Editor's Note: We welcome Muna Annahas as our newest contributor to Global Voices Online. This is her first article introducing the a little bit of the Paraguayan blogosphere. Her interesting bridge blog called Muna's Blog and is written from Seattle, Washington.
Photo by Alex-S and used under a Creative Commons license.
For a time, Paraguayans were afraid to express their own minds, especially during the long period of an authoritarian regime, when the country was still presided by the Dictator Alfredo Stroessner (1954 to 1989). Paraguayans didn't have the right of free expression and it had almost become a built-in feature for most citizens. In addition, it is sad that some of their personalities were suppressed after so many years of repression. Fortunately the most daring, especially among the younger generation, this is slowing changing and people are opening up about different aspects of their lives focusing on interesting topics like:
* Citizen Journalism
* Personal Blogs
* Academic Blogs
* Political blogs
* Bridge Blogs
* Cultural/Indigenous Blogs
Most blogs are written in Spanish, except for some bridge blogs and journals written by ex-pats. Here are some examples of these different categories in Paraguay:
Citizen Journalism – A very interesting blog called Rescatar [es], which means to Rescue, and hopes to “rescue” the experiences of civil society to learn, exchange and increase dialogue. They also share inspirational initiatives to contribute to Paraguay's development. Some stories focus on the Mennonite community in Paraguay and water rights issues.
Personal Blogs - Written by Luz Maria Toledo, Relatos y Sueños [es] (Stories and Dreams) talks about her dreams and her interesting inner reflections and comments about life with a lot of sensitivity and touch of irony.
Academic Blogs - Masonería Blog Los Arquitectos [es]talks about Masonry, free thinking, humanism and different aspects of Masonry thinking, it is written by Christian Gadea Saguier who is an architect who also has published 2 books called: “El Ministerio de los Masones” (The Ministry of the Masons) y “Los hijos de la Luz” (The Sons of the Light).
Political Blogs – Oasis Libertario [es] is written by Juan Carlos Rojas, a young Law student, who works for a Foundation. In addition, his aim is to promote libertarian ideas and the search for solutions to problems through debate. He also has interesting points of view about Liberty, Communism and Capitalism, as well as the upcoming election season:
En Paraguay existe un ambiente de mucha incertidumbre debido a la proximidad de las elecciones generales. La corrupción y la desconfianza están a la orden del día, así también la falta de ideas en cuanto a las propuestas que tienen los candidatos al electorado. Nos encontramos ante un dilema en donde no tenemos solución.
In Paraguay, there is an air of uncertainty due to the upcoming general elections. Corruption and distrust are at the top of the agenda, as well as the lack of ideas in the proposals of the candidates. We find ourselves in a dilemma that has no solution.
Bridge Blogs – From Seattle, WA, Muna Annahas is a Paraguayan National living far away from her native country . Her goal is to provide readers a glimpse into her “largely unknown” country. She treats readers to tips regarding travel within the country, reminisces about her most recent travels back to Asunción, and what she misses most about her hometown. As an amateur photographer she often illustrates her posts with interesting documentary photos and videos, and she writes her posts mostly in English so more people can understand and learn more about her beloved Paraguay.
Cultural/Indigenous Blogs – El Yacare [es/gu] is a weekly cultural blog about Paraguay's different cultural aspects, cultural activities, Guaraní Language, native population, etc. It talks about “Pea que Amoa” which means in guarani “This and that.” A main focus of the blog is devoted to solidarity campaigns and denouncing injustices against peasant and indigenous groups [es].
El Movimiento Agrario del Paraguay (MOAPA) denuncia la violencia instaurada en los asentamientos Primavera, Los Comuneros y Tapyi Pyajhu de la ciudad de Minga Guazú, a traves de los atropellos sistemáticos que vienen sufriendo desde meses atrás por sectores pertenecientes al oficialismo del Partido Colorado. Estos asentamientos fueron reconocidos con el decreto del Poder Ejecutivo Nº 6294/05, luego de 7 años de lucha por la tierra de manera pacífica pero con firmeza. Se consiguieron 400 hectáreas.
The Agrarian Movement of Paraguay (MOAPA for its initials in Spanish) denounce the violence that took place in the settlements of Primavera, Los Comuneros and Tapyi Pyajhu in the city of Minga Guazú, through the systematic violations that they have been suffering from the past few months at the hands of sectors that pertain to the government party, the Colored Party. These settlements were recognized by Executive decree No. 6294/05 after seven years of struggle for the land in a pacific, but firm manner. They were able to obtain 400 hectares.
There are some ex-pat blogs that I have to include in the next post. Paraguay is all about the experience and now thanks to our bloggers we can definitely know that there is much more happening than what we see in the news.