Association Fernheim

The Association Fernheim was the first organization of the Colony Fernheim. The extreme need during the hard times of the colony pressed the need to form a solidarity union. The goal of this association is to guarantee assistance in the social and cultural needs. 


The Association Fernheim is a non-profit organization. Good facilities, trained personnel, adapted technology and a collective orientation are part of this association.


The Hospital Filadelfia cares for the health of the members of the Association Fernheim and attends all the people that come and look for its services.

The Hospital Filadelfia started operating since the early founding years the colony Fernheim. Following services are offered: medical consultations, surgeries, hospitalizations, first aid, laboratory exams, ultrasound, EKG, X-ray, tomography, gastrointestinal and colonoscopy. Physiotherapy and transfers with ambulances is also offered. The nursing school INFORTES "Filial Escuela de Enfermería Filadelfia" began over 50 years ago. It is a career on academic level and recognized by the University

“Universidad Evangélica del Paraguay”.


The Association Fernheim has a formal education program recognized by the government – Ministerio de Educación y Cultura de Paraguay (MEC). The education provided is based on Christian Mennonite values together with the German language and culture.

Six elementary schools belong to the Association Fernheim. These schools are found throughout different regions of the colony.

The Filadelfia High school is part of the Association Fernheim as well and provides education in two different levels: grade 7-9 (Educación Escolar Básica) and 10-12 (Media). The last three courses are offered with different emphasis: social sciences, scientific sciences and in accounting.

After grade 9 the students can also choose to attend one of the inter-colonial institutions for professional education:

  • Centro de Formación Hogareña y Nutricional (CFHN) en Neuland: –CFHN is thecentre for education in household and nutrition located in the colony Neuland: The CFHN belongs to the 3 Mennonite colonies in the Chaco and offers courses recognized by the SNPP, the system for dual education with the following subjects: kitchen, nutrition and health, administrating and housekeeping, horticulture and sewing. This institution also offers other courses for adults.
  • Centro de Formación Profesional(CFP) en Loma Plata: – CFP is a vocational school in the colony Loma Plata: In 1981, the CFP was founded in Loma Plata and supported by the 3 Mennonite colonies in the Chaco. It began with the desire to train young people in different areas as in production and labor. The education is bilingual. It is based on a dual learning system. The agricultural area offers the BachilleratoTécnicoAgropecuario (BTA) that goes for 3 years and the title is on the same level as graduating from grade 12.CFP also offers courses in technician in agricultural, auto- and agro- mechanic, electronic, carpentry, executive secretarial and S.T. in accounting.
After graduation from grad 12 it is also possible to enter the institution IFD which belongs to all 3 colonies:
  • Instituto de Formación Docente (IFD) en Filadelfia: – in 1940 the first pedagogic course was offered at this teachers university. With time, this course got adapted to the national system of teacher universities in Paraguay until it got recognized by the government through the Ministry of Education and Culture. This institute educates teachers in a bilingual system with a multicultural focus. The aim is to cover the demand for local teachers that. These future teachers are prepared for the multicultural and multi-ethnic community in the Chaco.


The road department of the Association Fernheim is in charge of making and maintaining the private roads of the Cooperative and Association Fernheim. The members finance the expenses of maintaining 1.300 kilometers of roads with their annual contributions.

Social Work

Werkstatt Kleefeld

The goal of this institution is to offer a better quality of life to handicapped people of the Association Fernheim. People should have the opportunity to find their place in the social and occupational world. Self-sustaining and a better satisfaction in life through development and care for the handicapped people is one of the goals. Association Fernheiminitiates and sustains the project.

Social Office

The Department of Social Work aims to support and accompany members and their families in social life, with special emphasis on prevention. Areas of intervention are family counseling, therapy with children, youth and adults, support foster families, school social work, counseling on family finances, mediation in conflict situations and marital problems. Two homes provide adequate care for people with disabilities, they receive a special workshop occupation WerkstattKleefeld.

Caring For the Elderly

The Association Fernheim offers special assistance to senior/elderly members. These services divide into 3 parts: nurse service in their own home, apartments with nursing services or living in the old age home. Here they have a space to live, alimentation and medical and spiritual assistance.

Neighborhood Cooperation/Assistance

During the first settlement years the Europeans and indigenous could not live together. To ease up this situation the members of the Cooperative and Association Fernheim formed different foundations that until today launch social projects of assistance and cooperation.

Foundation TresColonias – Three colonies

The foundation ‘Tres Colonias’ belongs to all three Chaco colonys – Fernheim, Chortitzer and Neuland. Together they finance the association ASCIM (Asociación de Servicios de Cooperación Indígena Menonita – Association of services of cooperation Indigenous – Mennonite).

Escuela 1° de Mayo School

The “1º de Mayo” school is a school subsidized by the Cooperative Fernheim and the Paraguayan government. This school was built in 1971 and offers grade 1-12 for Spanish speaking students.

Cove Chaco

The Cooperative Fernheim with the goal to help families to achieve a worthy standard of living founded the foundation COVE Chaco in 1987.

Its first Project was the foundation of the community Villa Choferes del Chaco, where the personnel of the Cooperative Fernheim can obtain properties. In this community, a school for grade 1-12 was built by the foundation Cove Chaco. The Cooperative Fernheim and the Paraguayan government subsidize this school. Cove Chaco also provides with economic support in the communities of Ebetogue and Campo Loro where the ayoreo people live. These communities get agricultural training and advice.


The Asociación de Servicios de Cooperación Indígena – Menonita (ASCIM), is a non-profit organization that cooperates with the native indigenous people in the central Chaco since 1961. ASCIM offers cooperation and assistance for the native indigenous people in the Chaco, which consists of providing land for colonization, communal organization and other services like education, training, health and mentoring in agricultural production. ASCIM has its headquarters in Filadelfia, Chaco Paraguay.