Ita District, Paraguay - Polarsteps
Itá, Paraguay, population: about 29,000. Itá is 37 kilometers (22 miles) south of Asunción.
Itá was founded in 1539. The indigenous people Guaraní are native to this region, and some of their language is blended into the Spanish they speak in this part of Paraguay. I am having difficulty understanding the people here because what they are speaking doesn't sound much like Spanish to my ears.
In Itá is a lagoon, a large pond (see photos in the photo album) with caiman in it. There are two stories that tell of its origin. This is the text from Wikipedia, "According to some of the residents of the city of Itá, at the time of the Great War, the armies passed through that place, where an old woman lived with a well inside her home; the thirsty soldiers asked for water to drink and the old woman refused to give it to them, not only to them but to all those who asked to drink and at that moment a flood fell, which flooded the entire house until a lagoon was formed. There is another story that tells that a golden bell was buried inside that lagoon so that the invaders at the time of the war would not take it as a war trophy." There is a very nice park surrounding the lagoon, some ice cream shops, pizza restaurants, coffee shops, and other shops also around the park. They say the lagoon has never dried up. It has become something of a tourist attraction for Itá.
Itá's economy is largely dependent on agriculture, pottery/ceramics, and commercial business, with a growing adventure tourism industry. There is a church here that dates to 1698, I got a couple of pics of it in the evening when it was open.
So, my impressions: I like this town. My first day's impressions were not good as my hotel (one of only two, apparently) is not in the better part of town. I thought I was seeing downtown Itá, but on my second day here I found the real city center and it is a much nice area than where my hotel is. The lagoon and the park are peaceful and very pretty, and there are small shops around it making it a nice place to visit any time. There is a center that has displays of original pottery and ancient pottery and other artifacts, as well as a pizzeria and a restaurant. The town has a very big modern supermarket, a second modern grocery store, and several older grocery stores, as well as any other type of business you would need. The hospital was renovated a couple of years ago and it is fully modernized. I found something here that I had yet to see anywhere in my journey of South America—individual houses, not connected like townhouses. Pretty much all of the suburban area (2 or 3 blocks from the center and further out) have houses that are separated by yard space, this is very rare in South America. Everywhere I've been in South America all the houses, urban, suburban, and even many country houses, are connected townhouse style.
My South America Journey