For those who don’t know, Paraguay is located in the middle of South America. Fondly referred to as “El Corazón” or The Heart of South America, it’s in the subtropics, landlocked by Brazil, Bolivia, and Argentina. The country is split into two sections, East and West, by the Río Paraguay. The west mainly contains the Chaco, a large, arid, desert-like area and the East is more forested and marshy, and more populated.
All 200 Peace Corps volunteers in Paraguay are in the Southeast, in the departments of Central, Cordillera, Caaguazu, San Pedro, Alto Paraná, Paraguari, Guaira, Caazapa, Ñeembucu, Misiones, and Itapúa. I live in a small community in northern Itapúa, called Óga Ita, near the San Rafael Forest Reserve.
The country speaks both Spanish and Guaraní, the latter being the predominate language in the campo or countryside.
This is my home country for the two years of my service!