Rock climber Austin Lankford, 16, drinks yerba mate to help him maintain focus and energy while scaling a course:
I have been rock climbing since before I can remember, and now it even blows my mind seeing how far it has taken me.
Climbing is much more than just a sport to me in my life, it is a passion. I travel all around the world — not just climbing on world class routes and boulders, but guiding younger kids on my team on the same rock.
My family owns a climbing gym in my hometown, where I coach and get coached.
Owning a climbing gym has really inspired me to become a coach. I think I can learn a lot about myself as a climber through my own teachings. Being a coach also helps me become a better climber: teaching kids helps me pass on the lessons I have learned throughout my climbing experiences.
When I am not traveling and climbing outside, I am in the gym almost everyday with my amazing coaches and teammates getting ready for all the competitions. I have competed in countless national competitions, and competitions out of the country.
To maintain my stamina on the rocks, yerba mate has been one of the most beneficial additions to my body, helping me stay healthy by providing the right nutrients I need to keep me in top physical condition. Climbing takes a great deal of focus and physical energy, which the amazing herb provides for me.
One of the things I love most about Guayaki is that they offer so many different forms of yerba mate. I prefer the loose leaf mate, traditionally drank out of a single hollowed out gourd passed around a group, because of the extremely natural taste.
I can understand it when the Guayaki team says, “something magical happens when you share yerba mate from a gourd. Ideas are shared, stories are told, and a sense of community is created.” I have noticed this in my own experiences when I am out climbing. It starts with somebody asking what I’m drinking, so I pass them my gourd, and the magic starts to happen.
Every time we pass a gourd, we can feel in our hearts the ability yerba mate has to transcend boundaries and bring peace, community, and connection. It’s exciting to see this spirit carried by the new Argentine Pope Francis as he takes on the papacy.
The ritual of enjoying yerba mate from a gourd is one a majority of Argentinians enjoy daily. Beyond its place in the hearts of Argentinians as a well-beloved tradition, yerba mate also contains a wealth of nutrients – a host of vitamins, minerals and other compounds, as well as caffeine to provide a welcoming boost.
Pope Francis’s first gift from a world leader was a mate kit from Argentine President Cristina Fernandez (pictured above from Reuters), who presented the gift upon their first diplomatic meeting. The mate kit was made up of a new gourd, bombilla, and thermos to hold warm water.
We’re excited for the positive messages Pope Francis will share with the world, knowing that one who shares yerba mate holds intention of community, love, and peace. This is our daily practice and our company mission: explore for yourself the wonders of yerba mate and learn more about our work to restore the South American rainforest.
Bodyboarder Seabass Perez says aloha and mahalo:
I’m from Dana Point, California and I’ve been bodyboarding for about six years. I’m writing you now from the island of Oahu on the North Shore, and I’ve gotten very into Guayaki since I’ve been here.
Yerba Mate is such a great addition to my everyday routine, always providing me with the best nutrition and energy. When the waves are pumping, I’m usually in them. Sustaining that involves a lot of exercise to my days in and out of the water. I’m not much of a runner, but I stay productive, and I’m always moving in the water, whether the waves are small or big.
I think anything that has to do with water fitness keeps you in top shape. You don’t realize how many muscles your body really uses in a surf or swim — not like wearing out your calf muscles by running. To keep my energy up, I like to maintain a good diet of vegetables. Veggies and yerba are the best combo! No need to rely on coffee for my energy.
It’s been going well for me here for the past three months. I travel year-round to surf, hitting the waves of Hawaii, Mexico, Indonesia, Tahiti, and beyond. And there’s no comparison to living in the beauty of where I am here and now.
There’s nothing more satisfying for a cebador than serving yerba mate to friends. So you can imagine we had a pretty exciting three days during the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim. This year, the annual convention saw a record 63,000 attendees in the natural products industry — and it feels like we served all of them!
Our handmade cedar booth welcomed faces new and familiar as we shared the mate in a myriad of ways: as a direct warm brew, with coconut cream and agave to make mate lattes, or cold out of a sparkling can (or the Classic Gold mate keg). Each cup brought the intention of good energy and rejuvenating vibrations, invigorating many long exploratory journeys on the showroom floor.
See all of our Expo pics up on Pinterest.
Besides being a great place to learn about everything going on in the natural products world, Expo is also a chance for Guayakians to reunite and reconnect. Many of us work at the Guayaki mission from our home base in Sebastopol, while some of us work to bring Guayaki to different parts of the country from as far away as Colorado, Indiana, and New York. It’s tough to keep a crew like ours apart for long.
