All you need to know about Iberian America

A Trip to a Rural Paraguayan Community

Published August 20, 2020 in Paraguay , Personal Stories & Opinions - 0 Comments

Years ago, I was living in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

While there, I was scheduled to take a trip to some rural communities here and there in Paraguay.

The reason being was that we were looking into social inequality between different countries in the MERCOSUR trading block.

MERCOSUR is a trading block in South America that has member countries and other countries that have some affiliation with it.

On top of my memory, the countries that had a membership with it at the time I did this trip to Paraguay were Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.

I think Venezuela was taking a bigger part in it at the time but don’t remember well.

Either way, here’s some photos below here of the MERCOSUR HQ in Montevideo, Uruguay that we took…

But ultimately we went to Asuncion, Paraguay to look into inequality between the different countries of the trading bloc at the time.

Like how Argentina or Brazil are obviously much richer than Paraguay for example.

So we traveled (myself and some others part of this trip) to Asuncion – the capital of Paraguay.

Starting in Asuncion, Paraguay

As our group started in Asuncion…

We mostly went through some of the local markets and got in touch with some of the local vendors.

About their experience on the street selling whatever they could to make money.

Or in markets.

As you can see here…


As well, we looked into some of the protests occurring at the time…

Including this one as seen below here…

Of some of the folks down there protesting the Paraguayan education minister of the time…

If you spend enough time down here in Latin America, you will notice protests happening all the time.

Especially in capital cities like Asuncion, Paraguay.

 Overall, the initial impression, from memory, was mostly concerning the lack of funds to normal people.

Be it jobs that don’t pay shit to the lack of funds to public services like public education.

And then we went to some rural communities in Paraguay.

In the heat of the day in Asuncion Paraguay…

As hot as it can get anyway as anyone who has been to Paraguay would know…

It was another hot day and we got into a van heading to this small rural community.

It was basically a village from my memory – among other more rural areas we visited on the outside of Asuncion.

And we got to know some of the locals in the area about life there…

Visiting a Rural Community in Paraguay

We showed up in our van with some local contact that got us in touch with some contacts in some of these areas…

Which is how we were allowed to visit and so some of the research that we were doing…

Anyway, our job there was basically to just sit down with a bunch of questions and get to know the people of the area…

To get window into the life of some of these areas outside of Asuncion.

Behind us, we had some guy stumbling around a bit drunk or whatever he might have been on yelling out stuff…

“AL DIABLO!!!”

Or whatever he was screaming…

Eventually, one of the ladies in the village approached the guy and tried to calm him down.

He had a machete in his hand so it took some courage to do so, I suppose.

Anyway, she managed to get him to calm down and took him away to some building behind us.

While the conversation went on..

The main issue in the area was the lack of access to public education for the children in the area…

And also the issue concerning water..

Water in terms of having access to drinkable water for the people living there…

To also having a place for people to take a shit without it having contaminate or pollute the area…

Which, over my experience working with researchers or NGOS in rural areas of Latin America…

That’s not entirely an uncommon issue – there’s plenty of places with poor access to drinkable water and portable toilets.

As you can see here with my experience in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Anyway, our job was to mostly document a bunch of stuff – interviews and our impressions in the area…

And other areas as well….

And report on it later.

We took our observations down and ultimately headed our way.

In the end, the people in the area seemed quite nice and the area was interesting to visit.

As I often like to visit more rural areas of Latin America.

Here’s some photos below of the area that we visited.

Reflection

Ultimately, the experience of these folks is not uncommon.

As we learned visiting other rural areas in Paraguay.

Ultimately, much of the money in Paraguay and other Latin countries tends to benefit those at the top.

While those in more rural areas tend to get the least attention and least assistance despite the deep poverty in the area.

That’s no surprise either as rural areas of Latin America are, from what I have noticed, bigger hot spots for insurgency groups to come in and capture the support of the locals.

As you can see here with a conflict happening in Paraguay recently….

Or as you can read here about this insurgency group taking more support in rural areas in Paraguay years ago…

It’s no surprise then that when you neglect rural areas to the point where people are desperate…

That some opportunistic group with guns comes by and offers services and support to these rural communities…

Communities that have been neglected for a long time…

That they end up supporting the first armed group that comes by to offer some material support.

And then comes the violence and the problems for society as a whole…

Of course, that long term thinking seems to be impossible for the elites that run these countries down here.

Only short term profits for their corporate and elite buddies is what matters, amirite?!?

Either way, sarcasm aside..

This is a common issue when you actually go outside your touristy hotspots of Cancun or Rio de Janeiro…

And actually see what life is like in the more rural areas never visited and neglected for a long time…

Though not all rural areas have these problems down here, many do.

And is something I have noticed anyway – especially in my earlier years of living down here.

Anyway, if you have any experience down here in Paraguay or rural Latin America, let me know in the comment section below.

Or follow me on Twitter here.

Thanks!

Best regards,

Matt

No comments yet

Leave a Reply: