miércoles, 26 de mayo de 2010

Nights on the Rio Paraguay

I have found this book; and It is pretty accurate about the description of Asuncion....

lunes, 7 de diciembre de 2009

Paraguay’s Virgin Of Miracles - Caacupe

PARAGUAY/Caacupe, has long been considered Paraguay’s, “Religious Capital”. It is the seat of the Catholic Diocese of Caacupe and the center of town is dominated by a massive Cathedral called the Nuestra Senora de los Milagros. There’s an abundance of religious monuments and statues in Caacupe, but most important of all, it’s the home of the Virgin of Miracles.
According to history, in the sixteenth century, an Indian Christian, who was a sculptor, was out in the bush searching for mud. He was alone and came upon a group of men who were enemies from another village. The sculptor feared for his life and hid behind a large, thick trunk. Trembling and shaking, the converted Indian prayed to the Virgin Mary to keep him safe.
He promised the Virgin Mary that if she kept him safe from harm, he’d carve a statue of her out of the trunk that was keeping him safely hid. Escaping without harm, the sculptor kept his word and returned to get the needed wood from the trunk. He carved a beautiful statue of the Virgin that was taken to the church of Tobati, and he carved a smaller one that he kept for himself.
Over the years, there have been many miracles that have been attributed to this amazing statue. In 1603, the Tapaicua Lake flooded the entire valley and swept everything in it’s path away, including the statue. But, as the water receded, the statue miraculously appeared. From then on, the statue was called the Virgin of Miracles.
After the statue survived the flood, a carpenter constructed a hermitage in which to house the statue. And, almost immediately, pilgrims started making their way to the statue. Today, the statue is kept in the Cathedral in the town center, although it is widely debated whether the one on display is actually the original.
Every year, on December 8, believers gather in Caacupe to participate in the religious festival to honor of The Virgin of Caacupe. Hundreds of thousands of people make the pilgrimage each year and most come on foot, as is the tradition, from as much as 100 miles away. The festival held during this national holiday, spans several days.
The statue has a delicate oval shaped face and blue eyes. Her hands are joined in prayer, she wears an elegant snow white tunic and has a sky blue cloak around her shoulder, both of which are adrorned with gold embroidery. The statue stands on a sphere that rests upon a large half moon.
During the festival, a copy of the statue is used to prevent any damage to the original. For quite some time, to be able to adorn the statue with rich garments, the copy was enlarged disproportionately. The Church authorities finally decided that the copy should be given the same size as the original statue.
Devout believers, people in need and those who are sick or injured make the pilgrimage to Caacupe to lay petitions and prayers before the statue. The cobble stoned plaza in front of the basilica is large enough to accomodate around 300,000 people and each year it is over filled. During the night, many people sleep on the sidewalks, patches of grass, bushes, and anywhere else they can find a spot.
During the festival masses are held around the clock. There is a giant market all through the town with hundreds of souvenir vendors and people selling food. The town hosts a large fireworks display and thousands of people join in a candlelight procession. It’s a festival of celebration, giving thanks for answered prayers, praying for prayers to be answered and most of all, showing their devotion and love to Mary
text from Paravision Cannel 5

jueves, 24 de septiembre de 2009

MBEJU - paraguayan gastronomy

Mbeju: It's a starch cake (starch is a food reserve polysaccharide that supplies about 70 or 80% of the calories consumed by humans around the world), although in its preparation are allowed another ingredients as the farina (manioc flour).
It's a solid sample of the Paraguayan gastronomy, vastly rich in calories. According to some scholars of social history of Paraguay, all the Paraguayan popular gastronomy, which establishes itself as a small family industry after the War of Paraguay against The Triple Alliance (Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, between 1864 and 1870), is really abundant in caloric content, because of the situation that overcame to the country after the conflict. In the aftermath of the war, food was limited, groceries were hard to find. So Paraguayan cooking has a high protein content to make up for the scarcity of every day meal.
To make a traditional mbejú are needed: starch, corn flour, egg, pork fat, thin salt, fresh cheese and milk.To make a variety named "mbejú avevo" (the Guarani phrase for "inflated cake") are used the same ingredients mentioned above but with the pork fat, the eggs and the cheese in larger quantities.To make the "mbejú de fariña" the starch flour is replaced by manioc flour.
The starch is amassed with an amassing stick to then be sifted and weighed. The fat and the crumbled cheese are added. The mixture is whipped until it gets creamy. Eggs, salt and milk are added as the whipping continues. Finally are added the starch and the corn flour, mixing everything using the hands until having a thick powder-like preparation. A greased frying pan is let at the fire, to get a very high temperature. A layer of the mixture of about 1 and half centimeters is put in the pan, squeezing the borders with the back of a spoon. It is cooked for a few minutes, moving the pan so it cooks evenly without burning the center. Helped by a lid of the pan, flip the mbejú on the other side, finishing the cooking the same way mentioned above.
Pictures: Liliana Palacios - text:wikipedia

martes, 15 de septiembre de 2009

TERERE - paraguayan tradition

Tereré is an infusion of yerba mate (in Spanish) / erva-mate (in Portuguese), similar to mate but prepared with cold water (rather than with hot water), and in a slightly larger vessel. It is ubiquitous in Paraguay.
The vast majority of people in Paraguay take their tereré with water infused remedial herbs such as mint "menta-i" or lemongrass. When not prepared with plain cold water, citrus fruit juices are usually used, although this practice varies depending on the region.

