It rained all morning so we didn't go to the Holy Trinity of Parana Jesuit Guarani Mission until the afternoon. The Mission was founded in 1706 and 95% of it is original but we can only see about 20%. 5000 Guarani (locals) lived here with 2 Jesuit priests. They were not forced to live here, nor were they required to become Catholic. The main church is on the left and the indigenous housing is on the right-
There are many beautiful carvings decorating the walls-
Afterwards, rather than go to a second ruin, our driver, the owner of the campground, took us on a town tour. 15 different nationalities celebrate their cultures for a week in October at this 'Folkfest' location-
Germans rule this area and they are wealthy! The owner of our campground is 4th generation German and started out driving a small bus (collectivo). Today he owns the 23 hectare campground and has a 120 hectare ranch with 145 cows. The Germans are Catholic, Lutheran and Evangelica. There is also a large Japanese community, about 45,000, here since after WWII. They could very easily learn the native language, Guarani, but cannot speak Spanish! There are large cooperatives of soy products, which he says are 100% contaminated with chemicals. They also produce wheat, corn, lumber and cattle. There are huge implement dealers too. 45 days ago, there was a huge coke bust with many arrested. Homes cost $100/square meter to build and there are lots of them. These people have to be doing something to make money besides farming!
Weibke and I upgraded so I've been enjoying AC all afternoon. Tomorrow we have a leisurely start at 8 am as we make our way to Asuncion for 2 nights.