Category Archives: Santex People

You heard it through the grapevine…

We have a couple of wine aficionados in Santex – Mariano Brolio and Maxi Sbrocca! This month, we asked them to tell us a bit more about their particular taste for the subject.

When did you first discover your love for wine?

Mariano Brolio: About when I turned 22. That’s when I started noticing different varietals (wine made by different types of grapes) and observing what I liked about each one.

Maxi Sbrocca: I think I’ve liked wine ever since I was a kid in high school — probably around 16 or 17 years old. Basically it’s something I’ve always enjoyed. What’s changed over time is the quality of wine that I like!

How would you describe your expertise? Have you ever taken formal classes?

MB: I don’t really consider myself to be an expert. It’s just that over the years I’ve learned which wines I like and which ones I don’t. I never took any lessons or classes, but I have gone to different degustations and events where they teach you what kind of food pairs well with each variety of wine, but these were always in relaxed and informal settings.

MS: I believe that the world of wine is one of great dimensions. Truthfully, I consider myself to be a novice when it comes to wine. I like it a lot, I enjoy it even more, but I’m a long ways from being a person who can provide recommendations about wine. I simply like talking about the wines that I like. I’ve never taken any classes, but I wouldn’t be opposed to doing so at some point.

Which Argentinian wine would you recommend to a friend traveling from abroad?

MB: It depends on what he/she is looking for. The top selections from the most well known bodegas are all really good. One wine that I always recommend is Altura Máxima. It comes from a finca, or ranch-like estate, in the Calchaquíes Valley at almost 10,000ft above sea level and is one of the best wines I have ever tasted. It’s produced onlyin relatively small batches, so I can never find a place to get it outside of Salta. If you can’t try that one, then the collection Fincas Notables from the bodega El Esteco are also really good.

If you haven’t noticed, I almost always recommend wine from the Salta region. They tend to be my favorite.

MS: As I said with the previous question, Ithink I’m a beginner when it comes to being able to recommend kinds of wine. But if I had to recommend one to someone, it would undoubtedly be a Malbec. Ruttini and Catena Zapata are good premium brands.

Have you tried wine from other places around the world? Which regions do you prefer?

MB: I’ve tried wine from Chile, Australia, and the U.S. I didn’t really care for any of them very much – I’ve tried much better ones in Argentina. I’ve also tried a reserve wine from Spain that a friend brought over from a trip. It was pretty good, but again, you can find similar Argentinian wines that are similar or better. Maybe my palate it just used to Argentinian wine haha.

MS: I’ve tried wine from the U.S. and to tell the truth, they weren’t very good. At least the ones that I tried weren’t. I’ve also tried Australian wine which was equally bad. Obviously with the wine we produce locally in Argentina, we have very high standards. There is a really good wine from Chile that’s a variety called Carmenere. They say that it’s the only place where that particular vine can be grown. It’s really tasty.

Is wine just a hobby for you, or do you see it turning into something else in the future?

MB: Yea, for me it’s just a hobby. A few years ago, a friend and I wanted to start our own business. Some boutique bodegas began to send us their products to sell them online and to family, but for the sake of time, we couldn’t keep up with it.

MS: Today, it’s just a hobby. As a consumer it’s something I enjoy, but I wouldn’t throw out the idea of it becoming something more in the future.

What is your favorite way to enjoy a glass of wine?

MB: There are two moments that I always enjoy most with wine:
– At an asado with friends, enjoying different bottles
– Once the day is over and I can relax and drink a glass, maybe with some nice cheese or pasta.

MS: I think the best way to enjoy a glass of wine is at a great asado surrounded by friends and family. I view wine as a means, not an end. It’s something that brings friendships together even more. This doesn’t, however, exclude those special occasions when you can enjoy an excellent glass of wine alone.

Software engineering

Santex Peru Tennis Team!

We have many members of the Santex team who are athletically inclined. For this edition of About Santex People, Percy Sonan and Francisco Verastegui from the Lima office tell us about their passion for tennis.

How did you first get introduced to tennis?

Percy Sonan: I’ve been attracted to tennis since I was little. I used to watch Jaime Yzaga’s matches or highlights on TV, but I always found it a very exclusive sport to try to practice regularly. However, little by little tennis began to get more popular in Lima, and it was in 2009 that Pacho (Francisco) invited me to learn how to play. Soon we became very good rivals!

