Indigenous families to improve housing conditions in Paraguay

The current housing conditions of the indigenous settlement of Cayin o’Clim are severely inadequate, both in quality and quantity. Habitat for Humanity Paraguay has formed a partnership with 80 of these families to help them to improve their housing situation and the development of a new community.

ASUNCIÓN, Paraguay (January 27, 2011) – Last November, Habitat for Humanity Paraguay launched an agreement and granted 40 housing subsidies to families of the “Paraíso” community, where Cayin oClim residents will be relocated into adequate housing, trained in agricultural production techniques and supported in the development of the new community.

The indigenous settlement of Cayin oClim (meaning “white hummingbird” in the indigenous Nivaclé language) is located just outside of Neuland, Boquerón. A total of 1,800 Nivaclé reside in this settlement, suffering from severely precarious housing conditions, overcrowding, lack of employment options, hunger, malnutrition and insufficient provision of clean water. There are three to four families living in each home, causing a significant housing deficit in the area, both in terms of quality and quantity of homes.

Seeking an improved quality of life, a group of families interested in agricultural production organized themselves into a group entitled, “Comunidad indígena Paraíso” (Paradise indigenous community). The group achieved legal status through Presidential Decree 5181, and with support from the Indigenous-Mennonite Cooperative Services Association (ASCIM) and the Neuland Colonia Association, elaborated a project which was then approved by SENAVITAT through Paraguay’s National Fund for Social Housing. Habitat for Humanity Paraguay is providing the community with specialized technical assistance as well as accompaniment and supervision of the project.

The new community of El Paraíso is located 89 kilometers from Nueland. The 4,500-hectar plot of land was donated by the Indigenous-Mennonite Cooperative Services Association. The project is expected to be executed in three phases over a period of six months, serving a total of 80 families.

In the first phase, prior to relocation the families attend workshops on construction and community processes, including masonry and agricultural training.

The second phase will consist in the relocation of the families, home construction and training in home maintenance and hygiene. The third phase will support the development of nutrition and food services, agricultural production, family gardens, health and women’s services.

The local-appropriate brick houses include two bedrooms, a kitchen, shower, washing area and a patio in the local “kulata jovai” style.

The partnership was officiated in the Nazarene church of Cayin oClim, where a large part of the community had assembled. Walter Stoekl, Governor of the department of Boquerón, Edwin Reimer, President of the Neuland Colonia Association, Dietrich Franz Janzen, President of ASCIM, Heinrich Friesen, Board President for Habitat for Humanity Paraguay and Gerardo Rolón Pose, Minister of Housing and Habitat. Carlos Céspedes and Florentino Calderón represented the indigenous community-

Original article published by Hábitat para la Humanidad Paraguay.

About Habitat for Humanity Latin America and the Caribbean Habitat for Humanity first opened its doors in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in 1979, and has since helped more than 100,000 low-income families to access adequate housing in the region. Headquartered in San Jose, Costa Rica, the Latin America and Caribbean regional office coordinates the efforts of 16 national organizations, as well as unique partnerships throughout the region. For more information, visit

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