The Arrival of Moon in Paraguay

Paraguay has a very weird and checkered history. It fought a war with Bolivia in the 1930s, and 90% of the Paraguayan men in it were killed.

The first Mennonites first arrived in Paraguay in 1927. They were from Canada. Others followed. They built the city of Filadelfia in the middle of The Chaco. Needing a livelihood, they began dairy operations and became, over time, the major supplier of milk to Paraguayans. Five times the size of Great Britain, The Chaco forests began to disappear. In time this land of giant cacti, thorn and quebracho trees, and a bit of savanna began to become deforested. Bulldozers caused a soccer field of thorn trees to disappear every 90 seconds. The Chaco became a land of huge farms and ranches. It was soon full of soy, cattle, and corn, and the deforestation needed to be slowed through government action.

When cattle numbered in the millions, the Moonies began to arrive. At first they helped to protect the quebracho trees, which had a high tannin content and became known as the ax-breaking tree. Moonies saved the quebracho from further destruction. However, pressure to remove the thorn forests persisted. Sun Myung from South Korea founded the Unification Church that grew into a cult religion in the United States by the 1970s. In the year 2000 Sun Myung bought 1.5 million acres of land in Paraguay with the dream of building a utopian community there. His church, which had a unique Christian theology, appealed to the young and became known for its mass weddings while in the United States. Sun preached that the world was created from God’s inner nature, but he was convicted of tax evasion. Hence the move to Paraguay. Known mostly as the Reverend Moon, he fathered 15 children and lived from 1920 until 2012. After he died, the young continued to be attracted to his movement. It was in 100 countries. But such movements eventually dwindle and his did too. But now it’s said to be undergoing something of a resurgence.

Hank

About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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