Francisco Verastegui: From the time that I was little (about 8 years old). I remember watching the Davis Cup games in Peru, during the time of Jaime Yzaga and Alejo Araburú. But I understood that it was rather expensive to play, and because of that I never begged my parents to let me learn. Instead, I’d play sports like badminton and ping pong. It wasn’t until I was 19 that I started to take tennis lessons along with 2 of my former coworkers from a previous job. Fortunately badminton and ping pong had helped me a lot in terms of coordination, and that made it easier for me to pick up tennis. One time, I remember I organized a mini tournament with my former coworkers, and I’d like to do the same sometime with Santex!

When did you realize you were both fans of the sport?

P.S.: Well I must say that if Pacho hadn’t invited me to play, I never would have taken up the sport! I think that because tennis requires a lot of practice and perseverance, in addition to religiously studying the rule books and guidelines, he realized it would be a sport that interested me.

F.V.: As Percy says, I was the one who invited him to play tennis 5 or 6 years ago. I’m really glad he decided to continue practicing and keep improving.

How much time do you spend each week playing?

P.S.: Never as much as I’d like. I only practice about 3 hours per week on average. I dedicate a lot more time to the theory of the sport – watching games on ESPN and stuff – than I do to actually playing.

F.V.: Same as Percy. I play about 3 hours each week, which isn’t as much as I’d like. I also watch tournaments on TV. In my case particularly, I have to be careful because I have back problems and it’s likely that the main cause has been tennis. Although it is a sport that can be very demanding on your back, I think that some of the problems are also due to my lack of experience playing sports (poor warm-ups, lack of controlled movements, etc). Today I’m much more strict with warm-ups and stretching in addition to my diet. I can safely say that my passion for tennis has forced me to improve my daily habits.

How do you manage your time between family, work, and tennis?

P.S.: Lately it’s been pretty easy for us to manage our schedules because we would take group lessons together with Johan Tábori, our PM. We’d have a set time to go play each week and would make sure to never leave each other without a partner.

F.V.: Like everything in life, you get into a rhythm. With work, the flexible hours at Santex is really great for letting employees partake in activities of all kinds. Particularly in Peru, we have our PM, Johan, to thank because he also decided to play tennis with us and helped us manage our schedules.

Who is your tennis idol and why?

P.S.: In men’s tennis, Roger Federer, because he plays with a classic style and is very aggressive. He delights fans by scoring points super quickly (he often wins a game in two minutes or less), and he has achieved everything you could imagine! In women’s tennis, American player Coco Vandeweghe is my favorite. Her technique is impecable, two-handed reverse, and she plays the attack. She is an all-court player like Roger Federer but does not have such “god-like” precision. She makes spectacular points and is always faithful to her way of being.

F.V.: Because of his technique, elegant playing, and the quality of person he is on and off the court, without a doubt Roger Federer. He is considered by the vast majority people to be the best player of all time. Seeing any of his matches, win or lose, you realize he is a master at tennis.

Have you ever participated in any tournaments? If so, how did it go?

P.S.: Very few, only two or three tournaments. I didn’t do as well as I had hoped, but because of it I realized that the experience gained in a tournament is better than playing hours and hours of friendly matches. After all, the goal is to be in the tournaments rather than just practicing.

F.V.: I’ve played in a few, maybe four or five amateur tournaments. I did not do very well, basically because of the mental aspect. I sometimes psych myself out. It’s something that I have to keep working on and improving.

Do you ever play against each other?

P.S.: We play each other on many occasions, in singles and doubles with Johan Tábori. I think all of us know the strengths and weaknesses of each other, so while still being fun, I feel that a match between us becomes more of a training. I also give a lot of credit to my friend/rival Pacho for his chivalry and respect on and off the court.

F.V.: We play each other often, both in lessons and  tournaments. It is a good experience because over time we have seen how we improved by making the games more interesting and disputed. We still make mistakes though, and someone always says to the other, “Well guys, you have to keep training!”

Another kind of football

Santex QA, Bruno Molinari, tells us about his experience playing American football, which isn’t so typical in a Latin American world dominated by soccer, the other futbol.

How did you start playing (American) football?

I started playing about 8 years ago, but I’d already fallen in love with the sport long before that.

When school would get out in November, I’d spend my days at my grandparents’ house. They have cable TV, and in those days you could rarely see football on local channels, so that was great.

A few days after New Years that year, I saw a whole game for the first time. It as the Jacksonville Jaguars against the Denver Broncos with John Elway. It was a great game that was a really close call! So I kept watching the games in the playoffs, all the way through Brett Favre being named champion of the Super Bowl.

