It’s that time of year again… holiday shopping time! Here are this year’s recommendations for Presents from Paraguay. Whether you’re shopping for local friends or picking up presents to take back to your home country these presents are a great way to give someone a little piece of Paraguay for the holidays. Please share your own shopping suggestions here or on the Discovering Paraguay Facebook page!
Ao po’i Tablecloths
What better backdrop for your Christmas dinner spread than a beautiful hand-embroidered ao po ‘i tablecloth? If you don´t have the suitcase space you can always purchase smaller ao po’i items instead, such as table runners or placemats. Ao po’i is available in handicraft stores throughout the country (in Asuncion check out Artesanía Overall, Kumakú, or the stands in the plaza across from Shopping Mariscal Lopez and the Plaza de Libertad). Or, if you’re up for some pre-holiday travel, then head straight to the source and buy your ao po’i from one of the artisans in Yataity.
Individual pieces of ñanduti (called “dechados”) are usually combined to form large items such as tablecloths and skirts for traditional dance costumes. But on their own “dechados” make lovely Christmas decorations. Create a colorful garland or use white ones as falling snowflakes. Martha Stewart eat your heart out! Individual ñanduti dechados can be purchased at the handicrafts stands in the plaza across from Shopping Mariscal Lopez and the Plaza de Libertad.
A Guide Book to Paraguay!
Of course I´m including my guidebook on this list, and not only because this is the easiest Paraguay-related present to purchase outside of Paraguay. Thanks to the Kindle Matchbook program, it is the gift that keeps on giving. Buy the print version and you can download the digital copy for free (this applies to all past purchases as well)! Plus it is already red and green so you don´t even have to wrap it! “Paraguay: Other Places Travel Guide” is available on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Noble, and at Librería Books in Asuncion.
“7 Cajas” on DVD
“7 Cajas” broke box office records in Paraguay but it has not been widely released outside of the country. Though it is still on the festival circuit, there are many Paraguayans and people with a connection to Paraguay that haven’t gotten a chance to see it yet. Pick up a copy or two and get ready to yell “Corre, Victor!” along with your friends and family back home. “7 Cajas” is available on DVD through Maneglia Schembori Estudio (Cáceres Zorrilla 1145 c/ Narsiso R. Colmán, see the 7 Cajas Facebook page for a map) for Gs. 35.000.
The perfect Paraguayan gag gift. Any friends that used to live in the “campo” will enjoy taking a trip down memory lane by making clericó out of Paraguay´s favorite box wine. Uvita is available at every supermarket and hole-in-the-wall “despensa” in Paraguay. Technically it is Argentine.