’s cooked in the oven, at low heat (around 200°C) for about an hour and a half.

A variant of “chipa guasu” may not contain eggs, in which case it requires more milk.

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Discovering Paraguay’s “wild” side

I just found a really nice website of a German Gentelman that has been living in Paraguay for the last 19 years, he has a farm 16 km from Concepcion, that is is a traditional fully functional farm which also doubles as the perfect place for interested travellers, bird watchers and students to stay and explore some of the best and wildest wildlife available in South America.
El Roble (the name of his farm) has very comfortable accommodation and excellent traditional Paraguayan and German cuisine. Almost all ingredients are sourced from the farm. If you would prefer to source your own, there are excellent fishing opportunities nearby, and if you would like to strike out from the farm we provide some adventure activities.
I’ve never been in a eco farm in Paraguay but will love to.
Peter has his own website now:

http://www.paraguay.ch/ check it out, you will find awesome photos and information about what to do and discover the “wild and adventurous” side of Paraguay.
he also has a blog: http://www.free-blog.in/elroble
If you happened to go please send your photos and I will upload them here =)

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Living on a Budget (tips)

When I was in Paraguay in june I went out with my friend for groceries shopping and I was really surprised to discover a place like Costo or Sam’s club where you actually can buy things in bulk at very affordable prices, it is not far from Asuncion, it is in Luque, the name of the place is San Cayetano, also known as Sancaye, it is close to Luisito and to Luques’s cemetery.

Prices are much more convenient than regular stores and they also have a wholesale section where you can give them the list and if you buy more than 4 articles of the same item they give you a wholesale price on the item, there you will find from wines to beef and everything in between, they also sell shampoo and diapers at very convenient prices, and also they have a good fresh produce selection.

The cons of buying there is that is always too full of people, we stood in line for at least 45 minutes but it was worthy because my friend told me she just goes there 1 a months and fills her freezer and storage of stuff and she saves a lot of money.

Also very close to there you can find some bakeries where you can buy any kind of pastries and bread and also “galleta” in a 5 kilos bag, my friends always buys the big bag and gives galletas to her friends in smaller bags and the rest she just freezes.

Galleta is a kind of bread that is harder than usual and it is very popular in Paraguay.

I would definitely check it out if i live in Asuncion, because regular groceries stores can get very expensive this days.

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Dating in Paraguay

I’ve noticed that even in Paraguay dating seems much harder than before, and I don’t know why in the entired world now dating or even meeting people in real life is so much difficult, modern times, perhaps?
I don’t know the answer for so many dating questions but I do know where paraguayans meet people online, I just found out about this dating website that seems to work, well at least for a couple of friends I have.
So, If you want to date in Paraguay, you should definetly check out this site :
www.club.com.py
and also another international latin website called: www.latinamaericancupid.com which connects people from other latin american countries.
For better of for worse, something must work to find the perfect date.

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Moving to Paraguay

Lately I’m getting a lot of emails from people wanting to move to Paraguay…people ask me a lot of interesting questions…and you get to know people better not by the answer they give but by the questions they make…

Here I will list the popular questions.

Cost of living?-Health/ medical care/ Quality/ insurance?-Schools? -Housing?-Best neighborhoods?-Moving around? Getting things done…level of easiness-Language?-How will people be accepted by locals? etc etc etc.

There are so many questions with no answer and so many answers with no questions…as every big decision it is a private decision where just the person involved in it can really know what feels better…I could and can answer most of the questions but…I would always suggest before moving to a country visit it first, have the feeling and specially stay with a local family or a vacation rental in a local house rather than a hotel, be with locals, deal with locals, shop and dine where locals do.

As a tourist you want to experiment different things, since you have just a short time you have to visit the landmarks and maybe party a bit and that is pretty much it…because it would be probably be the first and last one you visit Paraguay….but the thing is different if you consider to live there.

Here I will answer very briefly some of the questions above:

Cost of living for a family of 4 around 2000$ with a decent level, includes housing, decent private school, food, insurance some entertainment and gas.

