September 25, 2021

Long warm nights on the Paraguay River, via Loïc Ramirez (Le Monde diplomatique

Passing through Paraguay.

Passing through Paraguay.

Tea Ecuador, A cargo boat built in 1965 is a national treasure made of wood and rusty metal. It has dug the Paraguay River for more than 50 years, transporting a few dozen passengers and several tons of cargo each week. This is the floating market of the river. I joined the boat as it prepared to sail from the small town of Porto Valleme, near the Brazilian border and 500 km north of Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay.

Dozens of men arrived on trucks and motorbikes, dropping sacks, crates and boxes and slowly filling the hold. On the deck, all kinds of goods are piled up under tarpaulins: furniture, mattresses, household items and food items that traders used to sell to customers who came on board at each stop. The place to hang out quickly ran out, as expected to find a cool place. By mid-morning it was already over 30ºC.

The night gives no respite from the scorching heat. The cabin doors are open in the hope of a breeze, but no one is there. Cat passengers without beds or swings in the dining area – Loud: Why leave others to sleep when you can’t sleep on your own?

Departure time? “When everything is full,” said the captain, Jose, “a shitty man in his 50s whose nickname I never learned.” He reviewed the progress and suggested, ‘About one o’clock.’ As we travel, we all want to learn about skepticism about juice time estimates.

Tea Ecuador In the country’s far western Chaco region, 2,695 km away on the Paraguay River, some communities have long had the only contact with the outside world. It began its journey in the regional capital, Concepción, and traveled north to Bahamas, where the rivers cross between Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia. But a record drought since October 2020 has wiped out the lower reaches of the river, making it invincible. Ecuador It has shortened its route, now starting at William, 200 km north of Concepcion. Round trip despite Baha Negra (…)

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