‘A minority among minorities’: Utah’s tiny Paraguayan community hosting independence festivities

May 10, 2024, 7:00 AM | Updated: May 15, 2024, 11:06 am

Performers take part in 2023 Independence Day celebration for Paraguay, held in South Jordan and or...

Performers take part in 2023 Independence Day celebration for Paraguay, held in South Jordan and organized by Paraguayans in Utah, a group of expatriates from the country. The Paraguayan community in Utah hosting a celebration on Saturday to mark Paraguay's independence day. (Viviana Figueredo)

(Viviana Figueredo)

OREM — As Latin American countries go, small landlocked Paraguay doesn’t always register top on the radar screen of Americans.

“We are a very small country in South America, so many people don’t know about us,” said Viviana Figueredo, originally from Asunción, the Paraguayan capital, and now living in American Fork.

A small contingent from the country now calls Utah home, though, and in a bid to bolster the community’s profile, Paraguayans in Utah — made up of expatriates from the country — is holding a public festival Saturday to mark the country’s independence from Spain. The event, open to the public, goes from 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday and will be held at City Center Park at Center Street and 300 East in Orem.

“We’re trying to get people to know more about us and what we’re doing,” said Figueredo, a leader in the group.

Two other events are also planned along the Wasatch Front to highlight the varied cultures in the area:

  • The city of Ogden is hosting a Living Heritage Festival on Friday from 4-8 p.m. and Saturday from noon-8 p.m. at Union Station, 2501 Wall Ave. The aim is to “promote public awareness, understanding and appreciation for the diverse cultural heritage of northern Utah” through dance, food, art, music and vendors, reads the Facebook announcement of the event.
  • Historic Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church of Salt Lake City is hosting an event to collect artifacts, documents and personal remembrances representative of the history of Utah’s Black community. It goes from noon-4 p.m. and will be held at the church, 239 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Read the full story and more from Tim Vandenack on

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‘A minority among minorities’: Utah’s tiny Paraguayan community hosting independence festivities