Paraguay

Packing List

This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in-country and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that each experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything on the list, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind there is a 100-pound weight limit on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in-country.

Baggage & weight limit: The Peace Corps limits the size and weight of baggage and will not pay to transport baggage that exceeds these limits. The allowance is two checked pieces of luggage with combined dimensions of both pieces not to exceed 107 inches (length + width + height) and a carry-on bag with dimensions of no more than 45 inches. Checked baggage should not exceed 100 pounds total with a maximum weight of 50 pounds per bag. 

Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters (shortwave radios are permitted), automobiles, or motorcycles to their assignments. Do not pack flammable materials or liquids such as lighter fluid, cleaning solvents, hair spray, or aerosol containers.

General Clothing

  • Two to four pairs of durable, dark-colored pants or jeans (one nicer pair for special occasions)
  • Two sets of long underwear for the winter (a necessity) ne pair of sweatpants
  • Six or more T-shirts
  • One or two long-sleeved shirts or flannel shirts for layering with sweaters and sweatshirts
  • Two sweaters for special winter occasions
  • Two winter sweaters/sweatshirts/fleece shirts
  • One medium winter jacket (fleece generally works great)
  • Hooded raincoat
  • Two or three pairs of shorts (not to be worn at the training center or in the Peace Corps office)
  • Six to eight pairs of socks—include cotton and wool (at least one pair of Smart Wool socks is recommended)
  • Your favorite hat for sun protection (baseball hats work well, but wide-brimmed are best to keep the sun off your neck, which can be purchased in-country)
  • Warm hat and gloves and scarves for winter—a necessity! A belt (there is a tendency for people’s weight to fluctuate)

 For Women

  • Ten to 15 pairs of cotton underpants and five to 10 bras (including sports bras)
  • Four or five nice shirts (this may include blouses, some sleeveless, nice long-sleeve or short-sleeve)
  • Three or four lightweight, loose-fitting, knee-length skirts or lightweight pants (bring at least one nice one for special occasions)
  • One or two lightweight sun dresses
  • Something nice for swearing in and special occasions (this can include nice pants, a skirt and blouse, or dress)
  • Three or four thick-strapped tank tops
  • Swimsuit 

For Men

  • Dress shirt and tie for swearing in and other special occasions
  • Cotton underwear (boxers are difficult to find in Paraguay)
  • Three or four short-sleeved, button-down shirts with collars for work settings
  • Three pairs of khaki-style pants
  • Two pairs of durable, dark-colored pants or jeans
  • Swim trunks

Shoes

  • At least one pair of sandals for summer (sandals are not normally worn by men at work)
  • One pair of tennis shoes or all-terrain shoes, preferably in a dark color to hide the red dirt (good ones are expensive locally)
  • Flip-flops (available locally)
  • One pair of durable hiking or other boots (preferably waterproof) (optional)
  • Soccer cleats, if you play soccer
  • For women, one pair of flat shoes (in a basic color like black and with thick soles)
  • For men, one pair of informal, closed-toe dress shoes

Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items

  • Three-month supply of any medications, to last through pre-service training; copy of prescriptions 
  • Contact lens solutions (available in Paraguay but very expensive)
  • Makeup (if you are picky about brands)
  • Good supply of tampons (only applicator-free tampons, pads, and panty liners are available locally)
  • Sunscreen (only if you have a favorite brand; the Peace Corps provides some) Three-month supply of any prescription drugs you use (to last you until the Peace Corps orders refills)
  • Two pairs of eyeglasses, if you wear them
  • Two or three bandannas or handkerchiefs (available locally)
  • Shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, face wash (one-month supply, three- to four-month supply)

Miscellaneous

  • If you plan to travel to other countries for vacation, you may want to bring extra money to suit your travel plans; credit cards or traveler's checks are preferable to cash. There are ATMs in larger cities, and most towns so you may want to bring an ATM card to access a bank account in the U.S.
  • Small gifts for host family and friends (not required); knickknacks for the house; pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes; souvenirs from your area; hard candies that will not melt or spoil; photos to give away
  • Travel bag or small daypack
  • Large backpack for longer trips (one with an internal frame is recommended)
  • Camping sleeping pad (great for visitors) or yoga mat
  • Tent (optional)
  • Multipurpose tool/pocket knife
  • Water bottle
  • Flashlight/headlamp,
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Quick-dry towels
  • Set of sheets to fit a double-sized bed
  • Duct tape
  • Small, basic cookbook and/or favorite recipes
  • Dietary supplements you take other than multivitamins
  • Ziploc bags
  • Frisbee, soccer ball, baseball glove, football, and other recreational or sports equipment
  • Permanent markers
  • Portable games such as cards, Uno, checkers, chess, etc.
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • 220-volt adapter, preferably with a surge protector
  • USB flash drive or high capacity external hard drive
  • Audio player and traveling speakers
  • Camera and rechargeable batteries (expensive cameras are not recommended without insurance)
  • Laptop computer (optional; there is an Internet plan offered through the Peace Corps and Wi-Fi in the office, but please note that not all rural Volunteers have Internet access at their sites)