The country of Paraguay is officially named the Republic of Paraguay. This South American country is landlocked by three other countries including Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia. Prior to the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500s, Paraguay had been inhabited mainly by an indigenous people known as the Guarani for thousands of years. Here are some Paraguay Facts which you need to know.
Paraguay’s inhabitants revolted against the Spanish in 1811 and declared its independence from Spain on May 14th, 1811. One day later, on May 15th their independence was recognized, and for the next six decades Paraguay was ruled by a series of dictators. The Paraguayan War of 1864 to 1870 led to the deaths of approximately 70% of its population due to disease and war. Political issues and corruption in government have continued to plague Paraguay.
Read Also: Countries and its Parliament
Interesting Paraguay Facts:
- The name Paraguay originated from a Guarani word but the exact meaning is not known. Some believe that it means ‘river which originates a sea’, or river that flows through the sea’, or ‘river crowned’. Another interpretation is that Paraguay was named for a great Indian chief named ‘Paraguay’.
- Paraguay’s capital city is Asuncion. This is Paraguay’s cultural center and is also one of South America’s oldest cities.
- Paraguay’s most populated cities include Asuncion, San Lorenzo, Luque, Capiata, Lambare, and Fernando De La Mora.
- The official currency of Paraguay is Guarani, with the code PYG.
- Paraguay’s official languages are Spanish and Guarani.
- The Guarani language incorporates the sounds of nature into many of its words. These words imitate the natural sounds of waterfalls, forests, and even animals. This type of language is called an onomatopoeic language.
- Approximately 89% of Paraguay’s citizens are Roman Catholic although Christianity, Protestantism and Judaism are also observed.
- Paraguay’s national dish is sopa paraguaya. This dish is cornbread made with onions and cheese.
- Paraguayans also enjoy a Guarani dish made of beans and maize called jopara.
- The largest working hydroelectric power plant is located on the Parana River, shared with Brazil and Paraguay. Its name is the Itaipu Dam.
- Paraguay’s citizens love music. Traditional music includes a 38-string harp.
- Popular Paraguayan dances include the bottle dance and the polka.
- Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Paraguay.
- Fishing is a popular past time in Paraguay despite the fact that the country is landlocked. The Paraguay River (also known as the Rio Paraguay) runs through the country.
- Paraguay’s climate ranges from temperate to subtropical, and only wet and dry periods depending on the season.
- Paraguay’s military includes an army, navy and air force.
- Paraguay is the world’s fourth largest soybean grower.
- Paraguay is the world’s second largest stevia producer.
- Paraguay is the world’s tenth largest wheat exporter.
- Paraguay’s mining industry employs approximately 31% of the labor force and the mining industry accounts for approximately 25% of Paraguay’s gross domestic product.
- Approximately 30 to 50% of Paraguay’s citizens are poor, with higher rates of poverty in rural areas of the country.
- Paraguay has serious issues with clean drinking water. It is estimated that less than 3% of the population has access to clean drinking water.
- The flag of Paraguay was adopted on November 27, 1842. The flag comprises three horizontal stripes: red, white and blue.
- The country’s state coat of arms is presented in the front part of the flag and the back has the country’s Treasury Seal. The Seal is surmounted by the national motto of the country: ‘Paz y Justica’, which means ‘Peace and Justice’. It is one of the oldest flags in the world.