Profession With a Purpose | Michael Newton, aka "Don Miguel," Guayaki Yerba Mate

August 21, 2018



Yerba Mate, native in southern South American countries, is used as a drink or symbol of hospitality. Made from the leaves and stems of the Ilex paraguariensis tree, yerba mate is a drink packed with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and chlorophyll. This nutritional powerhouse also contains 3 natural stimulants. For centuries people have used Yerba Mate to support the nervous and digestive systems. We talked about this and much more in our conversation.


How do you become a cebador?


Before joining the company, Don Miguel was studying International Management and Finance at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where he met fellow student Alex Pryor, Guayaki co-founder. Alex Pryor grew up in Argentina and studied Food Science and had been drinking Yerba Mate since his earliest memories. When sharing Yerba Mate with other students, Alex noticed such a positive response he saw a business opportunity. He began growing sustainable, organic, and fair trade yerba mate on his godfather’s farm in Argentina. From day one the focus for this charter member B Corp was to be organic, fair trade, and maintain the integrity of the subtropical forest and ecosystem.


Six months prior to graduation, Don Miguel became the first intern for Alex Pryor and David Karr’s then small Yerba Mate Company.


Don Miguel wanted to invest his energy in business that would create a positive impact and he learned from school to give to projects he believed in; he was confident that this company would be healing to ecosystems and beneficial for people. Don Miguel’s passion for the yerba mate lifestyle allowed him to work many positions for Guayaki Yerba Mate along the way.


Miguel is a proponent for organic and fair trade business because both the people and planet win.  Miguel and Guayaki presently fight to preserve forests, and create projects to help the communities and schools in South American countries.


Some topics we touched on:


  • Cultural anthropology

  • Biodiversity

  • Indigenous Communities

  • Deforestation

  • Habitat restoration

  • B Corp

  • Internships, and more


Guayaki Yerba Mate:

B Corp:

The Ecology Center:

Fair Trade:

Chris Mann Ted X:


Please reload

Recent Posts

Please reload


Please reload


Please reload

©2017 Derek A. Sabori, The Underswell.