Difference between pages "Ecuador" and "Paraguay"

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Since 1962, [[:category:Ecuador Volunteers|Peace Corps Volunteers]] have worked at the grassroots level to assist Ecuadorian communities with a range of development needs. Large sectors of the population suffer from problems such as nutritional deficiencies and a high infant mortality rate. Poor urban youth face problems such as elevated school dropout rates, illiteracy, and high unemployment. Ecuador suffers from large-scale environmental degradation as it loses 200,000 hectares of forest per year. In 1999, Ecuador experienced a major economic and banking crisis that has exacerbated these problems and contributed to political instability.
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The Peace Corps has been working in Paraguay since 1967, and is one of the oldest continuously operating Peace Corps posts in the world. The first Volunteers arrived in country in 1967 to work in agriculture extension in rural areas, and programs were soon established to work in the health and education sectors as well.
  
In response to these challenges, Volunteers focus their efforts in the areas of health, agriculture, youth, and natural resource conservation. The Peace Corps also integrates income generation and HIV/AIDS prevention into all four projects. An innovative community bank program enables community members to save and manage their finances as well as loan available funds to rural families. Volunteer Working Groups work on issues in anti-Human Trafficking and Smuggling, Gender and Development and HIV/AIDS Awareness.
+
Nearly 3,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Paraguay since 1967, and about 90 Volunteers arrive each year. Today, approximately 200 Volunteers are working in the six major sectors of agriculture, education, environment, health, small business development, and urban youth development.
 +
 
 +
Peace Corps Volunteers have always been warmly welcomed throughout Paraguay. Contributing to this receptivity are the efforts that Peace Corps/Paraguay has made to foster cultural sensitivity in its Volunteers, to place them directly in the communities to live at the level of the people with whom they work, and to stress the importance of communication in the indigenous language, Guaraní, as well as Spanish.
  
  
 
==Peace Corps History==
 
==Peace Corps History==
  
''Main article: [[History of the Peace Corps in Ecuador]]''
+
''Main article: [[History of the Peace Corps in Paraguay]]''
  
The first group of Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Ecuador on August 7, 1962. Since that time, more than 5,300 Volunteers have served in Ecuador in almost every imaginable capacity, from working on rural electrification and organic family gardens to teaching in preschool centers and universities. There are not many communities in the country where Peace Corps Volunteers have not left their mark over the past 40 years. One town (San Juan Bosco in Morona Santiago Province) even has a main street (Calle Jaime Agett) named for a Volunteer ([[James Agett]]) who served there many years ago.
+
The Peace Corps has been working in Paraguay since 1967, and the country is one of the oldest continuously operating posts in the Peace Corps. After the government of Paraguay and the Peace Corps signed a joint agreement on November 4, 1966, the first Volunteers arrived in 1967 to work in agricultural extension in rural areas. Before long, projects were also established in the health and education sectors. Nearly 3,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Paraguay since 1967, and more than 40 years later, an average of 130 Volunteers arrive each year. Today, approximately 200 Volunteers are working in the five major sectors of agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, and health. Many former Paraguay Volunteers continue to stay informed about the country‘s affairs and assist in development efforts in the country—years after they completed their service. At the same time, returned Volunteers have contributed a great deal to increasing Americans‘ knowledge and appreciation of Paraguay and its people.
  
As conditions in Ecuador have changed, the Peace Corps has refined and adapted its programs to target those areas most in need of the support the Peace Corps can provide. Peace Corps/Ecuador defines its mission as follows:
+
==Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle==
  
Peace Corps/Ecuador promotes sustainable development that will improve the quality of life of the populations with whom we collaborate. Through activities focused on income generation, nonformal education, strengthening local organizations, and protecting the environment, our four programs—habitat conservation, rural public health, sustainable agriculture, and youth and families-are our tools to achieve our goals.
+
''Main article: [[Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyles in Paraguay]]''
  
 +
Most Volunteers live and work in rural areas, but a growing number are being assigned to work in urban centers in response to the recent increase in urban migration. The latest census shows that more than half of the population lives in larger towns or cities. Your Volunteer Assignment Description (VAD) should indicate whether your project site is likely to be urban or rural. All Volunteers spend some time in Asunción because it is the location of the Peace Corps office, as well as the site of conferences and some in-service training.
  
==Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyles==
+
About 80 percent of Volunteers live in small towns or villages with fewer than 5,000 people, and some of these campo (countryside) sites have fewer than 200 inhabitants. Most (but not all) have electricity, as the country has increased the availability of electricity from 24 percent of Paraguay‘s 3 million people in 1978 to more than 60 percent of the current population of about 6.2 million. Generally, streets in the campo towns are unpaved, and there is no running water or indoor toilets. Few people in these towns have traveled outside Paraguay, and many have never even been to Asunción. The only people with cars are likely to be the doctor, the priest, and a few business people, government officials, and ranchers. Horses, motorcycles, bicycles, and ox carts make up the majority of local traffic, with children playing freely alongside roaming cows, pigs, and chickens.
  
''Main article: [[Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyles in Ecuador]]''
+
For both rural and urban Volunteers, housing in Paraguay is basic. Volunteers are required to live with a Paraguayan family during their initial three months of service. Some Volunteers then choose to live alone in one- or two-room wood or brick homes; others choose to live with a Paraguayan family for their entire two years of service. Peace Corps/Paraguay strongly recommends that Volunteers, especially single women, consider this option. Living with a family not only helps with community integration, but also decreases personal security risks. If you choose to live with a family, the furniture will be adequate and functional, but probably not overly comfortable. If you choose to live on your own, you will likely need to furnish the place yourself.  
 
+
All Volunteer housing is reviewed and approved by Peace Corps staff prior to occupancy. Volunteers live with a family for at least three months when they first move to their sites. This helps Volunteers get to know the community better and to integrate before making a permanent housing decision. Volunteers in the youth and families project work in marginal urban neighborhoods and many are required to live with a family during their entire two years of service. For reasons of safety, security, and cultural integration, the Peace Corps recommends that Volunteers in all projects consider living with a host family.
+
 
+
Housing varies greatly by site. Most Volunteers live and work in rural communities, but a few work in urban settings. Some live in buildings with up-to-date plumbing and electrical systems. Others may have a small adobe house with a pit latrine in the back and one or two bare light bulbs for illumination. A few Volunteers live in very isolated sites without electricity or running water.
+
 
+
Volunteer sites are located throughout the country but generally are clustered in several regions so that Volunteers from all four project areas and from older and newer groups are located relatively close to one another. In most cases, you will be located, at most, within two or three hours of other Volunteers. There are some areas of the country where the Peace Corps does not place any Volunteers, either because the level of development is such that Volunteers are no longer needed or because of safety and security concerns (e.g., the jungle regions of Succumbios and Orellana Provinces on the Colombian border as well as parts of Esmeraldas).  
+
  
 +
Volunteers who live in the capital or other large cities will have easier access to services such as running water, electricity, telephones, public transportation, and the Internet. They will also enjoy many of the same shopping and entertainment amenities found in similar-size cities in the United States.
  
 
==Training==
 
==Training==
  
''Main article: [[Training in Ecuador]]''
+
''Main article: [[Training in Paraguay]]''
  
The 10-week training period is a time for you and the Peace Corps to reexamine your commitment to being a Volunteer in Ecuador. Participation in training does not guarantee that you will become a Volunteer. While we fully expect you to successfully complete training, there are certain goals you must achieve before you can be sworn in as a Volunteer. These goals include attaining a minimum level of ability in the Spanish language (as measured by a standard oral exam), gaining the required technical knowledge, and demonstrating your ability to live and work within the framework of the local culture (as assessed by staff members), while following Peace Corps’ guidance for safety and security and personal health. These goals are equally important. Not only must you be able to do your job, but you must be able to do it in a culturally acceptable way. You will be evaluated and advised by both American and Ecuadorian members of the training staff regarding your progress.
+
Pre-service training (PST) is the first event within a competency-based training program that continues throughout your 27 months of service in Paraguay. PST ensures that Volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to effectively perform their jobs. Training is conducted in Paraguay at the Peace Corps Training Center by the training staff, with participation from current and former Volunteers, program managers, some representatives of Paraguayan organizations, medical officers, the safety and security officer, the program and training officer, and the country director. The length of PST varies, usually ranging from 10 to 11 weeks, depending on the competencies required for the assignment. Peace Corps/Paraguay measures achievement of learning through written tests that have a minimum score requirement, through ongoing qualitative technical assessments of the various tasks assigned trainees, through periodic personal interviews and language interviews, through a self-evaluative process called TAPS, through staff observation of the trainees in their communities, and through conversations with the host families and other members of the satellite community. If a trainee has successfully achieved competencies, including language standards, he/she is then sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer.  
  
