|Etymology: Guarani: Ka’a guasu (big forest)|
|• Governor||Mario Alberto Varela (ANR)|
|• Total||11,474 km2 (4,430 sq mi)|
|• Density||39/km2 (100/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-04 (AST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-03 (ADT)|
|ISO 3166 code||PY-5|
|Number of Districts||20|
In the 16th and 17th centuries, European settlers in the present-day department of Caaguazú were threatened by the Portuguese Bandeirant and Guaicurú Indians, preventing permanent settlement of the land for many years.
In the 18th century, repopulation of Caaguazu began again. In 1712, Gregorio Bazán de Pedraza founded the Villa de San Isidro Labrador de Curuguaty, followed by Ybytimí in 1715, San Joaquín in 1746, and Carayaó in 1770.
In 1906, the area was assigned the name Yhú, including the departmental capital of Yhú, Ajos (present day Coronel Oviedo), Carayaó, San Joaquín and Caaguazú. Upon territorial reorganization in 1945, it was given the name of Caaguazú.
In 1973, the present-day territory and limits of this department were defined.
The name "Caaguazú" (Ka'aguazu in Guaraní) means "great herb."
Caaguazú is located in the middle of the Oriental Region of the country, between latitudes 24º30’ and 25º50’ S and longitudes 55º00’ and 56º45’ W.
Caaguazú is bordered:
- To the north by San Pedro and Canindeyú
- To the east by Alto Paraná
- To the west by Cordillera and Paraguarí
- To the south by Guairá and Caazapá
The department is divided into 23 districts:
*The new district of Tembiaporá has not yet been added to the list and map since it was created recently.
The average climate is mild with abundant rains. The temperature reaches 41 degrees Celsius in the summer and drops to 0 degrees C in the winter. It is one of the best areas for agriculture in the country.
Orography and Soil
The Cordillera de Caaguazú extends throughout the department from north to south. It is made up of the mountain ranges of San Joaquín, in San Joaquín and Yhú; Tajao Paú and Carayaó; and Caaguazú, between Carayaó and Coronel Oviedo. Peak heights are no more than 200 meters, but to the east elevations reach 250 meters.
To the west there are formations of fluvial and glacial origins that date from the Carboniferous period (Paleozoic era), with sandstone soils. To the east, the soil is also of fluvial origin, lacustrine and marine, dating to the Permian period. In the mountain range, there is sandstone from the Triassic period which contains quartz.
The soils are sandstone and basalt in addition to mountains and meadows.
The territory is made up of a succession of valleys and elevated lands that range from the north to the south. In the north, there are valleys with ample fields apt for cattle; to the east, forests and natural herbal lands predominate.
The land is commonly used for agriculture.
The most important bodies of water that cross the department are the Paraguay River, the Tebicuary-mi River, and the streams Tapiracuai, Mbutuy, Hondo and Tobatiry. Other local rivers include the Paraná River and the Acaray, Monday-mi, Yguazú, Capiibary and Guyraungua.
Natural Environment and Vegetation
The Caaguazú department includes the Central Forest region, in the middle of the department, the Alto Paraná, in the east, and the Central Littoral, in the west.
The principal activity of the region is the harvesting of trees, which provides the raw material for the wood industry. Caaguzú is one of the areas that is most affected by deforestationin Paraguay. Some plant species in danger of extinction are the yvyra paje, nandyta, cedar and tumera aureli. Endangered animal species include the tirica, jaguareté, and arira’y.
The department of Caaguazú is the number one national producer of manioc in the country and the second in cotton and sugar caneproduction. The population also practices cattle rearing and the farming of other fruits vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, strawberries, and citrus fruits. Caaguazú is the fourth greatest producer of maize.
The most important industries are cotton, oil, wood industry, and the manufacturing of furniture.
The central location of Caaguazú and the siting of Coronel Oviedo and the city of Caaguazú at crossroads makes the area an important commercial center.
Communication and Services
National routes that serve Caaguazú are “Mcal. Estigarribia” (number 2) and “Dr. Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia” (number 7). They cross the entire department, connecting Asunción in the west with Ciudad del Este in the east.
The route “Gral. Aquino” (number 3) meets route “Bernardino Caballero” (number 5) in Coronel Oviedo, providing a connection to Concepción and Pedro Juan Caballero in the north of the country. The route “Dr. Blas Garay” (number 8) joins with route number 2 in Cnel. Oviedo and communicates with Villarrica and Caazapá.
There are a few runways for small airplanes in the department.
The department has phone service for more than 10,300 lines. AM radio stations include Radio Excélsior, Tajy, Coronel Oviedo, La Voz del Este, and FM radio stations include Seguritec Ingeniería S. A., Horizonte, Centenario, Lo Mita, Mensajero, Radio Clásica, América, Alborada, among others.
There are 589 institutions of elementary education, 913 basic schools, and 151 high schools (according to the Paraguayan educational system) in the department of Caaguazú.
There are 65 health establishments, including hospitals and other health care centers.
- Geografía Ilustrada del Paraguay, Distribuidora Arami SRL; 2007. ISBN 99925-68-04-6
- Geografía del Paraguay, Primera Edición 1999, Editorial Hispana Paraguay SRL.
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