Have you ever wondered how far a dollar stretches in Paraguay? Today I bring you a number of common items Isaiah and I purchase here in Yuty, Paraguay. I’ve snapped photos of approximately how much of that item you could buy for the guarani equivalent of one dollar bill to give you a sense of the cost of living here.
If it looks like a great deal, come on down for a visit (within the next two months)! And lest you think we be making bank, remember that Peace Corps is already aware of these local costs. The stipend they provide us is calculated to cover our basic necessities at the local cost of living.
We’ve been here long enough that we no longer convert most prices to dollars in our minds. We just know that if we can get a dozen eggs for 8,000 guaranies, it’s a great deal and we grab a 5,000 guarani bill before heading to the nearest despensa for a box of milk.
However, for this post we will convert. Google tells me that as of today, 4,433 guaranies equals a US dollar, which is the rate I used to bring you the photo-tastic estimates below.
By the way, I’m totally borrowing this idea from SimplyIntentional’s version from their Peace Corps experience in Jamaica.
What Can You Buy For 1 US Dollar?
Starring our lovely wooden guampa for scale.
1 liter of milk
Trebol is our favorite ever since visiting its factory in the Chaco with my parents.
1 pound box of tomato purée
We add it to many a stir-fry or to make pizza sauce.
1 pound of tomatoes
Fresh salsa, anyone?
2 pounds of onions
White onions available always and red ones available often.
3 heads of garlic
1 pound of green peppers
Red ones available far less often, and are much more expensive.
1 half-pound box of yerba mate
Kurupí is still my favorite brand, although our local Puntero is great for mixing our own flavors.
2 pounds of rice
It’s a real treat if we can find brown rice in town, but white is always available.
Almost always ripe and sweet right away since they’re grown locally.
Not grown locally and often mealy. But we still love apples.
Carry these home carefully since they just put the number you’d like into a little plastic bag.
3 cups of popcorn
Made over the stove in some oil. Just keep shake, shake, shaking!
2 pounds of carrots
Not a novelty, but not always available whenever you want them.
You know, ’cause I guess life isn’t all just food and games.
Monthly rent: $110
Monthly water bill: $5
Monthly electricity bill: around $12
Monthly internet: $16
Monthly cell phone service: $11 for each of us
Bus to Asunción (1-way, 7 hours): $18 each
City bus within Asunción: $0.50
All right, there you have it. A sneak peek into the cost of living and some of our regular expenses during our Peace Corps service in Paraguay.
People talk about money a lot more openly here than I was used to, which is why I feel fine posting this info. Plus, isn’t it kinda interesting to compare it to where you live? Did anything surprise you more than others? What other item’s price are you curious to know?