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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Paraguayan Student Association aims to showcase country culture, welcome international students

Members of the Paraguayan Student Association smile for a photo during a general meeting. Photo courtesy of Paraguayan Student Association.

Countless students come from different countries to study at Wichita State, including Paraguay. Groups like the Paraguayan Student Association look to educate people on their culture and people firsthand. 

“The mission of our organization is to show our culture, our food, how we are, how we do stuff down in Paraguay,” Agustin Benitez, vice president, said.

The group started three years ago when a couple of students started an organization to represent the growing Paraguayan population at Wichita State. As of March, the organization has nearly 40 members, not just from Paraguay but from all over the world.

Fabrizio Montorfano, the president of the Paraguayan Student Association, said the organization’s typical event involves Paraguayan food and trivia. 

“Our culture is based a lot on food. We really like food, so we get some typical foods here in the RSC and stuff,” Montorfano said. “We normally do trivia about Paraguay, its culture — we basically do a bit of everything.” 

Past events have included back-to-school dinners, Spanish night, movie night and annual celebrations of the “Day of Paraguayan Women” and more. In the fall, the group plans to join Paraguayans living from different parts of Kansas for a conference. 

 With many students only staying in Wichita for a few months, the Paraguayan Student Association aims to help students feel at home. 

“We also wanted to make Paraguayans that come only for one semester, make them feel comfortable about coming here,” Benitez said. 

Gabriela Gomez, an international student and the organization’s social media manager, said interactions differ between Paraguay and Wichita. 

“It’s easier to talk to people (in Paraguay), and well, I guess every country in South America is very physical, so it is weird sometimes,” Gomez said. “When you’re greeting an American, you cannot be like, ‘Hey, how are you?’ (or you cannot) just hug them if you do not know them.” 

The group said everyone is invited to join them. 

“We welcome all students to the organization,” Gomez said. “You don’t necessarily need to be Paraguayan or Latino to join.” 

Students can stay updated on the Paraguayan Student Association and check out upcoming events through the organization’s Facebook and Instagram

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