There are an estimated 6000 Mbya Guaraní living in 82-98 Mbya villages, scattered about Misiones Province, however only 73 of them are registered with the provincial government. Many of the smallest villages are located in the deep forest and they are isolated by choice from the general population. It has been difficult to obtain an actual count of communities, as the isolated communities are often mobile in nature â€“ moving to sow more fertile gardens or for better access to game. However some of the larger communities are stationary and are located in proximity to the towns, cities, and routes where tourists travel. The number of Mbya living in Misiones Province has been growing over the last decade with immigration of both Mbya and Chiripá Guaraní from Paraguay and Brazil into the larger Mbya communities. This immigration has been driven by two factors: access to tourist markets and rapid deforestation in their home countries.
Many of the Mbya communities are at risk of being removed from what they claim are territorial lands because they do not hold legal title to the land. After a two-year legal fight in the provincial courts to win approval for Guaraní Nation or Pueblo status, the Mbya were forced to be under control of a newly formed agency of the provincial government in 1989. This new agency, known as Asuntos Guaraní, was given the mission of transferring land title to the registered Mbya communities. The process of land transfer has been slow and contentious, with only 23 communities receiving title by 2003. However during 2003-2004, 9 Mbya communities were engaged in land disputes with the provincial government, a national university, and lumber companies. Although the Mbya have not always been able to retain all of the land they claim, the presence of outside actors who have aided the Mbya through protests, letter-writing campaigns, and media interviews to bring about national and international awareness of the situation of the Mbya, has been beneficial to bringing about resolution.