Throughout pre-service training, you will be encouraged to continue examining your personal motivation for having joined the Peace Corps and your level of commitment, so that by the time you are invited to swear in as a Volunteer, you are making an informed and serious commitment that will sustain you through the full two years of service.
+
Throughout service, Volunteers strive to achieve performance competencies. Initially, PST affords the opportunity for trainees to develop and test their own resources. As a trainee, you will play an active role in self-education. You will be asked to decide how best to set and meet objectives and to find alternative solutions. You will be asked to prepare for an experience in which you will often have to take the initiative and accept responsibility for decisions. The success of your learning will be enhanced by your own effort to take responsibility for your learning and through sharing experiences with others.  
  
Ninety percent of training takes place in a community setting, where you will experience living and working conditions similar to those at the site where you will be assigned. During this community-based training period, you will live with an Ecuadorian family and be expected to take full advantage of the opportunity to immerse yourself in the language and culture. Three to five trainees are assigned to each community.  
+
Peace Corps training is founded on adult learning methods and often includes experiential ―hands-on‖ applications such as conducting a participatory community needs assessment and facilitating groups. Successful training results in competence in various technical, linguistic, cross-cultural, health, and safety and security areas. Integrating into the community is usually one of the core competencies Volunteers strive to achieve both in pre-service training and during the first several months of service. Successful sustainable development work is based on the local trust and confidence Volunteers build by living in, and respectfully integrating into, the Paraguayan community and culture. Trainees are prepared for this through a "homestay" experience, which requires trainees to live with host families during PST and during their first three months at their site. Integration into the community not only facilitates good working relationships, but it fosters language learning and cross-cultural acceptance and trust, which help ensure your health, safety, and security.  
  
 +
Woven into the competencies, the ability to communicate in the host country language is critical to being an effective Peace Corps Volunteer. So basic is this precept that it is spelled out in the Peace Corps Act: No person shall be assigned to duty as a Volunteer under this act in any foreign country or area unless at the time of such assignment he (or she) possesses such reasonable proficiency as his (or her) assignment requires in speaking the language of the country or area to which he (or she) is assigned.
  
==Your Health Care and Safety==
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==Health Care and Safety==
  
''Main article: [[Health Care and Safety in Ecuador]]''
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''Main article: [[Health Care and Safety in Paraguay]]''
  
The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative, approach to disease. The Peace Corps in Ecuador maintains a medical office staffed with medical officers who are registered nurses with many years of experience in caring for Volunteers. They are qualified to take care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs, but Volunteers are referred to local physicians, labs, and hospitals when necessary. If you develop a serious medical problem, the medical officers will consult with the Peace Corps’ Office of Medical Services in Washington. If it is determined that your condition cannot be cared for in Ecuador, you may be sent to the United States or Panama for further evaluation and care.
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The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative, approach to disease. The Peace Corps in Paraguay maintains a clinic that is staffed full time by a physician and a registered nurse, who take care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs. Additional medical services, such as testing and basic treatment, are also available in Paraguay at local, American-standard hospitals. If you become seriously ill or have a condition that cannot be handled adequately in-country, you will be medically evacuated to either Panama or the United States for treatment.
  
  
 
==Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues==
 
==Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues==
  
''Main article: [[Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues in Ecuador]]''
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''Main article: [[Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues in Paraguay]]''
  
In Ecuador, as in other Peace Corps countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyle, background, and beliefs are judged in a cultural context very different from their own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in Ecuador.
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In Paraguay, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyles, background, and beliefs are judged in a cultural context very different from their own. Certain personal perspectives commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in Paraguay.
  
