Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay (Spanish: República del Paraguay, pronounced [reˈpuβlika ðel paɾaˈɣwai]; Guaraní: Tetã Paraguái [teˈtã paɾaˈɣʷaj]), is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the country from north to south. Due to its central location in South America, it is sometimes referred to as Corazón de América, or the Heart of America.
As of 2009 the population was estimated at 6.3 million. The capital and largest city is Asunción. The official languages are Spanish and Guaraní, both being widely spoken in the country. Most of the population are mestizos.
The Guaraní have been living in Paraguay since prior to the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century, when Paraguay became part of the Spanish colonial empire. Paraguay gained independence from Spain in 1811.