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Year or Semester: Your host family may live in a town without some modern conveniences that are ubiquitous in many parts of the US (dishwashers, microwaves and central air conditioning), though cities are nearby. After their economic boom in the mid-2000s and increased stability, Paraguay is experiencing rapid change while still remaining true to its cultural traditions. You will have the opportunity to experience both the ancient and the modern. Teenagers in Paraguay spend a great deal of time with their families, so you can expect to get very close with not only your host parents or siblings, but also extended family. Most social and extracurricular activities are organized outside of school. This gives you the opportunity to get to know fellow classmates through afternoon and weekend study groups, as well as other kids in the neighborhoods through social activities.
Gap community service: Take a semester or year after high school to immerse yourself in Latin American culture while building useful skills, developing lifelong passions, and improving your Spanish language skills. The community service program in Paraguay offers a variety of opportunities across various fields of work. Your project will be assigned based on your personal skills and interests. There are two official languages in Paraguay: Spanish and Guaraní. Most Paraguayans either speak or understand both languages. A basic level of Spanish language would be very useful as it would help you integrate into the community more quickly, but is not required. This program gives you the opportunity to share in and contribute to the life of a community in Paraguay by living and working alongside its members in a community-based service organization. You will be placed with an organization based on your personal interests and experience, and will have the opportunity to learn new skills that will be useful across a broad spectrum.