Outside of Ecuador’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What people view as typical American behavior or norms may be a misconception, such as the belief in some countries that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Ecuador are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you live may display a range of reactions to cultural differences that you present.  
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Outside of Paraguay’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What people view as typical norteamericano behavior or norms may be a misconception, such as the belief that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Paraguay are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to cultural differences that you present.  
  
 
* Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
 
* Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
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* Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
 
* Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
 
* Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers
 
* Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers
* Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities
+
* Possible Issues for Volunteers with Disabilities
  
==Frequently Asked questions==
+
 
 +
==Frequently Asked Questions==
  
 
{{Volunteersurvey2008
 
{{Volunteersurvey2008
|H1r=  32
+
|H1r=  25
|H1s=  73
+
|H1s=  74.8
|H2r=  32
+
|H2r=  13
|H2s=  84.3
+
|H2s=  87.5
|H3r=  29
+
|H3r=  14
|H3s=  85.9
+
|H3s=  87.8
|H4r=  12
+
|H4r=  1
|H4s=  111.1
+
|H4s=  119
|H5r=  23
+
|H5r=  11
|H5s=  56.1
+
|H5s=  59.4
|H6r=  22
+
|H6r=  21
|H6s=  90.3
+
|H6s=  90.7
 
}}
 
}}
  
''Main article: [[FAQs about Peace Corps in Ecuador]]''
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''Main article: [[FAQs about Peace Corps in Paraguay]]''
* Does Ecuador accomodate medical restrictions?
+
 
* How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Ecuador?
+
* How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Paraguay?
* What is the electric current in Ecuador?
+
* What is the electric current in Paraguay?
The electric current and plug in Ecuador is the same as in the US.
+
 
* How much money should I bring?
 
* How much money should I bring?
It depends on how much you spend, but it's wise to bring at least $100, in small bills.
 
 
* When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
 
* When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
Vacation in Ecuador is very flexible, as long as you stay in-country.
 
 
* Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
 
* Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
Only if you purchase supplemental insurance.
 
 
* Do I need an international driver’s license?
 
* Do I need an international driver’s license?
PCVs are not allowed to drive.
+
* What should I bring as gifts for Paraguayan friends and my host family?
* What should I bring as gifts for Ecuadorian friends and my host family?
+
 
* Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?
 
* Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?
It varies greatly on program and site assignment.  Some are in large cities like Guayaquil; others are in tiny villages with no cell phone reception or email.
 
 
* How can my family contact me in an emergency?
 
* How can my family contact me in an emergency?
PCVs are issued [http://www.porta.net Porta] cell phones after training, so once you complete training, that's the easiest way. These phones are also capable of receiving international text messages. There is also a phone number that your family can call in DC to contact you.
+
* Can I call home from Paraguay?
* Can I call home from Ecuador?
+
Yes.  Most cities have phone booths where calls are about $.10 per minute to the US (prices vary greatly.)
+
 
* Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
 
* Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
No.  PC will issue you one after training.
 
 
* Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?
 
* Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?
Most towns have internet cafes.  Some PCVs bring laptops, though it is not necessary, and there are very few places (large cities such as Guayaquil and Quito) with Wi-fi. Volunteers with laptops are able to connect to the internet through [http://www.alegro.com.ec/Default.aspx?alias=www.alegro.com.ec/Internet Alegro] cell phones.
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* How can people send items to me in Paraguay?
* What is the [[Agricultural Task Force]]?
+
Nobody really knows yet...we´re still working on it!!
+
  
==Packing List==
 
  
''Main article: [[Packing List for Ecuador]]''
 
  
This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Ecuador and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight restriction on baggage. If you are buying luggage, we recommended that you consider the easy-to-carry variety rather than hard suitcases. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Ecuador, including custom-made clothing.
+
==Packing List==
 +
 
 +
''Main article: [[Packing List for Paraguay]]''
  
Since you may live in chilly mountains, the hot and humid coast or jungle, or a more temperate transition zone, this can only be a general guide.  
+
This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Paraguay and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that every experience is unique. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have a 23 kilo, or 50 pound, weight restriction per bag, and a 2 bag limit. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Paraguay. There are modern shopping malls in Asunción. Most small appliances, such as blow dryers and CD players/radio, are available. Clothes can be purchased or made for a modest price, and thrift stores offer used American clothing.
  