Medical quality is good to excellent depending on where to go and what do you go in for, I had a good experience in that matter, Great and modern installations, great even for plastic surgery, I would recommend you go there instead of paying thousands of dollars here in the US, I always go to the dentist there and save thousands! If you consider to go for medical reasons contact me, I know my way around. Everything is a fraction of a price than here. At the embassy you can get a list of the best doctors and dentists in town.

Rent is around 500$for a nice small house in a decent neighborhood. (prices are getting up depending on the neighborhood)

Best private schools: American School, Christian Academy, San Ignacio de Loyola, Lumen, Goethe Schule, Dante Alighieri, Aleman Concordia, Cristo Rey, Las Teresas, Santa Clara, Las Almenas, San Patricio, Inter, La Providencia, Colegio de la Asuncion, Grace, Colegio del Sol, Sek just to mention a few.

Would strongly recommend to learn at least basic spanish!…

Well to keep it short for now…if you are tired of the rat race of other countries…Paraguay is a place you would seriously consider to move to.

Part II of this post coming soon…

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Where to Party in Asuncion

First of all, sorry for not have written for such a long time, I came back from Py 3 weeks ago and there is so much going on right now…I hope I can tell you all the amazing things I did and saw in Paraguay. It was as always a great time and very productive trip as usual…and of course amazing food! I still have to shed the extra pounds LOL

Surfing around I found a very cool list that someone posted online and I wanted to share it with you, I didn’t write the list but I know all places listed in it and I find it really accurate and helpful for people that are looking to have some fun while visiting Paraguay, here it goes:

Britania Pub
(My favorite)

Is a pub in downtown,,, english style …. rock and pop music …. a lot off beer and other drinks …. is a nice place to go to drink and chat, and listen good musci
www.britania-pub.com.py
Pirata Bar
This is one of my favorites… is a Night Club, a dance club …here we call that a "Discoteca" …. very nice place, the decoration is about "Piratas"… about Ships and boats …… the music is Electronica, dance,, and some of Latin music … and a few of rock also
Is in the dowb town… 2 block from the "Palacio de Lopes"
www.piratabar.com.py
Coyote – Night and Fun
This is the most "Fashion" Night club …. I love this Disco ,,, very High Level ….. it is in "Barrio Villa Morra" …. near the shoping del sol and shoping mariscal lopez… the biguest shopings cenetre from asuncion. …. Electronic music, dance, and Latin music too.
www.coyote.com.py
Caracol Club
Anothee great Disco !!… it is in the outsides of asuncion,,, some far away from dowtown …. is a most Traditional Night Club from paraguay,,,, more than 30 years ….. is the same style of Coyote …. dance and electronic musica and latin too ……. two years ago , DJ Benny Benassi were there…last year Global Deejays…. an this year DJ Robbie Rivera…. nad next october 12… DJ Tiesto is coming
www.caracol.com.py
GLAM (very cool but for younger people)
This Disco is very near to Coyote,, in Barrio Villa Morra,, veeeery nice and High Level …. this Disco is the younger brotehr of Caracol…the same owners …. and the same kind of music
www.glam.com.py
EL SANTO
This disco is 2 blocks from the Shoping mariscal Lopez,, in Villa Morra, in a complex called MANZANA T where you will also find great restaurants like Sol Azteca (mexican cousine), Il Mangiare 2 and few others.
Paseo Carmelitas
This is a shoping center with 6 pubs inside… the pubs ar Camastro, ( I love the food at camastro, they have great desserts), Sky,, El Bar,, and Kilkeny…… this one, Kilkeny is a Irish pub,,, very nice place,, yeterday .
The others pubs are very nice also …. alternative music, some of electronic, ambient music, chill out,,, rock and pop.
Galeria Colonial
This is two block from Paseo carmelitas… is a group of 5 pubs …. the first one is the best,, called DEJAVU ,,, a great place warm up before go dancing …… there also is the "Il mangiare".. an italian restaurant, they make great Pizzas there!!

If you visit some of these places leave your comments!!

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Paraguayan Ads

After I got a request about where to place advertisements for Paraguayan I  made a research about it and found out 2 good options, they seem to be Paraguayan websites for Paraguayans living  in USA With news, interesting articles, Music, Guarani Folklore etc. Both seem to be entirely in Spanish but full of great stuff.

http://www.ecosdelparaguay.com/

and

http://www.ecosdelparaguay.com/

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