The history of Yerba Mate

While mate had already been declared a "national infusion" by the National Congress in 2013, it was not until November 30, 2015 that, for the first time, National Mate Day was celebrated, after the publication of the law in Official Journal on December 17, 2014.

The date was chosen to commemorate the birth of Andrés Guacurari y Artigas, a Guarani caudillo who was one of the first federal leaders of the United Provinces of Río de la Plata and the only indigenous governor in Argentine history.
Appointed by José Gervasio Artigas as general commander of Misiones, Andrés Guacurari y Artigas reigned between 1815 and 1819 over the Great Province of Misiones, where he developed the production and distribution of Yerba Maté.

In the beginning, the custodians and users of Yerba Maté were the Guarani. They used its leaves as a drink, object of worship and currency in their exchanges with other peoples. For these people, the Yerba Mate tree was above all a gift from the gods.

But those who were responsible for spreading its consummation and virtues through the viceroyalty throughout the Río de la Plata were the conquerors. Years later, the Jesuits introduced the culture to the Guarani Jesuit missions. Thanks to them, Yerba Maté has become popular.

This is how the consumption of mate became one of the traditions that, like few others, has remained unchanged for centuries, taking root and spreading all over the world. So much so that today in Argentina around 100 liters of mate are consumed per year and per person.

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