Asuncion, 14 May 2022 (TDI): Paraguay celebrates today its 211th Independence Day. The Republic of Paraguay won its de facto independence from the Spanish colonial rule on 14 May 1811.
Its independence was internationally recognized on 25 November 1842. Presently, the country marks the 211th year of its independence. Meanwhile, in Spanish, the country’s co-official language, it is known as ‘Día de la Independencia Nacional’.
Paraguay is a bilingual nation and most of the population can speak Guarani and Spanish, the two official languages. Moreover, the landlocked South American nation is a member of the Mercosur bloc and maintains good relations with neighboring countries.
It has a small but stable economy. Paraguay saw the greatest economic expansion in South America in 2010, with a growth rate of 14.5%. Currently, Mario Abdo Benítez serves as the country’s President.
The Spanish colonized the area that today forms the Republic of Paraguayin the 16th century. Previously, the indigenous agricultural Guarani people and the semi-nomadic Guaycuru people inhabited the region.
The early explorers founded the settlement of Asunción on 15 August 1537. The city became the center of the Spanish colonial province of Paraguay and serves as the capital to this day.
Meanwhile, the interaction between Jesuit missionaries and the local Guarani people created a unique Indigenous Christian culture in the country.
From 1776, Paraguay was part of the Spanish Viceroyalty of Rio de La Plata, which included parts of modern-day Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Brazil.
Spain’s South American colonies began pushing for independence as Mainland Spain dealt with the Napoleonic Wars. The 1810 May Revolution in Buenos Aires began the process of independence of Rio de La Plata and other South American countries, including Paraguay.
At the time, Paraguay already maintained a unique culture as the Guarani language was popular among the mixed-race population.
Paraguay’s first leader José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia overthrew the local Spanish administration on 14 May 1811 with the aid of a military garrison in Asuncion in a bloodless revolution.
Since then, Paraguay saw periods of military dictatorships and authoritarian periods but transitioned into democracy in the 1990s.
Paraguayans enjoy a two-day nationwide holiday to celebrate their independence. The people hold an elaborate independence day parade in the capital city Asuncion.
Likewise, the day is marked by fairs and festivals throughout the nation of 7 million people. In addition, the festivities include fireworks, music and dance, speeches, and the demonstration of national symbols.