Asunción, Paraguay Project Center - IQP
Paraguay, located between Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil, is a beautiful country, served by two large rivers and comprised of several distinct natural regions. It is world-famous for its bird life, and the mighty jaguar, as well as many other exciting creatures - such as howler monkeys and giant anteaters – that call Paraguay home. The Paraguayan people are friendly and helpful to foreigners. The cultural life in Paraguay is also fascinating. Interestingly, the country’s culture and society represent a blend of both indigenous and Spanish colonial influences, a dual inheritance that manifests in its commitment to two official languages, Guarani and Spanish. Over 80% of Paraguayans speak both Spanish and Guarani. Visitors are often enchanted with Paraguayan handicrafts, including musical instruments (guitars and harps), silver filigree jewelry, and hand-made lace, hammocks, and embroidered cloth.
With only six million people, Paraguay is small in territorial extension, but it has a robust economy based on remarkable agricultural production. While historically a poor country, important economic strides have been made in the past decades, and today, only 25% of Paraguayans can be considered to live under the Paraguayan national poverty line.
Paraguay has a subtropical to temperate climate with substantial rainfall in the eastern portions, becoming semiarid in the far west. Average temperatures in Asunción in March fall between 70°F and 89°F.
WPI students have been completing projects since 2014, contributing to the well-being and development of Paraguay.
The impact WPI students have had on the Cerrito School and other communities in Benjamín Aceval, in the Chaco region near the capital - Asunción - has been meaningful and very much appreciated by Paraguayans. Past WPI students in Paraguay have produced fantastic contributions to the communities there:
- Improved a system for monitoring poverty with Fundación Paraguaya.
- Developed upgrades and marketing materials for Cerrito School’s on-campus dairy factory.
- Worked with non-profit water districts to test potability of drinking water.
- Improved safety protocol for the prevention and management of fires at Cerrito School.
- Designed systems to prevent and mitigate erosion within the Cerrito School campus.
- Worked with local teachers to enhance to promote the use of online teaching tools.