We were also excited to see so many initiatives on the labeling GMO front. Many organizations in the natural food and products industry are aligned with the notion of bringing label transparency to the things we put into and on our bodies. We were happy to hear the news that Whole Foods will require all products on its shelves containing GMOs to carry a label by 2018. With many voices speaking up and out for a change, we’re even more energized to continue pushing forward in a positive activist spirit.
Here’s to another year making an even bigger positive impact on our planet and moving the world towards better health, conscious choices, and sustainable living!
I had never heard of mate 13 years ago. I also didn’t know anyone from Paraguay. That is, until I met a guy named Alfredo at a punk rock party in the San Fernando Valley. My life has been full of surprises ever since then. We have had many adventures together, from touring the country in a van with his band, to traveling to Paraguay to visit Alfredo’s family.
Alfredo told me about mate and how it’s part of his culture and upbringing. I had it with his mom and dad and siblings here in America from time to time when we hung out, but I really was able to experience how much it was a part of his life when we visited his extended relatives in Paraguay. They drank it in the morning, and the afternoon and at night. They drank it at parties, at the park and in the car. It was every where and there was always a reason to drink it!
When Alfredo and I met, we were very different people. I was a vegetarian who didn’t drink or do anything too wild. Alfredo was a meat eater who lived his life in excess. He was always going from one extreme to another. We co-existed very well though, and over time we’ve grown so much.
A couple of years ago, we decided it was time to go vegan for our health and the planet. We went from eating non-organic vegan food with a lot of processed fake meats, etc. to now being organic vegans who primarily eat whole foods. We try to buy locally too and be as sustainable as possible.
This is why organic mate is the way to go for us. Supporting communities in Third World countries, like Paraguay where Alfredo was born, and putting something chemical-free and healthy into our bodies just makes sense to us.
We feel so great when we drink it too! We are very athletic now and have found it works far better than coffee for us when it comes to long-lasting energy. I also love the fact that drinking from our gourd together is a bonding experience. Instead of doing something separate, it has a way of bring friends and family together. It’s an old tradition that I see lasting for a very long time! Mate will always have a place in our hearts.
As a company with quality, sustainability and food justice sewn into our DNA, we feel the pull to join advocates for the right of all people to cultivate and enjoy their own food. We brought our vision to a gathering at the state capital in Hawaii to help protest GMOs, attend events and listen to the words of Dr. Vandana Shiva, a dear environmental activist, author, and powerful speaker.
Guayakians David Karr, Alex Pryor, and Patrick Lee traveled to greet the crowds at the capital building for three days of talks by Dr. Shiva. Beyond the joy of hearing great words by Shiva, the team came loaded, sharing about 500 cans and bottles of our organic, non-GMO yerba mate to a crowd hungry for quality non-GMO food and drink. Beautiful energy to add to the voices of the day.
For those who were unable to attend, it’s worth reading the transcript of Dr. Shiva’s speech at the capital. The moving way she weaves her words presents a powerful message for the way we produce our food worldwide, and the natural right we have as members of Earth to plant and harvest seeds to nourish ourselves and our global community. A big takeaway point: We are an interconnected species.
Since our inception, our fans have helped us save more and more rainforest each year. Last month, we tallied everyone’s total impact for all of 2012, and the numbers blew us away! It’s nothing short of wonderful to feel our momentum growing and know that this year, we’ll save even more. But besides drinking more mate, what else can we possibly do to top numbers like these? As Luke shows us here at our annual team meeting, we’re saving over 24 million trees and protecting over 1 BILLION square feet of rainforest!
Many of us with a connection to the yerba mate plant can’t help but hear the call to help the forest as much as possible, which is just one reason the Guayaki Foundation established a page on GlobalGiving.org. Through the help of our fans, we’ve managed to establish a permanent presence on the site. Our donation page allows you to see where funds will be redistributed, and how much goes into protecting the harvest, and how every last dollar counts.
Guayaki drinkers are active participants in our mission and community, and this year, we’ll see it more than ever — from the rainforest protection already built into our business to the opportunity to raise more for the cause. As always, we’ll also be out in the world, sharing yerba mate with you, enjoying this planet, and discovering the many deep ways we can connect with it. Onward, to the forest!
Visit our donation drive on GlobalGiving.org to contribute: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/guayaki/
Our teammate Bobbi sent this message out to our staff this morning, which resonates with many of us across the country. Donate to relief efforts like the American Red Cross, GlobalGiving, or other relief efforts on the ground working to help victims at this time.
Hurricane Sandy really did a number on the East Coast. Even though you don’t hear much on the news there are thousands and thousands of people whose homes have been completely destroyed…and many more thousands who are not able to stay in their homes until all the damage is cleaned up. They are dealing with muck and yuck and salt water that flooded their homes. Mold is developing and the smells in their homes is horrible. I understand there are even areas still without power.
These people will not be celebrating Christmas like you and I.
