Areguá – Ypacaraí lake
Central shown in red
|Largest city||San Lorenzo|
|• Governor||Carlos Alberto Amarilla Cañete (Partido Liberal Radical Auténtico)|
|• Total||2,465 km2 (952 sq mi)|
|• Density||780/km2 (2,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-04 (AST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-03 (ADT)|
|ISO 3166 code||PY-11|
|Number of Districts||19|
Central (Spanish pronunciation: [senˈtɾal]) is a department in Paraguay. The capital is Areguá. With 1,929,834 inhabitants, it is the most populated and the smallest of the 17 departments of Paraguay.
- North: the departments of Cordillera and Presidente Hayes.
- West: the Argentine province of Formosa separated by the Paraguay River, and the capital district, Asunción.
- East: the department of Paraguarí.
- South: the department of Ñeembucú.
The department is divided in 19 districts:
|Fernando de la Mora||21||113.560|
|Julián Augusto Saldívar||948||37.374|
|Mariano Roque Alonso||122||65.229|
The mountainous area of Altos and the bodies of water such as the Paraguay and the Salado rivers, the lakes Ypacaraí and Ypoá, and the pond Cabral are part of the natural limits in Central. These along with other regions in the south section generate a good potential of resources for the diverse activities such as tourism and even agriculture.
Central is one of the most benefited departments in terms of attendance in both elementary and higher education, with over 84% of assistance by people of age between 7 and 18. There is a predominance of assistance of males over females, by a margin of 6%. The attendance of public schools is greater, with 69.9% of students attending them, while the resting 30.1% attend private schools. In the Central department there are around 750 elementary education institutions and close to 350 higher education institutions. In the city of San Lorenzo resides the Universidad Nacional de Asunción which is a state-run University.
The maximum temperatures are in the summer, reaching the 40°C, which sometimes can be even higher. In the winter, the minimum temperature is 0°C. The annual average temperature is 22°C. Rains vary approximately 1433 mm per year. The period between the months of January and February is the rainiest, and the driest period is during the months of June and August.
The department is mainly watered by the Paraguay River and its affluents: the Salado River, which is flowed by the Ypacaraí Lake and the streams Itay, Paray e Ytororó. The streams Yuquyry and Ñanduá drain into the Ypoá wetlands. The lakes Ypacaraí, Ypoá and the lagoon Cabral are situated in this region of the country.
The spurs of the Ybytypanema, part of the los Altos chain is in this department. Its highest hills are Lambaré, Ñanduá and Arrua-í. Other lower hills in the zone are the Ñemby and the Patiño.
The Central Department, known as “Comarca Asuncena”, was the most populated country region in old times. In the times of the conquest and colonization, this region had already been the center from where new foundations were expanded, as well as it was the settlers’ refuge who were escaping from the attacks of the Guaicurú Indians.
The towns which compound this department nowadays had different origin. One of the main protagonists of these foundations was Domingo Martínez de Irala, who gave rise to the districts of Itá and Areguá. The town of Luque was established as a Spanish village. Villeta and Tapuá, nowadays called Mariano Roque Alonso were founded in order to establish military forts for defence.
Others tows like Capiatá and Itauguá were expanded around chapels used as evangelization centers, The towns which compound the department are bound, partly, due to the chaqueños Indians’ resistance against the Spanish conquest of their lands, which force the settlers to emigrate and take refuge in this part of the region. That was how were established villages like Guarambaré, Ypané and Ñemby.
A different origin had the towns of Nueva Italia, Colonia Thompson and Villa Elisa, already established as agricultural colonies back in the 19th century and beginnings of the XX, and mainly settled by foreign immigrants. In 1985, it was already established the last district in the Central department named Juan Augusto Saldívar, being constituted definitely the political division of the department.
This department is favored by having a lot of routes. Most of the routes of the country leave from Asunción, the Capital city, to the country towns. One of the main roads in the so-called Ruta I, “Mariscal Francisco Solano López”, which links the Capital city with the town of Encarnación, capital of the Departmento de Itapúa to the south. This town border on the Republic of Argentina. Another important road is the Number II, “Mariscal José Félix Estigarribia”, linking Asunción with Ciudad del Este, capital of the Alto Paraná Department, which border on the Federal Republic of Brazil to the east. This department is also crossed by the Route II, “General Elizardo Aquino” and the IX, “Carlos Antonio López”.
Of the 3049 industrial plants in the Paraguayan territory, 1558 are found in this department. The industrial production includes the processing of food, furniture, clothing, pharmaceutical production, metallurgic, plastic and ceramics. The city of Villeta is home to a large number of industries. Central is the second biggest economy of Paraguay, and occupies the second place in attraction of inversions from other countries. Only 62% of the population is considered economically active.
The waterways which have the Central Department are determined by the “Río Paraguay”, being its main affluents those of Asunción and Villeta.
There are a lot of AM radio stations. Some of them are Radio Cardinal, Radio Ñandutí, Radio Nanawa and Radio Libre. Frequency modulation transmitters are as follows: 1º de Marzo, Ñemby, Cardinal, Disney, Amor, Luque, Itaguá, Lambaré, Trinidad, San Lorenzo, Azul y Oro, Guarania, among others. There are also numerous television channels and cable transmission services.
In Areguá, located on the banks of the Lago Ypacaraí is situated the Satellite Station In the Central Department it is installed telephone exchanges which communicate all of the districts.
The department has numerous health places, such as Hospitals, health posts and centers. The private sector takes part in this area as well, offering health services in every district of the department.
The Central Department has a large number of attractions for tourism. Among the most famous natural resources at an international level, is the Lago Ypacaraí, which is represented in the immortal play of Demetrio Ortíz, the beautiful guarania. This lake is a very important natural attraction and the town of Areguá, capital of the department is located on the banks of this lake
There is a great variety of Museums, historical places and cultural centers in the districts. It can be seen parks and green places preserved for the practice of outdoors sports. The hotel industry is an important income resource of this department. Each district has its patronal feasts and celebrations which are part of the people culture.
- http://www.dgeec.gov.py DGEEC
- Geografía del Paraguay - Editorial Hispana Paraguay S.R.L.- 1a. Edición 1999 - Asunción Paraguay
- Geografía Ilustrada del Paraguay - ISBN 99925-68-04-6 - Distribuidora Arami S.R.L.
- La Magia de nuestra tierra. Fundación en Alianza. Asunción. 2007.
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