The life of the gaucho
In the traditional livestock farming the gaucho plays a central role. He is a skilled horseman who knows how to handle the cattle and sheep. Our gauchos still mostly work on horses. We are using Criollos, a relatively small working horse with excellent endurance. Most gauchos live on the working ranch and only return to their families over the weekend and during their vacation. A few are married or have a partner who also have a job on the ranch generally as kitchen or maintenance staff. After a day of work which starts early in the morning, the gauchos enjoy sitting in a circle before dinner sharing stories while passing around a cup of hot mate, which is as much cultural as an acquired taste. Being the cook is an important responsibility as the common meals are a place where one enjoys food and connects. The evenings are spent watching TV, especially soccer occasionally leading to lively debates about the best and worst players and club. Gauchos and Uruguayans in general eat a lot of meat which they prepare with preference outside over the embers, called the “asado”. This is a way of life. It took me some time to understand that gauchos are traveling horsemen, that many change employers every year. Thanks to our new quarters and competitive salaries we have nevertheless been able to retain the best for many years.
Owning a ranch, with land and animals had been a dream since my childhood. Approaching retirement my spouse and I finally could fulfill our dream in Uruguay which has become our second home. Thanks to the leadership and work of Sebastian Olaso Aguirre, his brother Alejandro, and the team we have been able to continuously learn and improve our herd and land by e.g. breeding thoughtfully, bettering water distribution and by planting trees.