Social organization

Traditionally the Chaco people are iqualizing societies, which live in small groups of 30-50 persons. As a consequence of the recent mutiple transmigrations, their social structures have been weakened and today they are in the process of adaptation to their new socio-political environment. The government institutions require from them new concepts of leadership by elections and based on representative democracy.

Those who decided to adapt to these new requirements have registered their “legal representatives” and obtained the approval of their legal capacity. Thus they are now “self-governing communities” according to law. During this process most of the communities in the Central Chaco set up their own community bylaws, which intend to reconciliate their indigenous culture with the new challenges of living together with other ethnic groups, thus establishing the policies for a new “proyect of life”, which they are now forging as a people.

With their traditional culture orientated specially towards the organization of the community foundations, the communities of the Central Chaco are now venturing the organization of the roof. In this process 11 agricultural communities formed a federation for the exchange of experiences and the protection of common interests, the “Federación Regional Indígena del Chaco Central = FRICC, (Regional Indigenous Federation of the Central Chaco – RIFCC).

Another organization which comprises different communities and ethnic groups, Indians as well as German-Paraguayans has been established with the Asociación de Servicios de Cooperación Indígena Mennonita = ASCIM (Indigenous Mennonite Association of Cooperation Services).

The form of relationship in this project of interetnic cooperation has been denominated “partnership”, which means “cooperation with shared responsibility”. It presupposes the equality of the partners in the expression of their expectations and offers of cooperation. It is negotiated as between partners. On one hand there is the indigenous community with the greater part of the initiative and management. On the other hand there is ASCIM as cooperating organization with a determined predisposition to participate with resources and services according to the internal regulations, which has to be completely transparent for the communities.