 
* General Clothing
 
* General Clothing
 
* For Women
 
* For Women
 +
* For Men
 
* Shoes
 
* Shoes
 
* Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
 
* Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
 
* Kitchen
 
* Kitchen
* Miscellaneous
 
  
 
==Peace Corps News==
 
==Peace Corps News==
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Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by [[News | country of service]] or [[News by state|your home state]]
 
Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by [[News | country of service]] or [[News by state|your home state]]
  
-- 
+
''The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.''<br><rss title=on desc=off>http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&scoring=n&q=%22peace+corps%22+%22paraguay%22&output=rss|charset=UTF-8|short|date=M d</rss>
 
+
This website was made entirely by volunteers, to share their stories with the American public
+
+
 
+
''The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.''<br><rss title=on desc=off>http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&scoring=n&q=%22peace+corps%22+%22ecuador%22&output=rss|charset=UTF-8|short|date=M d</rss>
+
  
<br>'''[http://peacecorpsjournals.com PEACE CORPS JOURNALS]'''<br>''( As of {{CURRENTDAYNAME}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}}, {{CURRENTYEAR}} )''<rss title=off desc=off>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/ec/blog/50.xml|charset=UTF-8|short|max=10</rss>
+
<br>'''[http://peacecorpsjournals.com PEACE CORPS JOURNALS]'''<br>''( As of {{CURRENTDAYNAME}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}}, {{CURRENTYEAR}} )''<rss title=off desc=off>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/pa/blog/50.xml|charset=UTF-8|short|max=10</rss>
  
 
==Country Fund==
 
==Country Fund==
  
Contributions to the [https://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.donors.contribute.projDetail&projdesc=518-CFD Ecuador Country Fund] will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in Ecuador. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.
+
Contributions to the [https://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.donors.contribute.projDetail&projdesc=526-CFD Paraguay Country Fund] will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in Paraguay. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.
  
==See also==
+
==See Also==
* [http://www.projectsforpeaceecuador.org Peace Corps Ecuador website]
+
* [[Friends of Paraguay]]
* [[Volunteers who served in Ecuador]]
+
* [[Ecuador_sites| Sites where Volunteers served in Ecuador]]
+
* [[Friends of Ecuador]]
+
 
* [[Pre-Departure Checklist]]
 
* [[Pre-Departure Checklist]]
 +
* [[List of resources for Paraguay]]
 
* [[Inspector General Reports]]
 
* [[Inspector General Reports]]
* [[List of resources for Ecuador]]
 
  
==External links==
 
* [http://www.peacecorpsjournals.com/ec.html Peace Corps Journals - Ecuador]
 
* [http://www.friendsofecuador.org Friends of Ecuador]
 
* [http://peacecorpsonline.org/messages/messages/467/1160.html Peace Corps Online: Ecuador]
 
  
[[Category:Ecuador]] [[Category:South America]]
+
[[Category:Paraguay]] [[Category:South America]][[Category:Country]]
[[Category:Country]]
+

Latest revision as of 10:46, 22 May 2014


The Peace Corps has been working in Paraguay since 1967, and is one of the oldest continuously operating Peace Corps posts in the world. The first Volunteers arrived in country in 1967 to work in agriculture extension in rural areas, and programs were soon established to work in the health and education sectors as well.

Nearly 3,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Paraguay since 1967, and about 90 Volunteers arrive each year. Today, approximately 200 Volunteers are working in the six major sectors of agriculture, education, environment, health, small business development, and urban youth development.

Peace Corps Volunteers have always been warmly welcomed throughout Paraguay. Contributing to this receptivity are the efforts that Peace Corps/Paraguay has made to foster cultural sensitivity in its Volunteers, to place them directly in the communities to live at the level of the people with whom they work, and to stress the importance of communication in the indigenous language, Guaraní, as well as Spanish.