I have to admit that in the beginning it was hard for me to understand the rules, but I learned bit by bit thanks to the commentators, videogames, and researching on the internet.

A few years later, when I turned 13, I asked my mom to take me to the U.S. because I wanted to play American football, but that request fell on deaf ears. Despite this setback, I kept watching games on TV.

Fast forward to 2009, a friend of mine came back from a trip and found a group who had started a football association in Córdoba. They had all the proper equipment – helmets, pads. It was incredible to finally have the chance to practice the sport.

Why do you prefer it over other sports?

There are two aspects that I like a lot. One is that it’s a great team sport that involves all the players. Each player has a different task – some block, others run or pass – but all have to work together in order to function as a proper team. For that, you need big, heavy, strong guys as much as you need ones who are fast and agile.

Secondly, and this might sound funny, but it’s like a human chess game. It’s both a physical and mental game in which physical distress is supported by the intellectual capacity of the team as a whole.

For example, when playing offense, the coach will call out three plays, and the quarterback – depending on how the team on defense has taken the field – can decide whether to throw a pass or run a play. The linemen have to know which blocking scheme they’re going to use for each play. The receivers and running backs need to know what to do in each situation, and adjust their movements in correlation with the pressure from the defense team.

It’s an incredible result of preparation, communication, coordination, and collective execution. I think that’s the best thing about the sport.

Do you follow NFL (National Football League) games in the U.S.?

I do. My favorite team is the Indianapolis Colts. I used to have to wait for the cable transmissions to play the game or read reviews online, but since 2008, the NFL has launched a platform for streaming games online, so I can watch them all! It’s a little costly, but worth it.

In 2013 I was lucky to be able to go and see a game live in Arlington, Texas. I saw the Minnesota Vikings play the Dallas Cowboys, and it was awesome! Even though it wasn’t “my” team, I still really enjoyed the experience. I got to see how Americans live the football culture, with tailgating, festivities, and halftime shows.

Have you been able to convince any other friends to try the sport?

To be honest, I’ve never tried! I think I play because I really enjoy it, and that’s what your free time should be used for – the things you enjoy. Some friends I know have gone to see some of our league games, and then end up joining the team, but it’s always their choice.

Arepas ‘con Cariño’

Diego Del Aguila recently joined the Lima Team, and thus far has been impressing everyone with his awesome arepas! Diego once lived in Venezuela, and brought the recipe for this typical dish with him when he moved to Peru. Not quite sure what an arepa is? Let Diego tell you about it.

Tell us what goes into making a GREAT arepa.

Arepas are easy to make. The key ingredients are corn flour (precooked, which is common in Venezuela and Colombia), water, and salt. But what makes arepas great is that you can fill them with different kinds of ingredients, like beef, chicken, cheese, etc. Common combinations in Venezuela include la reina pepiada (avocado, chicken, onion, pepper, mayonnaise), el perico (egg, tomato, onion) and la dominó (black beans and white cheese).

Aside from that, the most important ingredient is the care & love that you put into it.

How long have you been making homemade arepas?

For almost 20 years now, back to when I lived in Venezuela. Sometimes I would be home alone and had to make something for breakfast or dinner, and a good option was always the arepas.

Do you have any fun memories making arepas?

When I first started making arepas on my own, I didn’t know the exact amounts of each ingredient that you needed, so I had bad ratios of flour to water and salt, and my first batches came out very hard, bland, not salty at all or with too much salt! It took a lot of time and practice to achieve the perfect recipe. Years later I realized that the bag of flour includes instructions on how to make them!

Are there other things you like to cook as well?

I love to cook different things. I like making Mexican food, pastas, salads – I make my own lunch almost everyday. Every once in awhile I’ll invite my friends or family over for lunch or dinner. I think it’s a nice gesture to cook and provide food to your loved ones, bringing everyone together around the table, enjoying something you made with your own hands.

When two emerging trends combine! 3D printing + fidget spinners!

Read about what two Santex guys built when they put their minds together.

How did you come up with the idea to build a fidget spinner together?

Ale Cragnolini: I brought one of my 3D printers to the office to print some parts for a friend’s foundation. All the people in the office asked about the printer’s capabilities and what all it could do, including the idea of the spinners.

Manuel Varela: When I saw that Ale had brought the printer to the office, we talked quite a bit about how it worked and the things he could make with it. I made the comment that it would be cool to print some spinners, and from then on kept pressuring him to try it until finally he agreed to print the structure for one. With the structure he made with the 3D printer, I was then able to add the ball bearings and features to make into an actual spinner.

