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Hot and Cold in Asuncion

COTTON.jpgI’m in Asuncion and I’m cold.

For those of you who don’t know Asuncion, it’s the capital of Paraguay. Paraguay is a small country without all those things that make Brazil so attractive. Like beach. And samba. And the Amazon. But to be honest, Paraguay has other strengths.

Like the company I’m visiting here: they make organic cotton and have created a value chain from farmer to consumer in one country. The founder lobbied to change the laws in the country so she could start growing organic cotton. Lives of farmers changed and parts of the country became free of pesticides. The company started working with manufacturers to develop clothing. Now they sell in several shops as well as in their own store in Asuncion. A revolutionairy act of entrepreneurship and an example for others.

I’m surprised by the cold in this tropical country so my first stop is a store to buy some pants. If you think organic is always very expensive you should take a trip to Paraguay, I payed less then $40. Carrying my loaded shopping bags instantly warms me up.

Not to speak of the matte I drank that night. This strong tea is the local beverage and everybody has his own thermos filled with matte to carry around town. I find the most beautiful pieces in a designer shop where they customize thermos to your taste with colorful leather, bling bling accessories, or your name embroidered on the front, they even cater to the trendiest Paraguayan girl.

I’m not cold anymore. I’m starting to like Paraguay, I’ve met some great people and thank god, I’ve found my thermo.

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