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Sunday 22nd October
Paraguay Facts
The highest point in the Republic of Paraguay is Cerro Pero (842 m).

The Pantanal, the world's largest freshwater wetland, extends through Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil.

The River Paraguay divides the country into two regions: the west, also known as the Chaco, and the east. Most of the people live in the east of Paraguay - only two to three percent of the population lives in the Chaco.

The Chaco consists mainly of plains and forests. It is the location of a number of Paraguay's National Parks.

The Guarani are one of the indigenous groups which inhabited Paraguay before the arrival of Europeans.

The majority of Paraguayans speak Guarani as well as Spanish. Guarani and Spanish are both official languages.

Asuncion (Nuestra Senora de Santa Maria de Asuncion) was founded by Spaniards, led by Juan de Salazar y Espinoza in 1537.

The Jesuit Missions of La Santisima Trinidad de Parana and the Jesus de Tavarangue Mission are on the World Heritage List.

Paraguay gained independence in 1811.

The War of the Triple Alliance between Paraguay and [the alliance of] Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil (1865-1870) resulted in the loss of large areas of land as well as the lives of a very high percentage of Paraguay's soliders.

The Chaco War (1932-1935) between Paraguay and Bolivia was an attempt by landlocked Bolivia to gain access to the Atlantic coast through the Rio de la Plata river system.

The first railway line in Paraguay, constructed between 1858 and 1861, was built by British engineers.

The Itaipu hydroelectric power plant, a joint project between Paraguay and Brazil (1975-1991), supplies substantial amounts of energy to both countries.

In August 2004 over four hundred and twenty people died in a fire at a shopping centre in Asuncion.

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