How long did it take?

AC: The 3D printing process took about 30 minutes. The model was already done and it was downloaded under CC license.

MV: My part of the assembly took about 5 hours, I suppose. Taking out and washing all the ball bearings was the most complicated part. There are some specific tools you need to use to do it, along with hot water, cleaning detergent, and solvents.

Have you built similar devices before?

AC: All the time! I love 3D printing.

MV: No, I’m not really a crafty person. In fact, this is the first spinner I used! I just thought it would be a cool idea to try it.

Do you think you will make more in the future?

AC: I’m always looking for fun new things to print. I hope the next big hit toy has more success than the spinners.

MV: Probably not. I was really curious to see how it could be built, and I enjoyed the process! But I wouldn’t want to have to clean those ball bearings again hahaha.

The Power of Meditation

Gassan Quintar tells us about meditation and how it affects his life

How did you start to take an interest in meditation? How long have you been practicing?

Initially, I was interested in yoga, but I had never made the effort to start. Although it was not on my radar, the word ‘meditation’ appeared on an email invitation from our coworking offices, which said something like “Sessions are intended for all people who wish to take first steps toward meditation.” I thought this was interesting, though not enough.

A friend recommended both the class and the instructor to me, and convinced me to try it by saying wonderful things about this practice. In the end, I decided to go for it.

The email invitation asked the people interested in joining the class to write the reason why they were interested. My motivation was to get into this practice, to learn more about it..

I only needed the first class to know that meditating was exactly what I was looking for, and that through it I was going to gain multiple benefits. Since that time, four months have passed and I still practice it every week.

People often don’t understand what meditation is. Some might think that it’s sitting in a quiet space and falling asleep. What is meditation for you?

People often associate the word “meditation” with thinking or reflecting deeply on a certain topic. For example: “I recommend that you meditate on the topics we were talking about,” etc. In fact, it is much deeper than just thinking. It’s concentration.

From the point of view of my current practice, it is to focus your attention on the breathing in a conscious way. Through various breathing techniques, you train your mind to reach complete concentration. As you do this, other distracting thoughts get removed from the mind.

What is needed to meditate?

It requires several things –  from a yoga mat to a good teacher – to guide you in practice. But the main thing is the willingness to want and believe in what meditation offers. You shouldn’t want to do it  just because it’s “trendy” without understanding the main concept behind the practice.

Some time ago, my teacher, gave us a guide so we could try practicing at home. It consists of 3 steps:

  1. Motivation: Think about why you are meditating. That includes ourselves as individuals and our environment.
  2. The technique of meditation.
  3. Acknowledgment: Being thankful for what allows us to be present, to be part of the experience, and for all that we achieve.

This is a guide not only applies to meditation, but to life itself.

How has meditation benefitted other aspects of your life?

There are multiple benefits. They impact every aspect of our lives – not just ourselves as meditators, but also the people around us.

Meditation develops several virtues, such as the ability to concentrate, patience, discipline, compassion, forgiveness, and love among others.

What tips would you give to someone who has tried meditation but never felt like they have achieved a state of true meditation?

Being ‘in a state of meditation’ comes in different forms that we know how to identify with the help of a good instructor. It’s worth mentioning that we should not go into meditation practice in a state of anxiety, but that we should go with a mindset of perseverance and discipline for the training so that we may develop our minds and the skills we need. It is daily practice and a great instructor that will help you achieve the proper ‘state.’


Programmers to Runners: Meet the Santex Guys that Enjoy this Passtime

At Santex, we have several teammates that enjoy running and participating in races and marathons. Martin Navarro, Nelson Secchi, Fede Schaefer, Manu Varela, Matias Donemberg, Edu Nieto, and Fran Mantaras share with us their experience as runners and what motivates them.

Why did you start running in races?

Martin Navarro.: Growing up, I witnessed my dad run in and win several races, both as a member of the armed forces and a civilian. At first, it seemed really boring to me, but once I got older I started paying closer attention and realized the need to improve my physical health, so I started training. Although I wasn’t originally planning on running in races, over time I saw myself getting stronger and healthier, so I decided to give it a try. I signed up for my first 10k, organized by LAN (LATAM) in 2013, and my times were terrible! But with that first experience I realized I could keep getting better and train harder, and I started to understand why my dad was so enthusiastic about it. He’s older now and because of his health he isn’t able to run anymore, but he still cheers me on at my races and helps me train. My times still aren’t the best, but they’re better from where I started!