First invented by the Guaraní natives who lived in Paraguay, tereré was spread by the dwellers of that region, and for centuries was a social beverage. People usually prepare one jar of natural water and a "guampa" (Spanish) with a "bombilla" (Spanish) which is shared among the group of people. Since Paraguay have a very hot climate, this drink is excellent to refresh the body and can be considered a very low-calorie, non-alcoholic beverage. Additionally, it is an important ritual signifying trust and communion.

Bombillas are metal straws with a filter at the end, the Yerba is placed at the bottom of the guampa, and as water is added the bombilla drinks from the guampa the clear green liquid.
El tereré no es una bebida...
Bueno, sí. Es un líquido y entra por la boca. Pero no es una bebida.
En el Paraguay nadie toma tereré porque tenga sed exactamente. Es más bien una costumbre, como rascarse. El tereré es exactamente lo contrario que la televisión. Te hace conversar si estás con alguien, y te hace pensar cuando estás solo.
Cuando llega alguien a tu casa la primera frase es hola y la segunda ¿tereré?.
Esto pasa en todas las casas. En la de los ricos y en la de los pobres.
Pasa entre mujeres serias o chismosas, y pasa entre hombres serios o inmaduros. Pasa entre los viejos de un geriátrico o entre los adolescentes mientras estudian. Es lo único que comparten los padres y los hijos sin discutir ni echarse nada en cara.
Cuando tienes un hijo, le empiezas a dar tereré cuando lo pide, y se sienten grandes. Sientes un orgullo enorme cuando ese enanito de tu sangre empieza a tomarlo. Sentís que se te sale el corazón del cuerpo. Después ellos, con los años, elegirán si tomarlo solo, con yuyos, con un chorrito de limón.Cuando conoces a alguien por primera vez, siempre dices, si quieres ve a casa vamos a tomar tereré. La gente pregunta, cuando no hay confianza: con limón, muy frió o no? El otro responde: Como a ti te guste.

Los teclados de las computadoras tienen las letras llenas de yerba.
La yerba es lo único que hay siempre, en todas las casas. Siempre. Con inflación, con hambre, con militares, con democracia, con cualquiera de nuestras pestes y problemas eternos.
Y si un día no hay yerba, un vecino tiene y te la da, de onda le pides y está todo bien. La yerba no se le niega a nadie.

Éste es el único país (Paraguay) del mundo en donde la decisión de dejar de ser un chico y empezar a ser un hombre ocurre un día en particular.
Nada de pantalones largos, circuncisión, universidad o vivir lejos de los padres.
Aquí empezamos a ser grandes el día que tenemos la necesidad de tomar por primera vez un tereré, solos. No es casualidad. No es porque sí.
El día que un chico toma su primer tereré sin que haya nadie en casa, en ese minuto, es porque ha descubierto que tiene alma. O estás muerto de amor, o algo: pero no es un día cualquiera.
Ninguno de nosotros nos acordamos del día en que tomamos por primera vez un tereré solos. Pero debe haber sido un día importante para cada uno.
El sencillo tereré es nada más y nada menos que una demostración de valores. Es la solidaridad de bancar esa yerba lavada porque la charla es buena, la charla, no el tereré. Es el respeto por los tiempos para hablar y escuchar, tu hablas mientras el otro toma y viceversa. Es la sinceridad para decir, cambia la yerba, o arreglalo un poco. Es el compañerismo hecho momento. Es el cariño para preguntar, estúpidamente, ¿está rico, no? Es la modestia de quien ceba el mejor tereré. Es la generosidad de dar hasta el final. Es la hospitalidad de la invitación. Es la justicia de uno por uno. Es la obligación de decir gracias, al menos una vez al día. Es la actitud ética, franca y leal de encontrarse sin mayores pretensiones mas que compartir.
Ahora ya lo sabes, un tereré no es sólo un tereré.
Anda preparando el termo, que voy para allá.
Autor: un paraguayo anónimo

domingo, 13 de septiembre de 2009

Lapacho Tree - Tajy (in guarani)

Paraguay has an abundance of flowering trees - each season different ones bloom filling the landscape and carpeting the ground with bright colors. There is always a new color to enjoy - the chivato´s orange, the jacaranda´s lilac, and these days the lapacho´s pink.

The lapacho is the national tree of Paraguay and comes in three varieties - pink, yellow, and white, the later being the rarest of the three. The lapacho is often referred to by it´s Guaraní name - "tajy".

