A sad panorama: Actual situation of the youth in Paraguay

Sergio Miranda, Paraguay

This article intends to provide a glance into what youth is going through, specifically in Paraguay, a under-developed country, located in the heart of South America.

As many Latin American countries, Paraguay is a relatively young country, since almost 66% of its population is under 30 years old. According to surveys and statistics, of 100 students who start school, only 35 of them get to finish high school, then only 10 get to go to college. This shows a lack of interest from government institutions which claims to work for the young people. Another big issue is the enormous difficulty for young people to get access to a well-paid job, as almost 80% of the young working age Paraguayans are underpaid.

In addition, we see the Paraguayan youth being ignored completely in terms of political involvement, and it seems that the old people in power continue to neglect young people in order to maintain their places in government, under budgeting education, social and sexuality related programs. In fact, Latin America, specially Paraguay, has a high rate of adolescent pregnancy, which leads to school dropouts, rough and over challenging opportunities to access a worthy job. Having all the before mentioned in account, we should also highlight the dramatic rate of young people who are into drugs, and also fall victims of the trafficking.

But, we see a spark of light which could give some hope. Paraguayan youth are waking up, claiming their rights to a dignified education and employment, which are the main challenges they have to face. Even though the system itself leaves them out and no authority seems to take over as it should, many of them are protagonists in their communities, seeking progress, protesting and claiming what they believe to be unfair. They only need to be the majority in the public office, because only then the change will come. At least, we see nowadays, as some surveys show, that 53% of adolescents and young people support democracy in the country, compared to 20% who still prefer a dictatorial regime.

In conclusion, the words of the Congressman Carlos Rejala effectively summarize the point: “We need a stronger State, that generates jobs, that encourages entrepreneurs, that moves the wheel so that they, who are the strength, can find opportunities, because that is what they need, that more young people enter politics, that they do not stay behind the keyboard, that they are encouraged to turn their anger and frustrations into participation and action, and their proposals become proposals for the people from the political arena. Paraguay belongs to the youth and must be taken by them”.