Nelson Secchi: I started running last year, 2016. There was a 10k race that a couple of friends from the gym were going to participate in and I decided to join them. Best decision ever! 

I continue running because it gives me something I need, an ever-growing physical challenge.

Federico Schaefer:
At first I started running on my own with the simple idea of doing some sort of exercise outdoors while listening to music, since I’m not a big fan of gyms. When I noticed that I could see myself getting better day by day, I decided to start training with a group of runners in Parque Sarmiento in Cordoba. As a few months went by, I could see that I was in condition to run in a race together with the group.

Manuel Varela: I started running because of a bet I had with a friend. We wanted to see who could run a 10k the fastest, and so we started training. After running my first official race, I realized how much I liked it and so I kept going.

Matias Donemberg: The first race I ran was in 2015 because the idea of running 10 kilometers seems absolutely crazy to me, so I wanted to see what it was all about. Afterward, I found out that there was a gym where on Wednesdays they would go out and run as a group in the park, so I signed up. I realized I really liked it and that it helped me to relax. From that time on, I decided to participate in more of the races that they have throughout the city.

Eduardo Nieto: About 4 years ago, I started running at night with my cousin and some friends. Little by little we would increase the time and distance that we ran, and soon we became interested in running 10k’s and even longer distances.

Francisco Mantaras: Part way through last year, some guys from Santex signed up for the race “Aguas Cordobesas” in the national park and asked if I wanted to join them. It sounded like it would be a nice challenge, so I signed up and went.

What do you do to train for races?

M.N: I go to Quality Gym where I do aerobic training to strengthen legs and core. I also go for runs in Parque de la Vida which is close to my house. It’s huge and has trails with all different levels of difficulty, perfect for training for different types of races.

N.S.: Recently, I joined a running team called Synergo and we exercise three times a week for about an hour and a half. We run no less than 6 or 7 kilometers around the Parque Sarmiento. For bigger challenges, a more thorough training is required, which is something I have on my mind right now.

F.S: We train three times a week for an hour and half each. One day we focus on interval training and race techniques. The other days we run about 7-10 km. Additionally, twice a month we schedule runs in the hillside around the city. Those runs are usually at 15 km long.

M.V: Right now, I try to go for runs in the park 3 times per week at Parque Sarmiento. I usually run for about 40 minutes, a distance of 7 km or more each time. Something that I think is really important for training is having proper nutrition. A balanced diet of meat, fish, chicken, fruit, and lots of vegetables is key for having proper training.

M.D: Running a 10k doesn’t require too much training. You can easily do it with going out for a run once or twice a week. I always try to improve my time a bit, so therefore I go 3-4 times each week to the gym. I do a bit of everything, mainly exercises to avoid injuries and fatigue.

E.N: These days I’m not running much, but not too long ago I would go for runs three times a week. I would try to run 4 km or for about half an hour. On weekends I would go on longer runs of about 10 km.

F.M.: I go out for a run twice a week after work. One of those days I focus on distance, the other I focus on speed.

How many races have you participated in? Which one was the most challenging?

M.N.: Thinking from when I first started, I’ve run in about 10 races. I ran the most in 2016, which is when members from the Santex Cordoba team ran is 6 races together – five 10k’s and one that was 14k. The 14k was the most challenging one for me, both mentally and physically.

N.S: I have run 5 races so far: three 10k’s in Cordoba, a 15k mountain run, and the Columbia XTrail which was 25k. Without a doubt, the latter was the most challenging. Not only was I not fit to run such a distance, but I was also not prepared for the difficulties in the terrain when going both uphill and downhill. Nonetheless, reaching the finish line felt awesome!

F.S: I’ve participated in several 10k’s. I’ve also run two half-marathons (21 km) in the mountains since our group training is focused on such courses. Plus, those are the ones I like the most. The most challenging one was a mountain race in Yacanto, close to the mountain Champaquí. It was 35 km and started at night, so we had to run the first few hours with a headlamp!

M.V: I ran in 6 races this past year. The most challenging was “Primavera Sana” where we ran laps around the Mario A. Kempes stadium until we reached 14 km. It was so hot that day and is the longest distance I’ve run so far. Fortunately, I was able to finish without and problems and was even able to improve my time! This encouraged me to keep training harder.

