Paraguay: Mision Guarani

Alicia Paznuik (architect) and Antonio Ojeda (lawyer) have been working for 4 years in the villages of Nou Poty and Loma Novyi, near Trinidad with Guarani Indians. They coordinate the volunteer work of 5 other volunteers. Both work full time in their professions and dedicate themselves to the Guaranis every Saturday and often also on Sundays.

Between 12 and 15 families with 30 to 40 children live in each of the two village communities. They live in huts, built of wood and sheet metal, because there is no electricity, the village well in Nou Poty can only be operated mechanically, the water tower built by the government in Loma Novyi also stands still due to lack of electricity. The main task of the volunteers is a literacy program for the women of the village communities.

During the week the women and older children learn with books and via WhatsApp. They are in contact with the helpers who can answer questions this way. In addition, an audio device for teaching material was purchased to train listening comprehension. A very advanced learning method that works well. First the women and children learn to write Guarani, then they learn to read and write in Spanish. On weekends, homework is corrected with volunteers and questions are answered. Since many of them suffer from hunger, the team provides them with bread and tea. Sweets are available for everyone. When I asked whether the government supported the project, they said, no, it does not support, but it does not block. Another task is to support women in household issues. So far, laundry has not been washed, clothes have been worn for months and then disposed of completely. Alicia and her team explain how to use washing powder.

A school and boarding school are being built on a 10 hectares site. The construction is in the final phase, some furniture for the kitchen and bedrooms is still missing. In addition, an observation tower and a church are to be built on this site. The area offers a wonderful view of the historic Reducciones.