Ciudad del Este ~ this is where we will be moving to start a new church plant in a few months. Today we are going for a few days trying to secure housing.
I ask that you pray with us that we we may find affordable and safe housing for ourselves and our daughter's family.
Here is an article about CdE in Wikipedia; CIUDAD DEL ESTE
I wanted to highlight just a few interesting points from the article about this unique city. I find it to feel very much like a mini NYC with all the languages and cultures one experiences while walking around downtown.
- It is the second largest city in Paraguay, with a population estimated at 320,782 in 2008
- The city has a large Asian-born population, specifically Taiwanese, Koreans, Arabs and Iranians, evident in the city's mosque and pagodas. The Taiwanese government paid for the construction of the city's town hall in exchange for Paraguayan support in the United Nations, hence the Taiwanese flag that flies on the building.
- Ciudad del Este generates about 60% of Paraguay's GDP. It is the third largest free-tax commerce zone in the world, after Miami, and Hong Kong.
- Smuggling is a major occupation in the city, with some estimates putting the value of this black market at five times the national economy. Indeed, evidence indicates that some of the revenue generated by smuggling may support criminal organizations based outside the region, including terrorist organizations.
- There also existed rumors in Western media that Al-Qaida operatives were located here, but those claims were not proven, as these are recognized only "off the record". Other rumors had members of Hezbollah using the city as a base to launch bomb attacks on Argentine Jews. See AMIA Bombing. It is believed that the suicide bomber entered Argentina through the Triple Border.
- In 2005, it was a filming location for Miami Vice, a film directed by Michael Mann and based on his television series of the same name.
- In the Cyclops: Icons series, Cyclops travels to Ciudad del Este to fight Ulysses.