Mate (pronounced mah-tay) Corazón is inspired by yerba mate, a drink traditionally shared in parts of South America including Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Southern Chile, and Brazil. I first discovered mate while living in Chilean Patagonia and filming Tracking Patagonia. Our quest for interviews took us into the homes of strangers in rural and undeveloped corners of the world. Despite the fact that we were dirty foreigners traveling by bicycle and carrying lots of conspicuous camera equipment, we were welcomed graciously by the kind people of Chile’s least populated region. Many of these people lived simply and humbly, and yet all of them were astoundingly generous, consistently offering us fresh-baked bread, a place by the woodstove, mate, and conversation.
Since that special time, I have carried the mate-drinking ritual through many phases of life. In the United States friends old and new have been intrigued and charmed by the drink. In Buenos Aires, I met many people who became friends and loved ones through the simple act of offering or accepting a mate. From Uruguay to Ecuador, from surf trips to late nights editing video, mate endures as one of my favorite tools for connecting with others. Strangers just don’t seem so strange when you stop to share a moment together.
The practice of sharing mate over the years has helped me to slow down and listen. The more I listen, the more the gap between myself and others starts to disappear. For this reason I created Mate Corazón to be “Media that listens.”
I hope that Mate Corazón can serve to connect our hopes, dreams, projects, and ideas so that others do not seem so distant and change does not seem so impossible.
To amplify the voices of artists, small businesses, thinkers, and citizens of the universe through digital storytelling.
Like most of you, I’ve enjoyed an interesting and unexpected journey. Several years ago, I graduated from my university studio art program determined to avoid the “business world” like the plague and make my way in the world as a bohemian artist. I spent a couple of years as a surfer/waitress on the California coast, and when I tired of the constant sun I headed south to Chilean Patagonia, where I filmed a documentary while living in a tent and traveling by bicycle.
Broke and needing money to finish my documentary, I went against every grain in my body to accept a stable job in marketing and decided I could survive the 9-5 for a couple of years. Although I resisted in the beginning, I discovered to my surprise that marketing was both challenging and interesting.
After two years of office life, I was offered a big promotion with the chance to move to Buenos Aires and direct my company’s web development team. Thus began a fascinating new journey where I dug deep into project management, team dynamics, and navigating the perils of cross-cultural communication. I learned as much about myself and my fellow human beings from managing a web team as I did from traveling by bicycle through Patagonia.
I’m emerging today as a blend of those experiences; equal parts artist, bohemian traveler, documentarian, savvy marketer, and team leader. And turns out this is a pretty potent combination for working in the age of digital media.
My dream is that Mate Corazón will encompass work across all digital mediums and arenas, blurring the lines between work, art, and play.