For a capital city Asunción has an abundant amount of nature on display so you will be able to enjoy the pink scenery even if you don´t go to the countryside.

lunes, 7 de septiembre de 2009

Ypacarai Lake - Lago Ypacari

s beautiful lake has been widely known because of the song “Memories of Ypacarai”, written by Demetrio Ortiz. This is one of the two Paraguayan main lakes. It is located 28 km (17.3 miles) from Asuncion, and it is surrounded by three cities: Aregua, San Bernardino and Ypacarai. Around this lake appealing activities take place. During Summer time, the lake is visited by local and travelers that enjoy its beaches and the great landscape.

Ypacarai Lake area is about 90 Km2, (55.9 sq mi) and its length is 24 km (14.9 mi) from north to south and 6 km (3.7 mi) from east to west. The average deep of the water is about 3 meters (10 feet). The landscape is beautiful, and invites us to enjoy hills covered with forests, as well as the cities of San Bernardino, Ypacarai and Aregua.
The weather is mainly warm. Sunny days are frequent. Temperature might vary between a range of 20°C a 38°C (68-100 F) during summer and 3°C to 25°C (37-77 F) during winter.
(text from wikipedia - Pictures from Liliana Palacios)

martes, 1 de septiembre de 2009

Palacio de Lopez - Lopez's Palace

One of the most beautiful buildings in the city of Asuncion is the government palace. The construction of the Palacio de los Lopez began in 1857 as the residence for General Francisco Solano Lopez. But, the construction stopped with the outbreak of the War of the Triple Alliance and the palace wasn’t completed until 1892. Francisco Solano Lopez succeeded his father as president of Paraguay when his father died in September of 1862. His presidency was confirmed by a Paraguayan Congress of Deputies and he took office in October. Lopez held the office until he was killed by allied forces in 1870 during the War of the Triple Alliance.

With the start of the war the construction was delayed, but when Lopez was killed in battle, further construction was abandoned. In 1887, President John Gonzalez commissioned that the palace be completed to be used as the seat of the countries national government.
The palace is ideally located in the city square directly overlooking the Asuncion Bay which provides an amazing view. It occupies two acres of land that were given to Francisco Solano Lopez by his godfather, Lazaro Rojas at the time of his christening.
It’s definitely the most impressive buildings in Asuncion. Designed in a neoclassical style, it features wide staircases and verandas. Both floors of the palace are dominated with the same style featuring continuous arches all the way around the top floor balcony.
The main body of the building is enhanced with two wings that sit on either side forming a squared “U” shape and encompassing the grounds at the front entrance. And, in the center of the building, a lookout tower hovers two stories about the top floor roof.
British architect, Alonso Taylor was initially commissioned for the construction of the palace. But, several other architects had a hand in the buildings design before it was completed. French builder, Daumas Ladouce Felix and Italian architect Alejandro Ravizza also had input into the final outcome of the government palace.
There once was a sculptural group at the palace that was created by Englishman John Owen Moyniham and Andreas Antonioni, an Italian. The stones had been extracted from nearby quarries, but these were removed over the years and it is unknown where they are now.
from Canal 5 Paravision

miércoles, 26 de agosto de 2009

Itaipu - the world's biggest power station (12.600 mega watt)

It took nearly 10 years to finish it (1973 to 1983). workforce: 28,000 Itaipú is 7,7 km long and produces 12,600 mega watt. The main wall is 1,2 km long and nearly 100 m wide. The 18 turbines are the biggest ever designed. Every wheel has a diameter of almost 7 meters, and more than 300 tons.

viernes, 1 de febrero de 2008

Playa a orillas del Rio Paraguay... Paraguayan River

Ruinas Jesuiticas.....

TO SEE A VIDEO GO TO THIS LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LjfC99IHJo (in spanish and guarani)

Cataratas de Iguazu - Iguazu Falls

Their name comes from the Guarani or Tupi words “y” (water) and ûasú (big). Legend has it that a god planned to marry a beautiful aborigine named Naipí, who fled with her mortal lover Tarobá in a canoe. In rage, the god sliced the river creating the waterfalls, condemning the lovers to an eternal fall.
Iguazu Falls was short-listed as a candidate to be one of the New7Wonders of Nature by the New Seven Wonders of the World Foundation. As of February 2009 it was ranking fifth in Group F, the category for lake, rivers, and waterfalls.
The waterfall system consists of 275 falls along 2.7 kilometers (1.67 miles) of the Iguazu River. Some of the individual falls are up to 82 meters (269 ft) in height, though the majority are about 64 metres (210 ft). The Devil's Throat (Garganta del Diablo in Spanish), a U-shaped, 82-meter-high, 150-meter-wide and 700-meter-long (490 by 2300 feet) cataract, is the most impressive of all.

About 900 meters of the 2.7-kilometer length does not have water flowing over it. The edge of the basalt cap recedes only 3 mm (0 in) per year. The water of the lower Iguazu collects in a canyon that drains into the Paraná River, shortly downstream from the Itaipu dam.

TO SEE A VIDEO GO TO THIS LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KiG7layw-Q

1er ferrocarril de sudamerica - First railroad of Southamerica