Gran Chaco Travel Destinations

Immigrants

Paraguay is also home to an interesting mix of immigrant populations. Some are more integrated into Paraguayan society than others. Geographic isolation has led many to adapt quickly to Paraguay and become paraguayizados (paraguayanized), drinking terere and picking up Guarani.

Mennonites Perhaps the best known of Paraguay’s immigrant communities, the Mennonites arrived to the country in the late 1920’s. The first groups settled in the Paraguayan Chaco (see The Mennonites). These days, there are over seventeen Mennonite colonies consisting of more than 28,000 people, each organized around the cooperative system, throughout Paraguay. Most communities are very closed off, maintaining a purposeful distance between themselves and Paraguayans, even those who work alongside them.

Brazilians The majority of Brazilians in Paraguay are dedicated to agriculture. Many large cattle ranches are both Brazilian owned and operated. In certain areas of the country, you are very likely to hear more Portuguese than Spanish, although many do make the effort to learn Guarani in order to better communicate with campesino workers. Due to their permanence in Paraguay, they are given the nickname Brasiguayos.

Europeans Throughout Paraguay, there are several areas with large European (non-Mennonite) communities such as Colonia Independencia in the Guaira department and Caacupe, Altos, and Piribebuy in the Cordillera department. The vast majority are retirees making the most of their European pensions. They are drawn to Paraguay because of the tropical climate, low cost of living, and lack of restrictions on commercial ventures. Many come with an entrepreneurial spirit, setting up restaurants, hotels, and other forms of business catering to both the local and expat community.

Asians There are a significant amount of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean communities throughout Paraguay. For the most part, the Japanese immigrants are concentrated in rural areas dedicating themselves to horticulture and beekeeping. The Chinese and Korean populations are more prevalent in urban areas dedicating themselves to commercial ventures.

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