Paraguay Culture

Paraguay Culture

Typical Paraguay

What are the names of the children in Paraguay?

Imagine if you were born into a Paraguayan family! What would you be called then? Common names for girls are Graciela, María Cristina, Zunilda, Francisca, Carmen, Ramona, and Antonia. The most common names overall are María and Elisabeth. Boys have double names even more often than girls, for example Miguel Ángel, Julio César, Juan Carlos, Luis Alberto or Francisco Javier. The most common male names are Ramón and Juan.

All of these names sound very Spanish. The government of Paraguay would like more children to bear names from the Guaraní language. They have even published a list to make suggestions to the new parents. Ara, for example, means heaven in Guaraní. Jasy means moon, Posasy is the goddess of beauty, Ñamandú a god of the Guaraní and Amaru the father of rain.

Last names always consist of two names: that of the father and that of the mother. The names can get really long! The most common surnames in Paraguay are González, Benítez, Martínez, López, Giménez, Vera, Duarte, and Ramírez.

Because there are so many González, there is even a saying: “González, donde te vas te sale”. That means: wherever you go, there is always a González! All names mentioned are also of Spanish origin. There are also Indian surnames, but they are not very common. They include Yahari, Yeruta, Tama, Cuyuri, and Chuchi.

And – what could your name be in Paraguay, for example? Which name would you like?

Everyday Life

Introduce yourself…

Imagine you are in Asunción, the capital of Paraguay. What would you like to experience? It would definitely be pretty busy. Cars and buses honk, music can be heard from all shops, hawkers (street vendors walking around) advertise their goods. There are a particularly large number of buses on the road. You hold it with a show of hands if you want to and pull on a cord when you want to get out. Few drivers adhere to traffic rules.

People are as different as we are, but there are a few typical peculiarities. So the need for harmony is great – you argue little, you hardly criticize and you are much less direct than with us. Europeans quickly appear “cool” to Paraguayans.

Conversely, Europeans find a lot of things chaotic. Punctuality is not particularly valued. Appointments are not made at the specified time, but one or two hours later. Buses don’t run according to the timetable – but at some point …

That may seem strange to us, but maybe you can sometimes learn a bit of calmness… The Paraguayans also show calmness in the event of a power failure. Especially in the hot season, i.e. in January and February, this happens again and again, because then so many air conditioning systems and fans are running that the power grid is overloaded. But then you just sit down with a candle and wait calmly…

Unfortunately, what you can also experience in everyday life is a disadvantage for the Indians. Many Paraguayans look down on the Indians – although almost all of them are partly descended from them and even though the Guaraní language is spoken by a large part of the population. This degradation of Indians also occurs in other countries such as Peru or Bolivia.

Eating in Paraguay

What do the people of Paraguay eat?

Cassava, corn and peanuts have been a food in Paraguay for centuries. The Guaraní Indians were already growing them back then. Cassava is still a particularly important part of the diet today. So there is often boiled cassava for lunch. Beans are also part of typical food. Above all, however, the Paraguayans love meat, especially grilled. Fruits like mangoes, papayas and pineapples are of course also eaten.


Chipas are rolls or bread made from cassava flour, cheese, milk, eggs and butter. There are around 70 variants of Chipa. Chipa Guasú contains corn. Chipas are often seen in a ring shape. They are sold on the street or by hawkers on buses.

Sopa Paraguaya

This is probably the national dish of Paraguay, a country located in South America according to topschoolsintheusa. However, it is not a soup, but a bread. It is similar to the Chipa Guasú, only corn flour is used for the preparation. It also includes cheese, milk and eggs and onions. There is Sopa Paraguaya for every barbecue. You can find a recipe in our tip !

Allegedly, the chef of Carlos Antonio López, President of Paraguay between 1844 and 1862, once put too much cornmeal in the soup. So it was more of a bread and the cook served it as “strong soup”. The president was enthusiastic and named the new dish Sopa Paraguaya.


Like everywhere in Latin America, one also likes to eat empanadas, i.e. dumplings. The dough can also be made from cassava. Then this empanada is called pastel mandi’o. Fillings are, for example, beef or chicken, cheese, ham or tuna. There is an empanadas recipe under Argentina.


Kivevé is a side dish or dessert made from pumpkin meat. They use a certain type of pumpkin called Andai, which is cooked soft. Water, milk, sugar, corn flour and cheese are added.

Drinks: Mate tea and tereré

Mate tea is a drink that people in Paraguay especially like and drink often. For this purpose, leaves of the mate bush are poured over with boiling water. If the leaves are crushed with ice and then poured over with cold water, the drink is called tereré. Variants take orange juice instead of water or add other herbs such as peppermint.

Tereré is usually not consumed alone, but in company. The vessel in which tereré is prepared and from which one then drinks is called a guampa, traditionally it is a horn. This is poured out by the youngest participant and given to everyone. You drink from a metal drinking tube, the bombilla. It has a sieve at the bottom so that you don’t drink leaves.

Paraguay Culture

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