Published On: Sun, Nov 1st, 2015

Dia De Los Muertos: 3 Lessons I Learned From Those Who Live From The Land.

Don Julio González 1 I worked with my friends at Tequila Don Julio to write this post.

Sometimes some stories just resonate… and inspire.

I was invited to watch the video of Don Julio, founder of the Don Julio brand of Tequila.  Now unless you are at a bar… that may mean nothing to you but today I want to tell a different story. Don Julio González began distilling tequila in 1942 after becoming the head of household. Working as a farmhand and selling Tequila to make ends meet, he spent 40 years creating an empire that would be the center of our life celebrations, Don Julio Tequila.Don Julio González died on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 from natural causes… so lets’s take a moment to hear the story from the man himself this Dia de los Muertos and pay tribute to his legacy (if you have Tequila within reach, feel free to pour yourself a glass right now).

foto jimaWhy does this inspire me? Don Julio was a agave farmer, a campesino with no money to start his business but developed partnerships willing to invest in his blood, sweat and tears to build an empire. I started my agency with $50, a dream and the ability to create partnerships with resourceful people… 18 years later, my business is growing.

Jibaros… or Guajiros, Campesinos (farmers) depending on what country we are talking about have always fascinated me. The art of cultivating and nurturing a harvest is a tradition that is as old as time itself. Having spent time with relatives in Puerto Rico that have lived their whole lives from the land was such an education for me. I learned important life lessons that I want to share with you this Dia De Los Muertos in their honor.

Lesson#1: Family Comes First – One of the things that I admired about these men is their focus on family. When I first arrived at my great uncle’s farm, the first thing I was told was that I would walk away from his farm a “jibaro”, and what he meant by that was that he would teach me all about farm life… and what it meant to be a man that provides for his family. You see farm life is about sustainability, it’s about providing for family and being a good neighbor.

Lesson #2: Hard Work is the only way to get great results – This is really a continuation of lesson #1, the harvest is the pride of the farmer, what the breakfast / dinner table looks like and how many guests you can have for dinner all depend on a hards day work. If the cows do not get milked today… there is no milk for the cafecito tomorrow. The farm is a an infrastructure that requires attention to detail in order to be successful… anything less means your family cannot eat which means you are not putting your family first.

#Lesson #3: Whatever you do in life, make sure it is what you love more than anything else – I cannot describe the pride in their eyes when they presented food from their farms. Whether they were selling it or bartering crops with other farmers… there was a culture of pride around how the food looked, how it tasted. That was it… that was the payoff for them, knowing that not only were they producing the best food possible but that people would also talk about them, making them local legends. They loved the branding process, they knew that they lived and died by their reputation.

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Now, you know that I never became a farmer but in my work as a social media entrepreneur, I do cultivate relationships that result in fruitful partnerships in the digital space for about 18 years now based off these life lessons. My passion is sharing the Latino culture with people who may have lost the connection to their roots as well as people wanting to learn more about what makes our legacy exceptionally beautiful.

Today… I pay tribute to all of the campesinos, jibaros and guajiros past and present that reap harvests that allow us to celebrate our lives with family and friends SALUD!

PS. My preferred Don Julio Tequila is the Blanco, Drink Responsibly! Take a look at Don Julio’s catalog of spirit’s on

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Dia De Los Muertos: 3 Lessons I Learned From Those Who Live From The Land.