Paraguayan Land Reforms

Land disputes have a long history in Paraguay.  This may, in part, be because of an extensive history of dictatorships and corruption. The politically powerful obtained land by questionable means and those who lived there were expelled. A somewhat different but not dissimilar history than the United States Homestead Acts of the 19th Century.

Paraguay has seen many disputes in recent years between landless people and large landholders. Some of these have been violent and resulted in deaths.  Now from the International Committee of the Red Cross comes a nice positive article about the distribution of land to poor people in northern Paraguay (

This is a nice story today but not a long term solution. The 6 people will farm 6 hectares (about 15 acres) that may sustain them today but not as the family grows and agriculture practices require much more land.  In a sense this family is competing against farmers with thousands of hectares of land. Perhaps the best chance for a sustainable future for the 3 grandchildren is an education that will equip them for a different economy.

Paraguayan Stevia

Paraguay is making news again with Stevia the sweet plant that goes so well with Terere. Now Japan is buying the entire crop. I I bet that there will still be plenty of plants around the patio to satisfy the locals. 

School in Paraguay needs your VOTE!

Great news – Teach A Man To Fish, a school in Paraguay, has reached the finals of BBC World Challenge ’08!

This is an unprecedented chance for us to raise the profile of Escuela Agricola’s Self-Sufficient School model, and take it to new countries – but they need your help!

1. Vote for Esceula Agricola (the Agricultural School) – Two clicks is all it takes!
Please vote now at

2. Forward this information to your friends, family and colleagues – and give them a chance to do something great today too!
What’s so special about this school?

The first amazing thing about the school is that it transforms children from poor farming families into skilled rural entrepreneurs by giving them first-hand business experience alongside their regular academic classes.

The second amazing thing is that it pays for itself entirely from money generated by the school-run businesses which provide this experience.

This means it doesn’t rely on charging tuition fees, scarce government support, or hunting donations – all of which make getting an education hard for children from poor families.

Every town in every poor country across the world could have a school like this.

PS Voting closes on November 21st, so please don’t delay – and vote now

Best regards,
Nik Kafka
Managing Director
Teach A Man To Fish

Progress in Paraguay


Much progress has occurred in Paraguay in the years since the establishment of the Paraguay Conservation Action Partnership, headquartered at Sunset Zoo.  Recently, the Escuela Agricola San Franciso in Paraguay was named a finalist for the British Broadcasting Company’s (BBC) World Challenge 2008.  The World Challenge ’08 is “is a global competition aimed at finding projects or small businesses from around the world that have shown enterprise and innovation at a grass roots level. World Challenge ’08 is brought to you by BBC World News and Newsweek, in association with Shell, and is about championing and rewarding projects and business which really make a difference.” 

Though Sunset Zoo is not directly involved with the Escuela Agricola San Franciso in Paraguay, Dr. Bob Klemm, our Conservation Officer visited the school in 2004 as President of the Kansas-Paraguay Partners of the Americas and made these observations: “It is an outstanding school…students have their own compost piles and garden plot, all fertilizers are made on site, students once graduated get a one-time stipend to establish a farm crop for their own profit, they run their own store and every faculty member of the school is REQUIRED to have a garden plot that mirrors the “green” protocol used at the school.   At the time, at least, it was one of only TWO Agricultural Schools worldwide that was completely self-sustaining-  the other one (I believe) was in California…”

Learn more about this breakthrough conservation initiative in Paraguay at:


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