1. Paraguay Sesame Lovers

    Amongst the many crops we promoted for crop diversification in Paraguay, sesame was one of our favorite cash crops because: 1. It generally had a high market value, but even if farmers couldn't sell any of it, they could still use it as a valuable protein source for their animals or themselves; and 2. It grows extremely well without need of chemicals or irrigation, even in Paraguay's hot, droughty summers.

  2. Paraguay Neni's Creative Seed Starting

    Being a Peace Corps Volunteer is all about helping local people value the resources they have and coming up with creative ways of sustainably exploiting the ever-present "under-utilized resources in the community." Our friend Neni mastered this principle by using the abundant citrus rinds lying around the farm as seed-starting pots (a "maceta casera").

  3. Paraguay Boat Day, Bahia Negra

    Imagine living in a place so isolated and remote that your only physical connection to the outside world was a boat that came once a week. That's what it's like in the town of Bahia Negra, Paraguay, on the Rio Paraguay. Boat Day in Bahia Negra is a total bonanza of activity. A rush of people and goods pour on and off the boat for a couple hours before it floats back down the river and life in this sleepy town returns to its slow pace once again.

  4. Paraguay Paraguayan Power

    Even most rural Paraguayans now have power lines connecting their homes to the massive Itaipu hydroelectric dam built in the early 1970s across the Paraná River between Brazil and Paraguay. At Itaipu, which means "the sound of a stone" in the native Guarani language spoken throughout Paraguay, massive volumes of water pound through immense turbines on the way down toward the sea. Itaipu’s spinning turbines produce over 90 terawatt-hours of electricity per year. That’s more than any ...

  5. Paraguay Kiko & Roberto Learning English

    As Peace Corps Volunteers, we took advantage of every opportunity to teach Paraguayans something. During a dull moment in the truck on the way to an agriculture training in a rural community, Kiko asked us to teach him how to say "I want to wish you a merry Christmas"...and then we made Roberto try it, too. The language you hear them speaking is the native Guarani which we did most of our work in. 12-9-08

  6. Paraguay Weed Lady's Tereré

    Just thinking about the sound of the pounding mortar and pestle at the corner “weed ladys” stand makes me thirsty. My wife and I served in the Peace Corps for three years in the hot South American country of Paraguay and we both came back hooked on the undisputed national beverage, tereré, a bitter green iced tea made from the native yerba maté shrub. Aside from the social nature of the beverage, which is always drunk from a common cup and metal straw that’s passed back and forth around chat ...

  7. Paraguay Roadside Laugh, Paraguay

    Peace Corps Volunteers even demonstrate personal sustainability practices in the ways we get around. We navigate Paraguay's dusty countryside on bicycles, which can be a source of amusement for machismo men on their motorized bikes. Or maybe they were laughing at my huge sack of peanuts? (As vegetarians in a very meat-based culture, people were always giving us delicious treats from their "emergency" storage of plant-derived protein!)

  8. Togo Becoming Abla

    A man does what he must to provide for his family. But in the small West African nation of Togo, it goes much deeper than that: each man is assigned a name based on the things he does, and is constantly judged by it. When I began my service as Peace Corps Volunteer in the village of Amegnran more than 15 years ago, I quickly learned that the predominant ethnic group in the area — the Ouatchi — classified every man by his character, work ethic and worth to his neighbors. According to the ...

  9. Costa Rica Snow

    Her name is Martha and is as white as the snow.  I took a picture of her when I was first integrating into my community by learning how to milk a cow - I failed lol

  10. Bolivia Finally

    I was a young volunteer having just turned 20 a month into training. Training had been a whirlwind and more exciting than anything I had ever done.  The selection process had taken a toll on our group and we landed in Bolivia with just 22. After days in both the capitol city and provential capitol, assignments were made and we headed for our sites. We left Cochabamba with three couples in a jeep stationwagon and headed out into a sub-valley from the very beautiful provential capitol.  We left...

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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.