Paraguay, el corazón de Sudamerica (the heart of South America), is a country alive with tradition; the indigenous Guarani Indian culture fuses with that of the Spanish conquistadors to create a fascinating, unforgettable blend. Most Paraguayans live in small towns, where warm welcomes make up for a lack of modern conveniences. But even in the bigger cities, Paraguayan social life revolves around the family as well as the national passion, soccer.
West of Rio Paraguay is the hot infertile plain known as the Gran Chaco, which is sparsely settled and even less explored than the Amazon. 98% of the population lives in the more verdant eastern half. In that half, there are many fascinating locations such as the riverside capital of Asuncion, Jesuit mission ruins, and national parks.
AFSers in Paraguay live with a host family while studying Spanish and attending a local high school. Paraguayans value education; high school in Paraguay is typically quite formal, and uniforms are required.