About the Author: James Russo serves as a Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Asuncion, Paraguay.
Paraguay will be in the spotlight as it celebrates 200 years of independence with ceremonies and celebrations May 14-15.
Paraguay has much to be proud of. This sparsely populated country the size of California has seven million people and a gross domestic product (GDP) of $17 billion. Last year, the country caught the attention of business leaders and economists around the world with its spectacular GDP growth of 15.3 percent, the third highest worldwide, largely due to the commodities boom. A traditional friend and ally of the United States, which has a 64 percent favorability rating among the Paraguayan public, Paraguay even has a state named after U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes.
Paraguayans boast that 85 percent of the population speaks both Spanish and Guarani, an indigenous language. The country is known for its rich red soil, spectacular Jesuit… more »