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Terere, a drink that fuels Paraguay

Asuncion, Feb 26 (EFE).- The people of Paraguay on Saturday came together at squares and markets to celebrate and enjoy its much loved Terere, the country’s traditional refreshing drink having supposed healing properties.

Made from yerba mate mixed with water flavored with herbs and crushed roots, this infusion is a part of the day to day life of the Paraguayan people, who, regardless of age or social condition, consume for relief against the heat.

And on Saturday, the temperature of around 40 degrees Celsius in Asuncion, provided the perfect condition to enjoy the celebrated drink.

Away from the tents and dance groups called for the occasion, Rodolfo, a man over 60 years old, was waiting in a corner of Freedom Square selling wild herbs or “yuyos” that complement this drink to passers-by and motorists.

In between attending to clients, Rodolfo explained to EFE that Terere is a cold tea that differed from mate, which is consumed hot and in the morning.

To prepare the drink, he said, you need to crush the yuyos in a mortar and pestle and put it in a container or thermos with water and plenty of ice. This infusion is later poured into a container with yerba mate.

For those who swear by Terere, recognized by Unesco as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, a thermos is indispensable, as well as “guampas” or glasses of wood or cow horn and straws to drink.

Before the pandemic, guampas and straws were passed from person to person as a way of socializing, but since the onset of Covid-19 each one has his own straw and glass.

“It’s something that identifies us, it’s something that’s ours,” said Gerardo, who was out to enjoy the beverage, adding that the drink had medicinal properties and was beneficial for treating digestive problems and throat conditions.

In 2011, the government passed a law marking the celebration of Terere on this day, to promote the country’s national beverage. EFE


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