PLACE: President Hayes Region, Rio Verde Location (Central Chaco)
COUNTY: Diocese of Benjamin Aceval

The overall goal of the project was to solve the problem of landless peasant families living on the Transchaco roadside. Thus, the specific objectives were as follows:

  • creation of labor sources;

  • Start-up of training activities for adults and youth

  • creation of living conditions essential to their reintegration into the national economy by eliminating marginalization and its consequences such as delinquency, smuggling, etc.

This pilot project, the first one implemented in the Chaco, tends to the creation of a rural settlement (Pueblo) with all the infrastructure, including those for a raising of the cultural level of the households (youth and adults). ASeS signed a Cooperation Agreement in November 1993 with the Paraguayan government to implement this project co-financed by the European Union. A total of 20,000 hectares of land was made available for the project by the government through a law passed by Parliament, and 42 kilometers of dirt road with a 45-meter wooden bridge crossing the Rio Verde River was made available to start the project.

The work was carried out with the direct cooperation of the beneficiaries and, in March 1995, the first nucleus was inaugurated by the President of the Republic of Paraguay in the presence of ministers and representatives of the E.U. (ambassadors of Italy and Spain). This first settlement consists of 50 families with more than 300 people. Each farming family received 50 hectares of land, a worthy dwelling with some garden land, dairy cows, etc. Training courses related to agriculture, nutrition and health were organized and a school was established for the children. By the decision of the beneficiaries, the settlement was named Nueva Mestre, the Italian city where ASeS is based.

The new family life perspective has improved the level of adult education by increasing their family and social responsibilities; in addition, young people have begun their human formation in a positive form due to the restored family balance along with a solid education provided at the new school. In addition to this, a first health dispensary recognized by the minister of public health was established.