GUARANI

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Don Quixote is riding into Paraguay, but he's not just tilting at windmills. Soccer fans, taxi drivers, and club singers all readily speak the language, which is considered more colorful than Spanish because of its evocative metaphors. Slowly, attitudes are changing, to the point that some Paraguayans who gave up the language are now rediscovering it. Now I have a private tutor and when I speak the language it gives me a sense of patriotism.

Guaraní people turn to the law to fight latest battle with Bolivian authorities

A native of the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, the Jesuit order sent him to Paraguay in and he quickly became an advocate for indigenous rights and culture. They are practically eating earth. Mato Grosso do Sul is home to the second largest indigenous population in Brazil, with 70, Indians belonging to seven tribes. Much of their ancestral land has been stolen from them by cattle ranchers and agribusiness, and now they occupy a mere 0. Before we were free to hunt, fish and gather fruits. Today we are shot by gunmen. The despair among the Guarani at the loss of their lands and self sufficient life is reflected in extremely high rates of suicide.

In the period there were suicides. Thus, the buyer pays the debt to the previous owner and the workers continue to owe it to the new one.

The Sound of the Guarani Language (UDHR, Numbers & The Lord's Prayer)

I was born there, I have always lived there. My father was from Villa Mercedes… in my youth, I also worked with my grandparents for the boss — then they brought me. I have worked many years as a slave…. And so it was, when the boss died recently, that I was able to leave the estate. The families that are on [the estates] have no right to leave freely to seek work elsewhere. On creating and maintaining this situation of poverty and illiteracy, the estate owners establish the working conditions: hours of work, pay for day worked, form of payment for debts acquired, the frequency of the arrangements, how advances are administered, and the type of work to be done, among others.

They generally live in huts whose conditions are insalubrious and generally inadequate for a dignified life. These huts are located in marginal areas of the estates and where the land is not productive.

The huts have a single room in an area no greater than 20 m 2 that includes a sort of bed on which all the members of a family sleep. Their belongings are in the open air, and the kitchen is made up of stones set on the ground that hold the receptacles. These acts of violence have always existed.

Some alleged that there was servitude in the past, but that at present the situation is in line with the law. In the wake of this problem they [the estate owners] are legalizing the labor contract. In these cases the contract was oral, and in the wake of this problem they are drawing up written contracts and left it that they were going to get them to me.

The estate owners argue that the labor relationship does not constitute servitude because they pay in kind, such as food, clothes, and services. The government is not reaching all sectors as it should. The ranching sector, the productive sector, tries to live and is living with its poverty. But there is a symbiotic relationship between work and survival. Based on these perspectives, the estate owners do not perceive the situation as a regime prohibited by the Constitution, but as a labor relationship with obligations performed and agreements between parties that are periodically cancelled and renewed.

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Guaraní language

I worked there until last year. As a form of subsistence these communities maintain incipient crops, generally located at great distances from where they live, and have some animals, such as pigs and hens, despite not having an appropriate place to raise them. Not having their own demarcated and titled territory means that their crops and animals are subject to appropriation by third parties. We continue suffering as you see.


  1. Civilização Tupi-Guarani/História (Segunda Parte).
  2. Basic Guaraní for Paraguay;
  3. Indigenous Peoples in Brazil: The Guarani; a case for the UN | Cultural Survival;
  4. Guarani language.
  5. French Wine (Eyewitness Companions).
  6. Embodying American Slavery in Contemporary Culture.
  7. PYG - Paraguayan Guarani;

We do not live with peace of mind, we do not have land … to produce to be able to eat, only a tiny garden for planting some little thing. According to information collected by the IACHR during the visit, such situations have been on the rise in recent years. I worked from six in the morning until nightfall every day of the week, and I had one free week each year. They would pay me 10 and at times 12 bolivianos per day…. I left to go to the meeting [of the APG] and he [the boss] thinks that at that meeting I had gone to speak against him.

They now pay him 20 bolivianos per day, since one month ago.

Before they paid him The IACHR observes that the situation of systematic violation of human rights in the Bolivian Chaco is the result of the almost total absence of the national State in the region. Situation of women and children in the captive communities. Many women work more than 12 hours a day, some as of 4 a. When I was just becoming a young woman, I began to work as a cook and to I made chicha , food. In the fondo [a kind of large pot], in a frying pan they made me cook, when there are a lot…. I would start at 4 in the morning, I would bring this much corn to make the chicha and the food [she gestures showing a height above the knee], and then I would harvest peanuts.

In a day some 5 latas , perhaps 8 latas per day I would make.

Memrise - Guarani

For cooking, they would give me five kilos of sugar per week, and a small package of yerba mate , less than a half kilo. Now we only have corn and beans to eat. The fields are far away, an hour from here. If the children are of school age some can attend school, yet in the afternoon they work alongside their parents performing certain tasks. The municipal government is almost absent in the area, there is no infrastructure. The children only go up to fifth grade. These processes are part of the learning and domestication of the young people to ensure perpetration of the estate as a structure of dependence and exploitation.

Access to land and conflictiveness in the Bolivian Chaco. In the Chaco region, and in Bolivia in general, there is great inequality in the land tenure, which is the main motive of social and political conflict. The implementation of a state policy geared to greater recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples and a better redistribution of lands to roll back a historical injustice, as well as the implementation of initiatives to resolve the situation of servitude and forced labor in the Chaco, has mobilized numerous sectors of the country and generated a conflictive social and political scenario.

Sample text in Guaraní

On that occasion, as a result of the acts of violence, approximately 11 persons were reported to have sought refuge; initially their whereabouts were unknown. I was captive for two-and-a-half hours … the mayor herself was there. And we need to show the rest of the country that there are captive communities. They threaten me by telephone. There are no assurances for me. With respect to these events, the IACHR observed with concern the acts of racism and violence that accompany these actions, whose objective is to impede the implementation of the policies aimed at clearing title and to benefit the indigenous peoples.