GENDER EQUALITY IN PARAGUAY?
INTERVIEW WITH CARMEN COLAZO
I HAVE A DREAM... DANCE!
AND LIFE IS ON MY SIDE
UNA VUELTA POR EL BARRIO
YOUTUBE SERIES WITH BLUE FOX!!
Asunción is a cradle of great people. So what else could I do before leaving this city than introduce three great places I’ve been to with three great locals (yes, I know it looks funny, but the fact that they’re all men is a mere coincidence!). I’ve been here for almost three weeks now, because I just couldn’t leave the place behind so easily (if there only was a rock to climb on right here in Asunción, I’d probably never leave…),
Oz Montanía, an internationally acclaimed illustrator and street artist from Asunción, is one of the first people to ever have painted on the walls of his home country back in the late 1990s. After that a lot has happened, but only very recently has street art began to gain ground in the eyes of common Paraguayans. And we owe a lot of that to Oz.
Why would you cycle Paraguay? It’s usually not the first country you think of when choosing a destination to visit in South America. Quite on the contrary, it’s probably one of the last with Suriname and The Guianas. There are neither oceans nor high mountains, and even the historical sights don’t really compete with Machu Picchu (this is solely based on my gut feeling. Locals say that the Jesuit ruins in Santísima Trinidad are actually quite impressive).
Apart from the present customs and cultural diversity, I have by now discovered quite a bit about Paraguayan history. For example, did you know that 70% of the Paraguayan adult male population were killed in the War of the Triple Alliance (between Paraguay and the alliance of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay from 1864 to 1870), which is also the deadliest war in the whole history of Latin America?
You know those brief moments in a different culture where you go: “say whaaaat?!”. The small little details which just make you wonder…Take sweet avocado for example. Brazilians and Paraguayans (and probably many other Latin Americans) mash avocado up and mix it together with milk, lime and sugar. So imagine the looks on my hosts’ faces, when I cut my avocado into cubes and put it into a salad with salt. In the discipline of intercultural communication, this would be called a critical incident.
The department of Canindeyú, Paraguay, is a mysterious place. On the one hand, it has an infamous reputation as the hotspot for drug trafficking and illegal merchandise in whole South America, on the other it seems like the most peaceful place on earth. Due to my prior, rather speedy research on the security of Paraguay (which I usually treat with doubt anyways), I wasn’t supposed to end up here. However, following local (and by this, I don’t mean just Paraguayans, but Paraguayans living in Canindeyú) advices, this is exactly where I cycled. And in the aftermath, I’m more than glad I did.
Yesterday I was invited to give a radio interview for ABC Cardinal 730AM in Asunción, Paraguay. This was due to the Honorary Consulate of Finland in Paraguay, Carlos Schauman, who was happy about finally having a Finn in town to take care of (believe me, this does not happen all that often!). After our first meeting some days ago, Mr. Schauman contacted the local newspaper which then spontaneously contacted the radio to get me on air.
Co-founder, owner and blogger for Seikkailijattaret, a Finnish online travel magazine for females.
I’m currently cycling through Latin America, from Argentina to Mexico. The yellow dots are the planned route. I started the journey in Tierra del Fuego and at the moment I’m in Colombia after cycling in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay. I crossed Bolivia by bus and flew from Peru to Ecuador because of floods. Now I’m in Cali, busy dancing salsa until I get sick of it!