The approximately 7 million residents of Paraguay are made up of mestizos, Europeans and Indians. Most of them, almost 90 percent of the population, are the mestizos (Paraguayans, the majority of whom arose from the union of Guaraní Indians with Spanish immigrants). There are only a few indigenous people left. Around 17 ethnic groups, which are still divided into smaller tribes, only make up about 1-2 percent of the total population.
At the beginning of the 20th century there were waves of immigration from Europe as well as from the neighboring countries Argentina and Brazil. Compared to other South American countries, immigration and thus also foreign influences were kept within limits in and to Paraguay. Even today you can still experience the real Ur-Paraguay.
The people are usually very friendly and frugal. They prefer their peace and quiet, as well as their personal peace, to the pursuit of wealth or other things. They are mostly neutral or positive towards foreigners. The Paraguayans’ attitude to life makes a significant contribution to the fact that they are among the happiest people in the world despite poverty.
There are regionally significant minorities of Europeans and indigenous peoples, among which the Guaraní are the most important group. Their language (Guaraní), which is also spoken by 80 percent of the non-indigenous population, has official status alongside Spanish according to the 1992 constitution.
In certain regions and colonies, foreign languages such as Standard German, Low German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese and Russian are also spoken. In total there are over 20 languages spoken in Paraguay.
Language courses (SA) Spanish
Among the multitude of language courses, I recommend multimedia language courses because you learn very quickly with this method.
Paraguayan culture is mainly composed of the tradition of the Guaraní and Spanish tribe as well as recent Argentinean, German and Italian contributions. Since Paraguay was relatively isolated from external influences for a long time, many cultural peculiarities that were introduced by the Spanish conquerors, craftsmen and Jesuit missionaries in the 16th and 17th centuries have been preserved to this day.
Drinking mate and tereré tea is part of Paraguayan culture and tradition. A herbal mixture, the yerba, is poured into a mug and infused with hot water for mate and cold water for tereré. People drink with a straw, the bombilla. Drinking mate and tereré is an indispensable part of the social life of a real Paraguayan. It promotes communication with each other and there is something very informal and cozy about chatting to each other while drinking.
The Ateneo Paraguayo, a leading cultural center, provides funding for art exhibitions and concerts (including opera). Guaraní culture is promoted by the Guaraní Academy of Language and Culture, the Paraguayan Indian Association and the Guaraní Theater.
The most important libraries and museums are all in Asunción. These include the National Archives, the American Library of the National Museum of Fine Arts, which, in addition to books, mainly houses paintings and historical objects, and the library of the Paraguayan Society of Sciences. Well-known cultural sites are also the ethnographic museum and the military history museum.
The level of education of the population of Paraguay is mediocre. Compulsory schooling in Paraguay is 9 years. Due to the poverty in the country, however, many children leave school prematurely or do not attend school at all in order to support the family economically through their own work. This is particularly true in rural areas. Evening schools to catch up on graduation are therefore becoming increasingly popular.
In addition to the official languages Spanish and Guaraní, English and German are taught as foreign languages. Unfortunately, schools often lack the necessary teaching staff, so this privilege is reserved for students from private schools.
There are also a number of German private schools in Paraguay. They are often settled in the German-speaking colonies and in the capital Asunción. Depending on the school, the students have the opportunity to obtain a national qualification, a language diploma in the German language or a Bachillerato (university entrance qualification), which in turn serves as a qualification for individual courses.
The normal bachillerato is not recognized as a qualification for studying at a scientific university in Germany. At the Colegio Goethe in Asunción, however, there is the possibility of the mixed-language International Baccalaureat (GIB), which is also valid as an entitlement to universities in Germany. You can find information about the German schools in the state at www.pasch-net.de.
Would you like to study in Paraguay or do a semester abroad ? The largest state university is the Universidad Nacional de Asunción (UNA). There are also around 50 private universities in Paraguay. One of these private universities is the Universidad Paraguaya Alemana (UPA). In cooperation with SRH Holding Heidelberg, teaching is structured like at a German university of applied sciences and the degrees are recognized in the European Union. The Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from the Universidad del Conosur de las Américas is also recognized in Germany.