Essay by ioxy2High School, 10th gradeA+, November 2003

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Paraguay is a very interesting country to learn about. It has a population of around 5,358,000 people and the land covers a 157,047 sq. mi area. It is located in South America and is closed in by Bolivia on the north and west, Brazil on the east, and Argentina on the south and west. Bolivia and Paraguay are the two landlocked nations of the continent. The capital and by far the largest city is Asuncion.

Most of the population lives on the eastern part of the country, a lowland rising in the east and north to a plateau region. The region was once a thick forest land, but now most of the forest is depleted. The Paraguay river forms part of the border between Paraguay and Argentina. Dry plains and woodlands are all that is to the left of the Paraguay river, and that is where cattle is raised and quebracho is found.

The country is divided into 19 departments. All of the important cities are to the east. Besides Asuncion, they are Villarrica, Concepcion, and Encarnacion.

The population is largely Mestizo, of mixed Spanish and Guarani descent. Spanish is the official language spoken, but Guarani is spoken by most of the population. The Jesuit missions were very important in the blending of Spanish and Guarani cultures. Later immigrants- German, Italian, French, Brazilian, and Japanese- added new elements to the distinctive civilization of Paraguay. The country's arts and handicrafts reflect the various strains. A notable musical contribution is the guarania, a form developed from native melodies by Jose Asuncion Flores during the Chaco war. Nanduit lace is the most famous Paraguan handicraft. Roman Catholicism is the established religion; most protestants are Mennonites. There are two universities, National(1890), and Catholic(1960), both are in Asuncion.

More than half of Paraguay's workers...