Packing list for Paraguay

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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.

The standard for work attire in Paraguay is neat and professional, but not fancy. This “business casual” applies during pre-service training as well as Volunteer service. Volunteers working in different professional capacities will need different sets of clothing although, in general, Volunteers should be prepared to have a couple of good business casual type outfits. For example, municipal services development, rural economic development, and Volunteers working within the school system will need more clothes for an office setting than will a Volunteer placed in a rural setting. Think in terms of comfort, versatility, and, most important, durability. Since there are extremes in weather, separates that coordinate well and that can be layered on or off as needed are useful.

Remember that it gets really hot in the summer and, although it does not freeze in the winter, homes in Paraguay are not insulated and are drafty-imagine going camping in 40°F weather. It is a very good idea to bring a mummy-type sleeping bag for the cold (comes with a stuff sack, is lightweight, and easy to pack). Thick-soled shoes are best purchased in the United States because of price and quality, and men’s sizes over 10.5 and women’s sizes over 9 are difficult to find in Paraguay.

It is also important to consider the color of your clothing. Volunteers generally recommend darker colors because they are less likely to show dirt. However, Volunteers working in beekeeping will need light-colored work clothes, and early elementary education Volunteers working with teachers should bring navy blue pants or skirts and white shirts or blouses. Red and royal blue are the colors of the main political parties. Wearing these colors inside a municipality may have political implications. Business casual is recommended for municipal services development Volunteers. For both men and women, simple, nonflashy clothing will open more doors and minds. Everything on the general clothing list applies to both women and men. Also, Paraguayans wear a shirt called Ao’poi for formal occasions as well as business casual which is very popular with Volunteers in Paragauy. Most Volunteers buy at least one of these shirts during training.

Do not pack anything precious or expensive that you could not reasonably part from. This includes laptop computers. While they may be a great tool, laptops increase the threat of theft and are susceptible to the exteme conditions in-country(humidity, dust, bugs etc.). The incidence of theft is on the rise, and Paraguay’s high humidity and dust can damage expensive equipment.


General Clothing

For Women

Paraguayan women usually wear shorts and T-shirts to swim).

For Men


Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items


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