Peace Corps History[edit]

Main article: History of the Peace Corps in Paraguay

The Peace Corps has been working in Paraguay since 1967, and the country is one of the oldest continuously operating posts in the Peace Corps. After the government of Paraguay and the Peace Corps signed a joint agreement on November 4, 1966, the first Volunteers arrived in 1967 to work in agricultural extension in rural areas. Before long, projects were also established in the health and education sectors. Nearly 3,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Paraguay since 1967, and more than 40 years later, an average of 130 Volunteers arrive each year. Today, approximately 200 Volunteers are working in the five major sectors of agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, and health. Many former Paraguay Volunteers continue to stay informed about the country‘s affairs and assist in development efforts in the country—years after they completed their service. At the same time, returned Volunteers have contributed a great deal to increasing Americans‘ knowledge and appreciation of Paraguay and its people.

Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle[edit]

Main article: Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyles in Paraguay

Most Volunteers live and work in rural areas, but a growing number are being assigned to work in urban centers in response to the recent increase in urban migration. The latest census shows that more than half of the population lives in larger towns or cities. Your Volunteer Assignment Description (VAD) should indicate whether your project site is likely to be urban or rural. All Volunteers spend some time in Asunción because it is the location of the Peace Corps office, as well as the site of conferences and some in-service training.

About 80 percent of Volunteers live in small towns or villages with fewer than 5,000 people, and some of these campo (countryside) sites have fewer than 200 inhabitants. Most (but not all) have electricity, as the country has increased the availability of electricity from 24 percent of Paraguay‘s 3 million people in 1978 to more than 60 percent of the current population of about 6.2 million. Generally, streets in the campo towns are unpaved, and there is no running water or indoor toilets. Few people in these towns have traveled outside Paraguay, and many have never even been to Asunción. The only people with cars are likely to be the doctor, the priest, and a few business people, government officials, and ranchers. Horses, motorcycles, bicycles, and ox carts make up the majority of local traffic, with children playing freely alongside roaming cows, pigs, and chickens.

For both rural and urban Volunteers, housing in Paraguay is basic. Volunteers are required to live with a Paraguayan family during their initial three months of service. Some Volunteers then choose to live alone in one- or two-room wood or brick homes; others choose to live with a Paraguayan family for their entire two years of service. Peace Corps/Paraguay strongly recommends that Volunteers, especially single women, consider this option. Living with a family not only helps with community integration, but also decreases personal security risks. If you choose to live with a family, the furniture will be adequate and functional, but probably not overly comfortable. If you choose to live on your own, you will likely need to furnish the place yourself.

Volunteers who live in the capital or other large cities will have easier access to services such as running water, electricity, telephones, public transportation, and the Internet. They will also enjoy many of the same shopping and entertainment amenities found in similar-size cities in the United States.

Training[edit]

Main article: Training in Paraguay

Pre-service training (PST) is the first event within a competency-based training program that continues throughout your 27 months of service in Paraguay. PST ensures that Volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to effectively perform their jobs. Training is conducted in Paraguay at the Peace Corps Training Center by the training staff, with participation from current and former Volunteers, program managers, some representatives of Paraguayan organizations, medical officers, the safety and security officer, the program and training officer, and the country director. The length of PST varies, usually ranging from 10 to 11 weeks, depending on the competencies required for the assignment. Peace Corps/Paraguay measures achievement of learning through written tests that have a minimum score requirement, through ongoing qualitative technical assessments of the various tasks assigned trainees, through periodic personal interviews and language interviews, through a self-evaluative process called TAPS, through staff observation of the trainees in their communities, and through conversations with the host families and other members of the satellite community. If a trainee has successfully achieved competencies, including language standards, he/she is then sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Throughout service, Volunteers strive to achieve performance competencies. Initially, PST affords the opportunity for trainees to develop and test their own resources. As a trainee, you will play an active role in self-education. You will be asked to decide how best to set and meet objectives and to find alternative solutions. You will be asked to prepare for an experience in which you will often have to take the initiative and accept responsibility for decisions. The success of your learning will be enhanced by your own effort to take responsibility for your learning and through sharing experiences with others.

Peace Corps training is founded on adult learning methods and often includes experiential ―hands-on‖ applications such as conducting a participatory community needs assessment and facilitating groups. Successful training results in competence in various technical, linguistic, cross-cultural, health, and safety and security areas. Integrating into the community is usually one of the core competencies Volunteers strive to achieve both in pre-service training and during the first several months of service. Successful sustainable development work is based on the local trust and confidence Volunteers build by living in, and respectfully integrating into, the Paraguayan community and culture. Trainees are prepared for this through a "homestay" experience, which requires trainees to live with host families during PST and during their first three months at their site. Integration into the community not only facilitates good working relationships, but it fosters language learning and cross-cultural acceptance and trust, which help ensure your health, safety, and security.

