November 24, 2015

Overall

Pros

Volunteers are much appreciated and needed in Encarnacion. This is not a touristic city by any means and backpackers that do venture here, stay for a few days before moving on. There is much potential in this city however and with the support and dedication from volunteers and funds, great things will continue to flourish. I was the only one volunteering at the children’s home but there are plenty of Peace Corps volunteers spread around the country and other European students here on exchange.

The children at the home are very warm and loving. They are simply happy to see and be amongst a new face. They want to show you everything and others want all your attention. It was heart warming for me to see so much love and kindness. I wish I was able to communicate with them more and tell them how much they meant to me.

I had to pay nothing to volunteer. I didn’t pay a penny to volunteer at any of the projects and this is the first time I’ve managed this. I paid for my stay at the hostel and my food but not to volunteer.

Cons

There was no local volunteer house so I wasn’t able to meet amazing volunteers during my stay. However, I met some amazing locals who I’m still in contact with.

In conclusion

I recommend volunteering in Paraguay because it is something very different and special. It is not Rio or Saigon. It is a third world developing country with a lot to offer. I was due to move on from Encarnacion in a few days but I stayed for ten months, much longer than I planned to. There is something in the air, amongst the people that makes this city simply beautiful. It may not have a world wonder but it is authentic and unique. So I encourage all of you seeking something different, less touristic, slow and beautiful to research Paraguay and try it.