Paraguay: Breaking the World Record for Barbecue

With 26,176 kilograms of grilled beef, Paraguay entered into the Guinness record books for the biggest open-air barbecue ever, in an event dubbed, “Todo Bicho Que Camina Va Al Asador” (Anything that Can Walk Goes to the Barbecue). However, they didn't get there without paying a high price for it. Due to the poor organization of the huge event, many people waited in unhappy and long lines under the hot sun. Crying kids became dehydrated, and many people asked for refunds because apparently there was not enough beef for everybody that purchased pre-paid tickets to enter into the event. The organization was so bad that even the police had to intervene to minimize the chaos generated by the situation.

Many Paraguayan bloggers reacted to this situation and expressed their opinions. Daniel Ortiz in his blog, El Peaton [es] says that Paraguay not only deserved the record for beef consumption, but also for the worst organization:

Todo bicho que camina…” no solo se merecía el récord Guinness por consumo de carne, sino también por la desorganización. Los que asistieron a este evento solidario sabrán de lo que hablo, y los que no fueron, no saben de lo que se salvaron.

“Todo bicho que camin…” (the bbq) not only deserves the Guinness record for consumption of meat, but also for disorganization. Those that attended the solidarity event knows what I am talking about, and for those that didn't go, you don't know what you were fortunate to have missed.

Rescatar [es] in his blog refers to the event with more objectivity and points out the positives and also the pitfalls of the organization saying that:

Se conquistó un record con todas las de la ley con un total de 26.175 kilos de carne. Sin embargo, la hazaña ha generado una ola de criticas a la desorganización debido que con más de 40 mil comensales, probablemente los recursos humanos y técnicos aportados al esfuerzo daban para atender con eficiencia a la mitad de los comensales.

The record was broken with a total of 26,175 kg of meat. However, the feat drew a wave of criticism for the disorganization with more than 40,000 attendees, probably with the human resources and assistants working the event, it was more suited to efficiently serve half that number.

Jorge Torres Romero says that instead of criticizing all the noble initiatives, we should emphasize the positive side and the success of the event [es]:

No basta maldecir en las tinieblas sino encender una luz”. Claro, nunca vamos a poder construir el Paraguay desde lo negativo. La experiencia vivida el domingo en la Rural fue positiva desde todo punto de vista y vale la pena resaltar: El mérito del éxito no es sólo de Humberto Rubín -si bien fue el artífice de la iniciativa-, sino de las 50 mil personas que acudieron movidos por un espíritu de solidaridad fenomenal.

It is not enough to curse the darkness, rather turn on the light. Of course, we are never going to be able to build Paraguay from being negative. Sunday's experience in the Rural (location of the event) was positive from all points of view, and it is worth mentioning: The success was not only of Humberto Rubín, who was the architect of the event, but also the 50,000 people that joined motivated by a phenomenal spirit of solidarity.

An event like that needs to be very well planned well in advance, and I'm pretty sure that after this experience that next year the event will be better organized. Hopefully that way, we will be able to break our own record for the Guinness book. Even in spite of some complaints, there was an additional positive aspect, as the money collected went to two big Paraguayan foundations Kuña Aty and Asoleu.

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