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10,191 kmfrom home
“I wasn't born in Paraguay, but I am Paraguayan.”
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By a decision of her husband to buy some land in 1979, Maris came to Paraguayan land many years ago: "I fell in love with Paraguay", she says without a glimmer of doubt.
Born in Switzerland, she would go and come between the two countries until 1999 when she and her husband decided to settle in Paraguay.

Due to a tragic plane crash she was widowed a year later, but continued to live in the country: "I decided to stay because I love the country. I went growing with cattle and genetics. I export to the whole world through the company Viradoce”.

“At the beginning it wasn´t easy because when I widowed everyone thought that my husband was the one that made all the work but then they realized I also knew the field, the people and the work. I was born with animals, my father had lands and all kinds of animals, hence I know about it”.

Maris is a well-known cattle businesswoman and also a great activist in defense of animals´ rights who, through her Foundation, performs all kinds of work for this purpose. Since 2013, she has been the Director of the Asunción Botanical Garden and Zoo and also a Goodwill Ambassador of OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health).

Her love for Paraguay is more than evident: “I wasn´t born in Paraguay, but I am Paraguayan”, she tells with pride. “I traveled a lot around the world, I have a house and a family in Switzerland, but I always want to come back: my place is in Paraguay”.

Her advice to people who wish to emigrate is that one must always have clear ideas, think what is left behind and what you will find. Transparency, honesty, respect to the persons and the country where one is going to settle are also essential elements to Maris when it comes to migration. 

"You have to give something to the country. You have to love the country where you are going to, not only claim and demand: one must give too. I think I contribute to the country, and I do it with pleasure because it is my country. I'm not saying you have to forget your roots. I do not forget that I am Swiss by birth, but Paraguay is my country. I live here and the country gives me the opportunity to work; I have to respect the law and order and not look at those who do not, I have to have a line and above all, persevere ".

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