As I´ve mentioned before, the smell of flor de coco wafting through the air is a sign of the holiday season and the beginning of summer in Paraguay. As the heat intensifies new smells fill the air. Here are two you are likely to encounter this summer, one for better and one for worse.


Summer is guayaba season. They are in such abundance that many are left to fall from the trees on to the ground where they bake and sizzle in the sun. The aroma of guayaba can be intoxicating and mouth watering. Fortunately many enterprising Paraguayans gather up the ripe guayabas for making “dulce” (jam/preserves) so it won´t be difficult to satisfy the ensuing hankering for guayaba.


The sun may be strong but life goes on – people have to go to the fields, ride the buses to work, and jostle with each other in the market. At the end of the day (and many times at the beginning as well) everyone is hot and sweaty. Riding a crowded bus will inevitably bring your face into close contact with another passenger´s sweaty armpit. You will then experience and the other, less pleasurable, smell of the summer: kati. In case you haven´t already guessed it, “katí” is Guaraní for body odor. It is pronounced “ka” (karate) “tí” (golf tee). If someone is particularly smelly they are referred to as “katingudo.” That would be “ka” (karate) “tin” (teen) “gu” (google) “do” (doe, a deer). This accusation is probably best kept to an inner monologue… especially if you´re still on the bus with the “katingudo” rider in question!