Asunción, Paraguay Project Center (IQP)
Paraguay, located between Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil, is a beautiful country, served by two major rivers and comprised of several distinct natural regions. It is world famous for its bird life, and the mighty jaguar and feared anaconda, as well as many other beautiful and interesting creatures, call Paraguay home. Interestingly, the country’s culture and society represent a blend of both indigenous and colonial influences, a dual inheritance that manifests in its unique commitment (in South America) to two official languages, Guarani and Spanish. With only seven million people, Paraguay is small, but it has a robust economy based on remarkable agricultural production. Unfortunately, that wealth ensures a high standard of living for a only a small percentage of the population, and poverty is wide spread. Paraguay has a subtropical to temperate climate with substantial rainfall in the eastern portions, becoming semiarid in the far west. Average temperatures in Asunción in March fall between 70°F and 89 °F.
Students will stay in a 6 person casita (a stucco cabin) at a residential school in Benjamin Aceval (45 minutes from Asuncion). There are three double occupancy rooms with separate male and female baths in each casita. There is a kitchen with propane-fueled stove and electric refrigerator. For an additional cost, students may opt to spend weekends in Asunción in a three bedroom dorm-style home, complete with a kitchen and a pool. Accommodation type and location are subject to change without notice and will be confirmed the term prior to departure.
Meat, vegetables, manioc, maize, and fruits are common in Paraguayan cuisine. Barbecuing is both a cooking technique and often a social event, and are known as the Asado. Many dishes are based on corn, milk, cheese and meat, and fish caught in rivers are also eaten. A common Paraguayan snack is Chipa, a baked good of cornmeal and cheese. Make sure to take any dietary restrictions or allergies (nuts in particular) into account as you consider this site and inform your advisor and IGSD of any health concerns well in advance of your participation in this program.
Students must arrive on or before the posted start date and stay through the posted end date of the program. Dates will be posted at the top of this page. WPI housing will be available from the start date to the end date. If students plan to arrange any personal travel before or after the program, they will be responsible for arranging and paying for their own housing.
Past Paraguay students have:
- Improved a system for monitoring poverty with Fundacion Paraguaya
- Developed upgrades and marketing materials for the San Francisco School’s on-campus dairy factory with Fundacion Paraguaya
- Designed an improved heating system at the San Francisco School with Fundacion Paraguaya
Students will be billed the following fees by WPI for the WPI semester they are away. These will be billed to you on the regular WPI billing cycle (i.e. Fall semester, and Spring semester).
In addition to this, students should budget for the following while away:
- WPI Tuition and Fees
- WPI Housing Fee (if applicable)
- WPI Meal Plan (if applicable, reduced for term away)
- Global Projects Program Housing and Program Fee (for applicable programs)
- Local transportation
- Airfare (if applicable)
- Tourist activities and incidentals
- Project related incidentals
A breakdown of all estimated expenses for Paraguay can be found here: Paraguay Estimated Expenses
WPI is committed to the health, safety, and security of all students who participate in our programs. While off-campus study can present unique challenges and inherent risks, we believe that careful research and diligent planning are keys to a safe and rewarding project experience. WPI utilizes several key resources to understand the risks of travel in the countries where we operate, and we urge you to consult these same resources as you research your intended destination. You can also discuss questions and concerns about your travel plans with on-campus resources such as the IGSD, the Student Health Center, the Office of Disability Services, and the Student Development and Counseling Center. It very important that you consider your own health requirements as you review what sites are most interesting to you, and that you carefully review the published information concerning health, safety, and security at the resources linked below prior to applying to a particular site. Make sure to visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for the most up to date health and vaccine information, and review all information in relation to your own health and any medical conditions you may have.
Country-specific travel health information from the Centers for Disease Control
Country-specific page from the U.S. Department of State
Student travel website from the Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State