If Paraguay Were a Dollar Store

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.

Cost of living Peace Corps Paraguay

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.

Cost of living Peace Corps Paraguay

1 pound box of tomato purée

We add it to many a stir-fry or to make pizza sauce.

Cost of living Peace Corps Paraguay

1 pound of tomatoes

Fresh salsa, anyone?

Cost of living Peace Corps Paraguay

2 pounds of onions

White onions available always and red ones available often.

Cost of living Peace Corps Paraguay

3 heads of garlic

Cost of living Peace Corps Paraguay

1 pound of green peppers

Red ones available far less often, and are much more expensive.

Cost of living Peace Corps Paraguay

1 half-pound box of yerba mate

Kurupí is still my favorite brand, although our local Puntero is great for mixing our own flavors.

Cost of living Peace Corps Paraguay

2 pounds of rice

It’s a real treat if we can find brown rice in town, but white is always available.

Cost of living Peace Corps Paraguay

12 bananas

Almost always ripe and sweet right away since they’re grown locally.

Cost of living Peace Corps Paraguay

2 apples

Not grown locally and often mealy. But we still love apples.

Cost of living Peace Corps Paraguay

6 eggs

Carry these home carefully since they just put the number you’d like into a little plastic bag.

Cost of living Peace Corps Paraguay

3 cups of popcorn

Made over the stove in some oil. Just keep shake, shake, shaking!

Cost of living Peace Corps Paraguay

2 pounds of carrots

Not a novelty, but not always available whenever you want them.

Cost of living Peace Corps Paraguay

Other expenses:

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?

 

 

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One thought on “If Paraguay Were a Dollar Store

  1. You do such a nice job of showing us your daily life and routines. Thank you for that. We are eager to see you and hear more about your experiences and plans for the future. Enjoy your remaining time in Paraguay!

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