Paraguay is a country with long traditions, a passion for soccer and fascinating natural beauties. A mix of the indigenous Guarani Indian culture with that of the Spanish conquistadors resulted in very friendly, warm and welcoming people who can’t wait to show you their riverside capital of Asuncion, Jesuit mission ruins, and national parks.

Paraguayan teenagers like to spend their weekends together going out together as a group: to play sports, have picnics, go to parties or a movie, take walks, or hang out in parks. Dancing is a big part of the culture of Paraguay. Paraguayan teenagers also place a lot of value on their academic success and spend their free time on weekdays dedicated to their homework.

AFS Youth exchange in Paraguay

Culture & Community

Most people in Paraguay are mestizos, people of mixed European and Indian descent, and most are bilingual in Spanish and Guaraní. Paraguayans are very hospitable and enjoy in a peaceful, leisurely pace life. Paraguayan traditions proudly keep its native arts, crafts, music, instruments and dance. Families are the center of Paraguayan society. You will probably live in a small town with easy access to larger cities in Paraguay. Families tend to be very traditional and protective of their children, especially daughters. Most social activities, vacations, and weekends are family events.


You will probably attend a private high school with a focus on business, accounting and administration; social sciences; or biological sciences. On most days, classes run until 3pm. In public schools, classes run in two shifts, from 7 am until noon and 1.30 to 6.30 pm. Students in Paraguay wear uniforms.


There are two official languages in Paraguay: Spanish and Guaraní, and most Paraguayans understand them both. AFS Paraguay will provide an online language course with Rosetta Stone to help you learn the language and prepare for your time in Paraguay.


The staple of Paraguayan nutrition is meet, which is locally produced in large amounts. Corn, rice, potatoes and wheat are important staples, as are in-season fruits. The most traditional dish is Sopa Paraguaya, a corn flour cake made with eggs, milk, cheese and onions. Meals are a time for family and socializing, especially on Sundays.

Explore the Programs Available in Paraguay