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Villarrica, capital city of the department of Guairá in south-central Paraguay (not far from the Tebicuary River), with 40,300 inhabitants (2004). Founded in 1570, the small Spanish enclave suffered continued attacks by Paulista raiders from Brazil during colonial times until it was established as a permanent settlement in 1682. It is the center of the Yerba Maté industry of Paraguay and an important processor of orange concentrates. After World War I, German colonists moved into the uplands north of Villarrica and formed the agrarian bases of the region with tanning establishments, flour mills, sugar mills, and cotton-threading mills.

See alsoParaguay, Geography; Tebicuary River.


Hugo G. Ferreira, Geografía del Paraguay (Asunción, 1975).

Add. Bibliography

Salas, José Luis. Villarrica y los franciscanos: Memoria de cuatro siglos caminando juntos. Asunción, Paraguay: s.n., 2003.

                                          CÉsar N. Caviedes

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