Notes on Paraguay, the past and the present

Essay by swavsfanUniversity, Bachelor's October 2004

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Paraguay is in a new historical phase facing important economic, social and political problems. Fully mobilizing its social capital could be a great step in achieving the mandates that the citizenship has demanded from the new government: to strengthen democracy.

Not only does social capital have to do with invisible aspects of a society's functioning, but it also has great incidence in its historical performance. Among the examples of this are the interpersonal confidence levels, the capacities to generate forms of cooperation, the degree of civil conscience, and the predominant ethical values. Recent research indicates unanimously that social capital has great influence on macroeconomic results, productive microeconomic performance, political stability, democratic governance, and other key aspects.

Countries around the world with better development in these fields have mobilized social capital, which materializes itself in very concrete expressions, such as corporate social responsibility, volunteering, citizen participation, and empowerment of poor communities.

Among the Latin American societies there is enormous potential in these aspects, but public policies are very limited.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has created the Inter-American Initiative on Social Capital, Ethics and Development, with support from the Government of Norway, to help Latin American countries mobilize social capital.

As an initiative of the IDB representation in Paraguay, and the joint support of the State and Civil Society Division of the Regional Department of Operations 1 of the IDB, and the Inter-American Initiative on Social Capital, Ethics and Development of the IDB with support of the Government of Norway, and the Development Institute of Paraguay, a national seminar on this subject has been organized.

Among its participants are high level government officials from Paraguay, political leaders, businessmen, religious leaders, various leaders from civil society organizations, universities, and other sectors.


Colonial Paraguay (basically, what is now Eastern Paraguay)...