Paraguay (Spanish: Paraguay, Spanish: Paraguái), or officially the Republic of Paraguay (Spanish: República del Paraguay, Spanish: Tetã Paraguái), is a state at the crossroads of the southern and central parts of South America, with no access to the sea. It borders Bolivia to the northwest, Brazil to the northeast and Argentina to the southwest. Due to its central location in South America, Paraguay is sometimes called the Heart of America (Spanish: Corazón de América).
The countries with which Paraguay borders are: Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil. The area of the state is 406,752 km².
Geology and relief
The Paraguay River divides the country into two parts: Gran Chaco is flat and sparsely populated in the northwest, while the east is more diverse in relief (in the southeast is the highest peak, Kero Pero, 842 m high) and more populated (95% of Paraguayan population).
Flora and fauna
The climate in Gran Chuck is tropical with large variations in temperature, and subtropical in the east.
Indigenous peoples inhabited this area thousands of years ago. Before the arrival of Europeans in the area of today's Paraguay, there were semi-nomadic tribes with a warrior tradition. The native tribes in this area belonged to one of the five language families, which was the most important type of division among them. Members of different language families often clashed with each other over territory and natural resources. Linguistic families were further divided into branches through tribes. Today, there are 17 ethnolinguistic groups in Paraguay.
The first Europeans to come to what is now Paraguay were Spanish explorers in 1516. On August 15, 1537, the Spanish explorer Juan Salazar de Espinosa founded the settlement of Asuncion. This city later became the center of the Spanish colonial province of Paraguay. Also, during the 18th century, it was the seat of Jesuit missions in this part of South America. The Jesuits founded Jesuit reductions with the aim of protecting the Indian population from slavery to which they were exposed by the Spanish settlers, also for the sake of their Christianization. During one hundred and fifty years, a large number of Jesuit reductions were created in the eastern part of Paraguay, until the Spanish crown expelled the Jesuits in 1767. The ruins in which they were housed