More PeaceCorps Volunteers than tourists...

Trip Start Dec 07, 2005
1
17
78
Trip End Apr 10, 2007


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow
Where I stayed
Hotel Ysapy

Flag of Paraguay  ,
Monday, April 3, 2006

Ok, we survived day one in Asuncion. we stayed at a relatively cheap place by the bus terminal, but we ended up staying across the street at the Hotel Ysapy. it was a better deal (TV, private bath for the same price), and Daniela liked the absent-minded but well-intentioned old man who runs it. hereīs the address in case youīre in the neighborhood:
Cedro 135 con avda. Fernando del la Mora
tel. 554-471
a double room is 30,000 guarani (US$6) without a TV or 35,000 guarani (US$7) with a TV.

We met a couple of fellow tourists--Ivan, from Italy, and Ana, from Argentina (but living in Colorado, USA)--who only stopped over on Sunday here in Asuncion, but we had dinner with them and they recommended places for us to stay and things to do in Bolivia. They were heading to Iguazu, so we recommended our hostel to them and told them about our time at the natinal park.

we were looking forward to getting in touch with both Habitat for Humanity and the Peace Corps in Asuncion, since we had heard that both programs were especially active in Paraguay. There seem to be more Peace Corps volunteers here than tourists (and more Mercedes Benzes than kids with shoes in some spots). On Monday morning, we called Habitat only for them to tell us that they are not doing any projects right now. Well, at least we called and didnīt walk all the way over to their office for nothing.

Since the Peace Corpsīs Paraguay project is the oldest Peace Corps project, we decided to walk to the office. This was a relatively bad idea. It was a LONG (at least 25 blocks) walk to the office, and we did it in the middle of the day. By the time we made it to the Peace Corps headquarters, we were sweating and exhausted. Then we had to wait for about 45 minutes for the guards at the gate to call around inside and see if it was ok for the two random americans could come in and talk to someone.

When we finally gained entrance to the complex (which has 12 foot walls topped in razorwire), we had the good fortune to talk to a few volunteers who were nearing the end of their term of service. They were candid and answered all our questions. At the end we arranged to meet one of them, Anna, at her site the next day. Anna was also really helpful in giving us contact info for Peace Corps volunteers in Concepcion, where we were heading next.

The highlight of our time in Asuncion was seeing Annaīs barrio and talking with the people she had worked with for the past two years. she had worked with a group of young people who had built a community center with internet access and their own library over the past 8 years. All this in a town where the sewers are open and the one school building serves as the primary school during the day and the high school at night.

So we had checked out the Peace Corps and Habitat for Humanity and felt that there wasnīt much else for us in Asuncion. So we went down to the docks to inquire about going upriver to Concepcion on the Cacique II, a cargo ship that makes a slow passage up the River Paraguay and picks up and drops off everything and anything along the way. We found out about the boat from our guidebook, and were excited about checking out this slice of latin american life. we found out that the boat left wednesday morning at 7am and would cost us 50,000 guarani ($10 US) a piece. we would rent hammocks for the 30 hour journey for 5,000 guarani ($1 US) each.
Slideshow Report as Spam

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: