Last week we left behind the bumpy streets of Asunción to take a surprisingly well-paved road that crosses the countryside and is itself most often the only trace of human existence for miles. Cows dotted the horizon as grass spread out for miles in every direction. Our destination? Alto Paraná.
The landscape gradually changed as we approached the Brazilian border. A flourishing economy appeared before us, as could be seen by shiny billboards and new, large-scale farmhouses and agricultural shops. However, Luz and Daniel, the loan officers from El Comercio who were our guides for the trip, explained to us an entirely different reality. Just a few miles outside of Santa Rita, the economic center of the area where 80% of the population is represented by wealthy, Brazilian farmers, there lay some old, Paraguayan settlements, still yet to be touched by the region’s seeming development.
We stopped in the village of Tavapy to meet some of El Comercio’s longest-served clients. My first impression of Delia was that she was a humble person who was not afraid to show her true emotions. She was moved to tears upon receiving an international visit from myself and Juan, the other Accion Ambassador for El Comercio. But only a few minutes passed before she was smiling again and began to prouldy show us her animals and tell us about her dreams. This is her story. Continue Reading →