The forgotten corner of South-America (part 1) (1 Viewer)

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Apr 4, 2019
Hello everyone! I discovered this site and the discord just three days ago, but I am already in love with everything. Since I promised myself to 'put myself out there' I thought I'd share my experience of my first weeks in Paraguay!

This was going to be my first real journey, on my own, from Europe to South-America. I had dreamt about this for years and when I started planning my trip I had to wait 10 more months before I could finally go. Paraguay didn't seem like an unfamiliar country when I applied for the internship but in my search for information, I discovered that not much is known about the country. The things I did read about travelling to South-America were about crime, drugs, how you should dress conservatively as a female and other safety tips. My family was already worried in advance which made it a real challenge to do what I intended to:
*Don't have any expectations!*

Upon my arrival in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, I had way too many things with me. I struggled with my luggage, I couldn't really understand the things people were saying to me and it was the middle of the night.... but I felt absolutely exhilarated. I am here!

The fact that I arrived at night frightened everyone at home… so a transfer to my hotel was arranged to pick me up at the airport. Of course, I didn’t sleep that much, because I was way to hyped up. The next day I got a ride to the bus station. But there I was again, struggling with my luggage, afraid that someone would steal my suitcases, contemplating how I was going to walk up the stairs…. Afraid to ask for help in a language I didn’t really speak that well after all, I tried to do it alone. As soon as I put my foot on that first step two people rushed towards me to help me out.

Then I reminded myself again: Don’t have any expectations, not even the negative ones!

I bought a bus ticket and waited for the bus to Pilar! Everyone was walking around with these strange little pots I knew nothing about:

This is an equipo. Every Paraguayan owns at least 1. The cup is filled with yerba mate and the equipo with either hot water to make mate or cold water to make terere. There are even rules on how to drink and share these drinks!

-Centro Ideal, Pilar Ñeembucú. (Para la Tierra)

After a 6-hour bus ride and being awake for almost the entire night I arrived in Pilar. Pilar is one of the best little towns I’ve ever encountered. Everyone greets you in the streets, people are open and friendly, drinks are shared, hugs are given…. every warning I’ve read before seemed like a joke. I feel safer here than I do when I walk the streets at home. I was picked up at the bus terminal by one of the staff members. After I was shown my room and the hostel I crashed down on my bed and slept for 12 straight hours.
Although I've been working most of the days here in Pilar, the surrounding nature is absolutely beautiful, biodiverse but also very much under threat. Most of the Atlantic Forest which used to cover almost all of Paraguay has been lost due to agricultural practices. At Para la Tierra they try to conserve the fragile habitats that are still present by educating the children in Pilar and making them aware and enthusiastic about nature, engaging with the community and through scientific research which I am currently conducting!

Today marks my 7th week here in Pilar and I already feel like the world has changed for me. Although I promised myself not to expect anything. I did expect that this experience would somehow change things. I just didn’t know the massive impact it would have in such a short time. And this is just the beginning! I’ll be travelling through Paraguay in a few weeks and I also plan to go to Argentina and Brazil for a bit.

Please let me know if anyone is interested in more travel stories from Paraguay.

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Oct 16, 2015
neat, yes more please. One question, how much Spanish is spoken there? I have heard the majority outside Asuncion is Guarani speaking exclusively, only hearsay though.

very beautiful photos also
Apr 4, 2019
neat, yes more please. One question, how much Spanish is spoken there? I have heard the majority outside Asuncion is Guarani speaking exclusively, only hearsay though.

very beautiful photos also

Yes most of the people here have Guarani as their native language and they learn Spanish as their second. There are a lot of people who exclusively speak Guarani though which is quite the challenge. Pilar is an upcoming town though. The children that do go to school even learn English! English is also taught in University so most of the people I come across do speak Spanish and some English


Born Wild
StP Supporter
Mar 22, 2017
Yes! More please! Very much enjoyed the read. Well written, I love the open mind taring down american stereo types. Much love!

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