Hello everyone! My name is Dorsey. It’s a pleasure to introduce myself. I’m an intern at two amazing environmental organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area (The Pachamama Alliance and Green For All), a part-time blogger, a babysitter, a caterer, and an environmental and political activist. Here’s how I fell in love with a plant that some of us know, and some of us are just waiting to discover.
I discovered yerba maté recently during a year I spent traveling and volunteering in South America. I was actually not in a part of the continent where maté is popular or easy to find, but thank goodness I made fast friends with a Chilean chica named Josefina (José for short) who traveled with a bombilla and a big bag of maté leaves. This was especially fortunate because in most parts of Peru, Ecuador and Colombia (where I was traveling) the only kind of caffeine you can find is instant coffee, or what I like to call instant stomach-ache. Instead of sitting in a stuffy café José and I would pass our hours in the plazas sipping down gourd after gourd of maté and feeling great about all of our decisions in life. The conversations would often center around how lucky we felt to be traveling the world, and what were our grand plans for helping humanity, saving our pachamama [Mother Earth], and changing the world. When we were forced to drink the instant coffee under fluorescent lighting I remember our conversations were not nearly so inspired.
When I returned to the U.S. I returned to coffee for my daily caffeine but often wished for the gourd in my hand and the view of the Ecuadorian hills from the plaza in Riobamba. In San Francisco I discovered Guayaki and realized that I could again feel the euphoria and inspiration that José and I found in the plazas. Since then I have been totally hooked. First thing in the morning I pop some leaves in the French press so that I can sip maté while I get ready for my day. Usually in the afternoon I drink half a can or bottle to rejuvinate me for the rest of my often very long day, and let me tell you, it works everytime! Once I drank an energy shot and then set out for what turned out to be the longest run of my life. Yerba maté is an amazing plant.
In addition to the effect that drinking maté has on my energy level and attitude towards life, I have been told that it has amazing health benefits as well. It is absolutely loaded with antioxidants – which we all know to be super healthy and important for our bodies. I could go on and on, but since this is just an introduction, I think I’ll save an exhaustive list of the amazing health benefits for later.