With the holidays fast approaching I thought I’d share some ideas for presents for people who miss Paraguay. These items pack well (and some can even be ordered online) and are sure to remind their recipients of Paraguay. What better gift for the holidays than something that will cure, at least temporarily, that “ techaga’u ” (yearning) for Paraguay. Just add clericó to the mix and you´ll be on your way to a Paraguayan Christmas, no matter where in the world you´re celebrating!
Yerba is on the top of everyone’s list of requests from Paraguay. Brands that come in boxes with bags of yerba inside (like Kurupí and Campesino) can be packed as-is, but those that come packaged in paper bags (La Rubia and Pajarito) should be wrapped in plastic bags just in case. No one likes opening a suitcase and finding it full of loose yerba! Some brands also sell special tins for serving yerba – these tend to be a fancier way to gift yerba. If you´d like to give the gift of Paraguayan yerba but are not currently in Paraguay order online at Go Yerba Mate . Whole Foods in the United States also sells organic Guayaki brand yerba. (If you know of stores and websites that sell Paraguayan yerba in Europe and elsewhere please let me know!)
Paraguay travel guide book
Yes, this is a shameless plug for my travel guide book . But seriously, what better way to send your friends and family down a Paraguayan memory lane (or better yet, a memory tape pytá ) than with a whole book about Paraguay? My descriptions of Paraguayan food, Guaraní phrases, and customs are sure to bring back fond memories of Paraguay.
Many people find it impossible to think of Paraguay without thinking of chipa . Though it is not quite the same thing, a bag of chipitas (also known as chipa pirú or “skinny chipa”) is the best way to satisfy chipa cravings while abroad. I’m a fan of chipitas from Hijas de Feliciana de Farina – they travel well and stay fresh if you store them in the freezer. For a real treat keep them tucked away and surprise your Paraguayan friends with them during Semana Santa (Easter Week) .
“I will have a team”
Though your friends may be able to make do drinking tereréwith a regular cup and pitcher they will certainly be happier with a special thermo and guampa – especially if you have it personalized with their name, favorite soccer team colors, or a picturesque Paraguayan landscape. Plus a tereré team can play an important function for Paraguayan ex-pats. Carrying one around is like sending up the Paraguayan Bat-signal – no matter where you are in the world you can bet that anyone with a connection to Paraguay will come running.