Education has not always received the recognition it deserves in Paraguay. These days this is changing as political stability returns, although the poorer children in more rural areas still are not reached by the same opportunities, especially in terms of hours per day at school. As a result 10% to 15% of them are still illiterate. The 6 years of primary school start nominally at age 7, and education is mandatory through to age 14.
Even though Paraguay maintains a strong indigenous culture with its descendants of the Guirani people, the Spanish Empire left its mark on the region and 90 percent of the population are practicing Roman Catholics. This is evident in the traditional Catholic festivals, such as Dia de San Blas and the largest festival in Paraguay, Carnival.