World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of South America

Paraguay Travelling Guide
Paraguay Travelling Guide

General background: In the disastrous War of the Triple Alliance (1865-70), Paraguay lost two-thirds of all adult males and much of its territory. It stagnated economically for the next half century. In the Chaco War of 1932-35, large, economically important areas were won from Bolivia. The 35-year military dictatorship of Alfredo STROESSNER was overthrown in 1989, and, despite a marked increase in political infighting in recent years, relatively free and regular presidential elections have been held since then.

Area comparative: Slightly smaller than California.

Climate: Subtropical to temperate; substantial rainfall in the eastern portions, becoming semiarid in the far west.

Terrain: Grassy plains and wooded hills east of Rio Paraguay; Gran Chaco region west of Rio Paraguay mostly low, marshy plain near the river, and dry forest and thorny scrub elsewhere.

Population: 5,884,491 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: Mestizo (mixed Spanish and Amerindian) 95%

Religions: Roman Catholic 90%, Mennonite, and other Protestant

Language: Spanish (official), Guarani (official)

Government type: Constitutional republic

Capital: Asuncion

Legal system: Based on Argentine codes, Roman law, and French codes; judicial review of legislative acts in Supreme Court of Justice.

Economic overview: Paraguay has a market economy marked by a large informal sector. The informal sector features both re-export of imported consumer goods to neighbouring countries as well as the activities of thousands of micro-enterprises and urban street vendors. Because of the importance of the informal sector, accurate economic measures are difficult to obtain. A large percentage of the population derives their living from agricultural activity, often on a subsistence basis. The formal economy grew by an average of about 3% annually in 1995-97, but GDP declined slightly in 1998, 1999, and 2000. On a per capita basis, real income has stagnated at 1980 levels. Most observers attribute Paraguay's poor economic performance to political uncertainty, corruption, lack of progress on structural reform, substantial internal and external debt, and deficient infrastructure.

Communication/Telephone system: Meager telephone service; principal switching center is Asuncion.

Places of interest: The country has a relaxed riverside capital, impressive Jesuit missions, several national parks and the vast, arid Chaco - one of South America's great wilderness areas.

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