With a lifetime dedicated to children and sports, Julio and Ema (or "Lula", as she prefers to be called), came from Posadas to Las Marías in 1985. They started working at the Victoria and Virasoro schools, respectively, and in a couple of years they became leaders of the Club Taragüi.
From the first day they felt at home in Las Marías, “this is how all the generations of children we have taught to swim have passed through, not only from the family but from all of Virasoro”. “We started giving swimming lessons and also Julio had joined the Municipality, the Sports Secretary, so we started with activities also in the neighborhoods. Children's marathons, duathlons, triathlons. We got to know Virasoro and, of course, Las Marías where we practically lived, the Victoria School and the Club Taragüi”.
Everything we did in Virasoro, everything we have done in our life, was always a challenge because we did it in places where it didn't exist. Such is the case of canoeing, rugby, field hockey, pool swimming, open water swimming with training in the lagoon. “In Virasoro this did not exist. It was crazy back then to talk about open water swimming,” they tell us proudly.
When mentioning the activities at the pool, Julio and Lula open a separate chapter. “Happily, we have had our pool for two summers now, where not only swim the more than 120 children of the vacation camp, but we also give swimming courses for children and adults.” There have been many achievements in this area, and this is what its protagonists say: “what we have done with the children in pool and open water swimming was really majestic. People said to us, 'Where do you train?' Since Virasoro has no river and competitions were held in the river in Posadas, Chaco, Formosa and Corrientes. “We got to have provincial open water champions,” they say.
At the same time, open water swimming gave birth to canoeing, since they needed to have their own canoes and paddlers to accompany the young swimmers in the river.
At the beginning, the activities of Club Taragüi were for the children of employees, but due to the demand in Virasoro, derived from the sports activities that Julio and Lula were carrying out, people not related to the employees of Las Marías were also joining the club, as it is currently operating. “Today the club is available to everyone and only the children or people from Virasoro who want to take part in the club's activities pay a small fee”. At the beginning there were only a few activities: field hockey, rugby, canoeing, swimming and the vacation camp. “Now we are adding handball, basketball, children's soccer, all at the Las Marías facilities, for an average of 600 to 700 children per year”.
One of Julio and Lula's challenges was to make the children aware of the importance of physical activity for their education. This is how they presented a project to Human Resources in which they proposed the need for organized physical activity for their personnel. “Since then, twice a week, the personnel of any sector of the Las Marías Group can access physical activity such as gymnastics, sports, swimming or walking”, they proudly share with us.