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Juan Szychowski Historical Museum (Apóstoles, national capital of the yerba mate)

En the South East region of Misiones, at just 65 kilometers from Posadas, traveling through 105 and 1 Roads there is the city of Apóstoles. Once you arrive, you should travel another 7 kilometers through the provincial road 1 and 6km more through the neighborhood road until the entrance to the site called "La Cachuera", place where on August, 26th of 1997 the Juan Szychowski Museum was inaugurated, commemorating the centenary celebrations of the arrival of the first Polish and Ukrainian colonists to Misiones, and in honor to Juan Szychowski, a Polish immigrant and founder of the company "La Cachuera", the most ancient Yerba Mate company of the province, still working, located at the same property that had been awarded to his family in the year 1900.
During his stay in Buenos Aires, Juan met a workshop that had a precision lathe which let him impacted. He memorized its functioning and when he was back to Misiones, he built a wooden one with a steel drill. From that rudimentary lathe, and during 3 years, he built another one but it was a precision one, completely made up of metal. He finished the lathe in 1919. With this lathe, Don Juan initiated the technological development phase of the industrial agricultural establishment "La Cachuera".
Since 1920 Don Juan cultivated yerba mate and in 1936 he installed the first yerba mate mill, manufacturing since then, many yerba mate packing machines. In the year 1932, he finished the construction of his rice and corn mills.
Looking for an energy source, at the end of the 20th decade, he projected, calculated and built a dam on the Chimiray Stream, in the limit between the provinces of Misiones and Corrientes, diverting part of it through an artificial channel of 700 meters, hydraulic work with which he doted La Cachuera with electric energy.
The trajectory of Don Juan is divulged in many national and foreign publications, as in the case of "National Geographic", which considers his work as an engineering example, taking into account the precarious methods used in his constructions.
Don Juan passed away in the year 1960, leaving an important legacy to the region where he lived. His remains are kept in the lands of the complex La Cachuera, in the place he chose himself, from where a great part of his work may be observed.
The Museum situated at a recycled building that belonged to an old rice mill, may still be contemplated functioning in the interior. It has four rooms, in which farming work elements used in the times of the Polish-Ukrainian colonization may be observed, among which we may emphasize work and travel carts, farming machines, the first yerba mate parking machines used by the company, the already mentioned rice mill, another one for corn, and the masterpiece, the first precision lathe built in the country, absolutely hand made by Don Juan, as almost all the machines that are in the Museum. In said establishment the dam built by Don Juan on the Chimiray Stream may also be visited.
The Museum, the Mate house and the Auditorium are placed in the confines where the life and work of such visionary and laborious man developed. There the visitor may feel transported by the magic of time, appreciating his work within a natural environment, carefully conserved in its historical as well as its ecological aspect.
When you leave the Museum, you shall have experienced and valued the route that the immigrants had to go over when they arrived to these yerba mate Jesuit lands until they achieved the industrialization of the yerba mate as we know it nowadays.

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