The word "Mate" comes from the "Argentinean Guarani Indians" (Guarani dialect). They called it "CAA-MATE", CAA means herb and "MATE" was a small pumpkin that they used to drink the tea.
The "mate" was part of their culture and was the tea to share with friends around fire pits. If you are invited in Argentina to drink a mate, please drink at least one or you can offend the locals.
To share a Mate for me is to show friendship and brotherhood. The mate was a big ingredient in friends gathering and the sole drink that accompanied the stories told by adventurous gauchos and is still a mate the best way to reunite friends and talk for ours about anything.
The mate is so popular in Argentina that you can find anybody drinking mates in parks, city hangout spots or even walking on the streets.