Woven into the competencies, the ability to communicate in the host country language is critical to being an effective Peace Corps Volunteer. So basic is this precept that it is spelled out in the Peace Corps Act: No person shall be assigned to duty as a Volunteer under this act in any foreign country or area unless at the time of such assignment he (or she) possesses such reasonable proficiency as his (or her) assignment requires in speaking the language of the country or area to which he (or she) is assigned.

Health Care and Safety[edit]

Main article: Health Care and Safety in Paraguay

The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative, approach to disease. The Peace Corps in Paraguay maintains a clinic that is staffed full time by a physician and a registered nurse, who take care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs. Additional medical services, such as testing and basic treatment, are also available in Paraguay at local, American-standard hospitals. If you become seriously ill or have a condition that cannot be handled adequately in-country, you will be medically evacuated to either Panama or the United States for treatment.


Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues[edit]

Main article: Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues in Paraguay

In Paraguay, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyles, background, and beliefs are judged in a cultural context very different from their own. Certain personal perspectives commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in Paraguay.

Outside of Paraguay’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What people view as typical norteamericano behavior or norms may be a misconception, such as the belief that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Paraguay are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to cultural differences that you present.

  • Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
  • Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color
  • Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers
  • Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
  • Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers
  • Possible Issues for Volunteers with Disabilities


Frequently Asked Questions[edit]

Paraguay
2008 Volunteer Survey Results

How personally rewarding is your overall Peace Corps service?|}} Rank:
2008 H1r::25|}}
Score:
2008 H1s::74.8|}}
Today would you make the same decision to join the Peace Corps?|}} Rank:
2008 H2r::13|}}
Score:
2008 H2s::87.5|}}
Would you recommend Peace Corps service to others you think are qualified?|}} Rank:
2008 H3r::14|}}
Score:
2008 H3s::87.8|}}
Do you intend to complete your Peace Corps service?|}} Rank:
2008 H4r::1|}}
Score:
2008 H4s::119|}}
How well do your Peace Corps experiences match the expectations you had before you became a Volunteer?|}} Rank:
2008 H5r::11|}}
Score:
2008 H5s::59.4|}}
Would your host country benefit the most if the Peace Corps program were---?|}} Rank:
2008 H6r::21|}}
Score:
2008 H6s::90.7|}}
2008BVS::Paraguay


Main article: FAQs about Peace Corps in Paraguay

  • How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Paraguay?
  • What is the electric current in Paraguay?
  • How much money should I bring?
  • When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
  • Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
  • Do I need an international driver’s license?
  • What should I bring as gifts for Paraguayan friends and my host family?
  • Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?
  • How can my family contact me in an emergency?
  • Can I call home from Paraguay?
  • Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
  • Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?
  • How can people send items to me in Paraguay?


Packing List[edit]

Main article: Packing List for Paraguay

This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Paraguay and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that every experience is unique. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have a 23 kilo, or 50 pound, weight restriction per bag, and a 2 bag limit. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Paraguay. There are modern shopping malls in Asunción. Most small appliances, such as blow dryers and CD players/radio, are available. Clothes can be purchased or made for a modest price, and thrift stores offer used American clothing.

  • General Clothing
  • For Women
  • For Men
  • Shoes
  • Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
  • Kitchen

Peace Corps News[edit]

Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by country of service or your home state

The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.
<rss title=on desc=off>http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&scoring=n&q=%22peace+corps%22+%22paraguay%22&output=rss%7Ccharset=UTF-8%7Cshort%7Cdate=M d</rss>


PEACE CORPS JOURNALS
( As of Saturday December 20, 2014 )<rss title=off desc=off>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/pa/blog/50.xml%7Ccharset=UTF-8%7Cshort%7Cmax=10</rss>

Country Fund[edit]

Contributions to the Paraguay Country Fund will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in Paraguay. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.

See Also[edit]