How do I know? Because the Red Cross has asked my husband if he would be willing to spend a few more weeks on the East coast. The Red Cross will not pull out until people are settled back in their homes.
If you are planning on making a charitable donation before the end of the year please keep the Red Cross in mind. They are doing good work.
We feel deep love and a close connection with the ocean, and we’re stoked on the sport of stand-up paddling. Trainer Jaime Donnelly from SUP drinks mate and prepares folks for the water intensely. Here’s her routine and her take on how the plant helps her navigate the waves:
Stand-Up Paddling is not only the fastest growing water sport in the world, but one of the most fun, exciting and physically challenging as well. For me, a handy snack of a few walnut stuffed dates (quick sugar with some fat) along with a can of Guayaki Revel Berry chilled yerba mate gets the job done pre-race or for intense training. As opposed to the caffeine in a cup of coffee, yerba mate keeps me balanced, focused, and energized not only through my workout but for the rest of the day. Best thing about mate – there is absolutely no crash. The plant/food based nutrition is actually beneficial to my health, versus depleting like the alternative (synthetic) options. Since I have started consuming mate, my body feels noticeably more hydrated and balanced; my stamina is consistent.
The Guayaki teams in North and South America both work tirelessly and passionately for the same rainforest mission, but we don’t often get to spend time together. Our recent trip to visit the Ache Guayaki in Paraguay was a very special experience for us: we got to participate in the yerba mate harvest, connect with the rainforest, and for many of us, it was a chance to meet the rest of our Guayaki family for the first time.
We asked our team members who went to South America to send a picture that stirred a memory of the trip and tell us a story. Each felt something different; everyone felt something magical.
The photo I picked was taken the morning after we arrived. We had a long day of travel and an amazing day at the Iguazu falls the day before. That night, we met all the other people (now friends) at the lodge and shared our stories and just hung out learning about who we all are. We knew by the end of the night we had a very strong connection and the energy was building. The picture is of Alex and Boy under a umbrella of light, energy, spirit (you tell me) waiting to start a trip down the Iguazu river.
Now after the trip I see the light as a bond taking place that we all became part of throughout the remaining days and time with our Ache Guayaki family.
Amongst all the photos that I took along the way, this one stands out to me as encapsulating the unity of our group with the Guayaki children. Luke had the idea of walking around the village and looking for the church. As we set out, the kids took us by the hand and led us along the way. Through their village amongst the trees, we encountered pigs, chickens, and a big ol’ black cow grazing in the futbol field. We saw a few men hard at work on their new school house, with a termo and guampa nearby for requisite breaktime. Next to the schoolhouse, we saw the organic garden that had been planted in which the children took great pride. The photo was taken as we had made a half lap around the village seeing the day to day goings on of the Guayaki people in their little piece of paradise in Paraguay.
I’m not sure who took this photo but I love it. It’s a beautiful moment when you find yourself coexisting with nature. Harvesting alongside the Ache makes you so keenly aware that you are part of something unique and how lucky you are to be embraced by this amazing community. It was the most gratifying work I’ve ever done and it gives my daily work an additional layer of personal meaning.
That third and final morning was sublime as I had finally unwound and grounded into the experience. It was a gestalt. There was the peacefulness of the rainforest and the bounty if offered in the newly harvested, aromatic mate. The feeling of shared purpose and connection with the Ache community and those of us who came to participate. There was curiosity in the air. Even though we were from different parts of the globe with very different lifestyles, we knew our lives were intimately connected. That was really cool to experience.
This is one of my favorite photos, because of what it going on. This is a photo of the 1st milling/culling of the mate which is done by hand in the forest by the whole community; men, women and children (perhaps 6 and older). The leaves are stripped from the branches and whole small stems with leaves are broken into 4 to 5 inch pieces in preparation for the flash drying. I loved participating!Us adults worked mostly quietly and repetitively. The children laughed and played, feeling proud to be old enough to participate, and the teens poked fun with each other. I think I will always remember that crack, crack, cracking of the stems being snapped, the sounds of the forest and that pervasive feeling of connection. The sharing of a tasty mate gourd at break gave much needed energy to carry on with the labor and brought it full circle!
This is one of my favorite pics because it captures Margarite and Alex, who is such a powerful visionary for the Next Economy and how we can live in balance and harmony with nature on this planet. And Margarite struck all of us as such a powerful leader. She was able to very succinctly summarize the Aché’s struggle: To protect the forest and to rise out of poverty while maintaining their indigenous traditions and way of life. It is a pleasure to be working at the side of these two in working to support the Aché’s struggle, and the struggle we all face to save our planet from collapse and learn to live in a balanced way with all life on earth.
See more awesome pictures from our trip on Pinterest.