Saturday, November 19, 2011


I know you're now all dying to learn everything about Paraguay! Surfing the internet about Paraguay has been taking up time that should be being spent on homework, given this has been the busiest week school-wise (and the week I've been the least focused). Anyway, I've been reading blogs of missionaries who are there right now (this blog will soon be one more missionary blog!) and doing a little research.

Here are some facts:
  • The official languages are GuaranĂ­ and Spanish. Guarani is the indigenous language (not at all similar to Spanish) that the majority of the population speaks and a lot of the older generation in rural areas don't know any Spanish. My friend Brian Libby actually knew this and told me I might get to learn it, and I've since talked to some sisters at the MTC going to Paraguay who said the same thing. 
  • The life expectancy is 76 years old! So much better than Tanzania where I was all summer at 52 years.
  • Total population is about 6.5 million. 
  • The capital, Asuncion, has a population of 1.9 million!
  • 89%  Roman Catholic
  •  Dengue fever and malaria are the major infectious diseases. And what determines whether you get it or not is a bite of a mosquito. 
  • Unemployment is 7%. Better than the U.S.!
  • Out of a population of 6.5 million, only 1 million use the internet. 
  • Today it was 86 degrees Fahrenheit since it is summer season there now. I'll get to have a Provo winter and leave to enjoy a Paraguay winter! Winters are mild and short but sometimes drop below freezing in July and August.
  • This is the flag. It is two-sided and has a different symbol on the other side.  
  • Currency: The national currency is the GuaranĂ­, which is composed of 100 centimos, or cents.
  • Gross net income per capita  US $2,270 (World Bank, 2009)
  • The poorest 60% of the nation earns less than 20% of the nation's income.
  • One of the poorest countries in South America, right behind Bolivia.
Every day I realize what a perfect mission this is for me. I am so thankful for how well I've been prepared for it, too. I've been exposed to Latin American culture, the Spanish language, reckless Latino driving habits and packing four times as many people on a bus as it should fit. I've seen poverty and know that the gospel is what will change their lives far better than teaching them to wash their hands or helping them start their own business.

Guatemala, 2009

 I remember thinking about this quote from Ezra Taft Benson a lot when I returned home from Guatemala:

"The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature."

No comments:

Post a Comment

You Might Also Like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...