Paraguay is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and south west, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. It is referred to as the Heart of America because of its very central location. Europeans first arrived in the area in the early 16th century. Today’s capital of Paraguay, the city of Asunción, was founded on 15 August 1537, by the Spanish explorer Juan de Salazar de Espinosa. The city then became the centre of the Spanish colonial province, as well as a significant site for Jesuit missionaries. Paraguay was once the domain of nomadic indigenous tribes before the Spanish colonised it in the early 16th century.  These days it’s one of the least visited countries in South America.

Though it is a landlocked country, Paraguay is surrounded by rivers and lakes, which supply some of the cities with an abundance of fish. The lakeside resorts of Aregua are an example of the beautiful water routes that swim through Paraguay. Aregua lays just 28 km from the Capital, Asuncion, and between a group of rolling hills with a distinctive rock formation (found only in 3 places in the world) and a beautiful blue lake, Ypacaraí lake. The Ypacarai lake is a major body of water that feeds out in the Paraguay river. Three cities surround the lake: Aregua, Ypacarai and San Bernardino. San Bernardino was founded in 1881 by German immigrants. It was renamed after General Bernardino Caballero, president of Paraguay between 1880 and 1886. It is a hot spot for vacationers and many people of wealth from Paraguay own lake houses there. Paraguay has suffered an important war against Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. The Triple Alliance War cost the lives of 90% of Paraguay’s entire population. The war lasted from 1864 to 1870 and in order to rebuild their population, Paraguay opened a special policy to welcome immigrants. Another very important aspect of this part of the country is that it was also a destination for many Jesuit missions. The Catholic Jesuits had a lasting effect on Paraguayans, in that introduced Catholic Christianity to its people, which served as a counter-attack against Nazi ideology infused by German forces. Today close to 90% of the country is Catholic.

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