Today, sadly, it has been estimated that just 50,000 Guarani remain in Brazil, whilst the numbers in Paraguay might be as many as double that. In Argentina and Bolivia only tiny, isolated communities still survive. As with so many other Indigenous peoples around the world, the Guarani are still under threat. Land theft by ranchers, labor exploitation, government neglect and systemic racism by the now dominant European cultures in much of South America mean that the Guarani are struggling survival now and will continue to do so for years to come.
We at Thirsty Leaf feel strongly that the Guarani have valuable contributions to make – not just in South America but globally as well. Theirs is a deep and complex culture. It is still far to common for many people to dismiss them as backwards or unimportant when in fact the exact opposite is true: their respect for the earth, forests, rivers and jungle is immense; their knowledge of the natural world around them is unsurpassed; and their creation stories hold valuable insights that are worthy of further inspection and inclusion in our own lives.
This is why working with the Guarani directly; building healthy relationships with them and cooperating with them on the careful, respectful, and proper cultivation of Yerba Mate is so important to us at Thirsty Leaf and one of the reasons why we’ve named our teas after their Gods. For more information on the relationships Thisrty Leaf has with the Guarani, and the projects we are contributing to help them, refer to: