Knowing the crops of Las Marías like few others, he started in the Forestry area and then gained experience in different sectors of the Industry and Agriculture areas, from the sawmill to the plantations. “One day my superiors saw something in me and started giving me more responsibilities. That's how I became part of the research and development area”.
For 20 years he followed up tea plantations and yerba mate plantations, and collected valuable data to achieve the vegetative reproduction of the best plants. For Julio “yerba is like a person”. He knows their different qualities, the type of leaf, the color. “It is above all a job of patience and more than anything else of being very detailed," he says proudly. In the case of tea, he tells us that what is sought in a plant is a good cutting quality. It has good color, good flavor, and is a little more complex than yerba mate. Although Julio is currently involved in administrative tasks in the Production area, his knowledge is always present when it comes to recognizing a plant and its characteristics.
Julio highlights the opportunity to be able to live with nature. When it comes to anecdotes, he does not hesitate to tell us about his close encounter with a big cat. "I found myself fifty feet away with a puma. It was in 2012, at about 6:30 in the morning. I had to make a count of how the production was going, when I saw an animal coming and I saw that it was the puma. I stay, watch it, take out my phone and take pictures of it. The animal stops for a while and then continues on its way," he says.
"Son of Las Marías" as he himself acknowledges, his father retired from the Establishment in 1978, as a plantation foreman, and his family is made up of eleven siblings, six of whom worked at Las Marías. His childhood was marked by his time at the Victoria School and the fondest memories of his teachers and classmates. Julio has three children, one boy and two girls. One of his daughters inherited his love for the countryside and follows in his footsteps: she graduated from the Agrotechnical Institute and is a Higher Technician in Agricultural Production. "I am proud of her," he shares.