Thirty years ago, I became fascinated with Paraguay, for some reason. I discovered back then their claim that it was the only country in the world without any restrictions to settling in it. I wondered if this was still the case and what the country was like now. (I have always been mad on geography.)
Turns out that it is still pretty easy to move there, but you MUST:
Not be carrying any communicable diseases
Have a relatively clean criminal record, and
Either buy property or deposit approximately US$5,000 in a local financial institution (which can be withdrawn in its entirety upon residency approval)
So far so good as far as I am concerned. You could make up jokes about what constitutes a “relatively clean criminal record” in South America, but I’m sure a CCJ for failure to pay the Poll Tax over twenty years ago wouldn’t count against me.
After satisfying the initial demands and filling in the paperwork correctly (which involves visiting the country to do so), a residency document (known as a “cédula”) becomes yours. Three years later and you can apply for citizenship and have your Paraguayan passport issued.
But why would anyone in his right mind want to move to a landlocked South American country that doesn’t make it to the World Cup finals very often?
And isn’t it full of desperadoes roaming around on horseback, chomping on cigars, looking for their next gullible-looking ‘amigo’ to befriend until he is rendered peso-less? (Actually, the Guaraní replaced the peso decades ago.)
What is it that makes people in Paraguay so happy? Is it the fact that they get on balance 2803 hours of sunshine per year, for an average of 7.7 hours per day? Or could it be because the economy is growing at such a fast pace that people are starting to be lifted from poverty?
If you’ve ever been to Paraguay and met with her people, you’ll know very quickly that these polls are accurate. Paraguayans are some of the kindest, warmest people on the planet, with a can-do attitude that permeates the rest of its culture. People are not ruled by clocks or deadlines, but live by a casual nature that doesn’t bring as much stress as much of the Western countries endure. Being late for things isn’t only acceptable, it’s the norm! Paraguayans live by what is known to newcomers as “Paraguayan time,” which means, it’s no big deal if things start a little later than they were posted.
With plenty of great food, music, and an amazing culture, it’s no wonder that Paraguayans are so happy. They’ve been in one of the world’s best kept secrets: Paraguay is an incredible place to live.
Now, this is where it gets really interesting. Paraguay is ranked at 105th in terms of GDP per capita by the IMF for 2012, but has the happiest people in the world (along with Panama, ranked 66th), yet according to this global survey, Singapore’s people are least likely to feel positive emotions, yet live in a much richer country (ranked 10th by the IMF).
(In the happiness stakes, the UK is 25th equal on 77 with seven other countries.)
The top ten are all in Central and South America, other than Thailand and the Philippines, so all get more than their fair share of sunshine. But so does Singapore.
So, if lots of money doesn’t make you happy, what does? Just sunshine? Clearly not that either when you study the happiness table.
But you can see why the pro-EU crowd always – ALWAYS – concentrates on money – on the economy – on trade. Even though those things would likely improve for us if we left the EU, but regardless, that is all they ever talk about, because it is all they have. They never talk about happiness or freedom.
It looks like living without stress is what works in Paraguay, according to the brief summary I quoted from the new arrival there. Something which can be difficult to avoid in the West these days. And eating good food. Supermarket shopping here is increasingly like playing Russian roulette.
I was surprised to see that Paraguay has also succumbed to indoor smoking bans since 2010, but their president-elect takes over in two months and he is a tobacco baron, so let’s see what happens.
My guess is nothing at all,
Mr Cartes, 58, is part of the tiny elite that controls almost everything in Paraguay. His father represented the Cessna aeroplane company in Paraguay, which enabled Mr Cartes to be educated in the US.
The president-elect owns controlling shares in banks, investment funds, agricultural estates and tobacco plantations.
A tiny elite controls everything? Was the writer of that article wearing a “tinfoil hat”? I bet he’s the sort of “nutter” who thinks that the world’s most influential people meet up once a year for a few days of totally secretive meetings and it’s not being done to help us all live in a better world.
But, back to Paraguay. During the Presidential Campaign, Mr Cartes compared homosexuals to monkeys, likened the support of same-sex marriage to believing in the end of the world and said he would shoot himself in the testicles if his son wanted to ‘marry’ another man.
The Colorado Party, led by Cartes, aims to protect the family, claiming that if lesbians and ‘gays’ become visible in society, the traditional family will disappear.
He’s right on that point. That’s why the Fabians, KGB and others have been spreading the poison of social engineering. Destroy the family, you destroy the country. (Lenin)
So there we go. A post about Paraguay and I managed to get some of my pet subjects in too.
Should I book a one-way ticket to Asunción, take $5,000 in my suitcase and forget to mention my CCJ…?