MD: I’ve only participated in 6 races, 5 here in Cordoba and one in Paris. Among the most challenging was the first one, mainly because I hadn’t trained well… and because it was the say after Santex Fest and the course had a terrible hill! Another difficult one was the second one, which I ran with Nelson Secchi. One of the last kilometers was straight uphill, and it was really tough.

E.N: Without a doubt, the most challenging ones were the two half-marathons I ran in Lima. I’d never run more than a 10k, so to run 21 km was pretty tough. With the first one, I only trained a little bit, up until two weeks before the race I could only run 16 km. Luckily, the day of the marathon I was able to complete the 21 km without stopping.

F.M.: After the “Aguas Cordobesas” run, I signed up for 2 more, one of which was a night run ( I liked that one the most because it was a neat course and fun to run at night. Also, a large number of people participated which made it fun.

What advice would you give to people who aren’t enthusiastic about running?

M.N: That even though it seems boring and tedious, the feeling of crossing the finish line and achieving your goal time is indescribable. There’s also a strong sense of camaraderie among runners. If they see that you’re tired or struggling on the course, they’re encourage you to keep going. I think it’s worthwhile to motivate yourself to try at least one race or marathon during your lifetime so you can feel the support and motivation that comes with it. It’s really nice.

N.S.: Just DO IT! (Please imagine Shia LeBeouf doing his motivation speech). Running is really an amazing outdoor activity. You will be competing against yourself, so you will find a lot of people trying to help you. Give it a try!

F.S.: Go for it! Whether it’s a 5k or a full marathon, I highly recommend giving it a shot. There’s a certain kind of energy among runners that is very special. Plus, the feeling of finishing is unlike anything else, and will keep you wanting more!

M.V: Running is a great sport and has lots of health benefits. It improves the functioning of your heart and lungs, helps you lose weight, relieves stress, and even helps you sleep. An inspiring movie is “100 Meters.” It tells the story of a young guy from Spain who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and sets the goal of completing an Ironman marathon. I highly recommend it!

MD: The first thing to keep in mind is that you aren’t competing against anyone but yourself. Participating in these kinds of races is a great experience. Being able to run on the streets without worrying about anyone running of you is awesome hahaha. I guarantee that you will meet lots of people who you never knew were interested in running. For me, of course the most satisfying is crossing the finish line.

E.N: To people who are interested, I would say to start little by little and make sure to maintain a healthy diet. It really helps to avoid injuries. I would also recommend finding a place in the city where lots of other people run. Seeing other people running helps motivate you. Lastly, what really helped me was having friends to run with, or run in a group or as a couple. That makes it a lot more enjoyable!

F.M.: Get started by going to a race and seeing what they’re like. There’s a really great atmosphere that surrounds races both big and small. Running is a nice activity, especially for people who don’t have much time on their hands or who have limiting schedules. It’s something you can do alone or in groups – anywhere, anytime. Whenever you have a free moment, you can just get up and go out for a run. All you need are tennis shoes and the will to improve.

Go for Golf!

Juan Cruz Leyba tells us about some life lessons we can all learn from the sport.

I started playing golf in 2009 because a friend recommended that I should try it. One time we were playing golf well past sunset, and he told me, “If you like it, you should start tomorrow and I promise you won’t regret it.” Sometimes when I have a bad day on the course I remember what he said and I want to go back to him and tell him just how much I regret it! But then when I finish at the end of the day, I’m always anxious to play another round.

Golf is a unique sport. As far as sports go, it’s the most democratic of all – anyone can play and compete against anyone else. Your skill doesn’t matter, nor your height, weight, age, or anything else. Of course, the more you practice the greater are your chances of winning.

Among golf’s many unique traits, there are a few that apply not only to the sport but to life as well. One of these is etiquette.

Even though each player is accompanied by someone keeping score, it’s generally understood that the player tells the truth with the number of strokes he/she has taken, etc. Of course, there is always someone who is tricky or tries to cheat, because such actions and lack of honesty are for personal benefit. But overall there is a lot of trust amongst players.

Another rule of etiquette is to always be considerate of the person or group who is playing the course behind you. If you leave a mark or damage to the course, you should fix it so as not to jeopardize the following games. Always thinking of others is a practice that helps us in all areas of life.

On a personal level, golf has taught me many things. The first tournament I won was in 2009 and before that I always lost and was always at a disadvantage compared to other players. However, for some unexplainable reason, I didn’t lose my patience that day or get nervous because I saw I was losing. When it was my turn, I did my best and in the end I won! Since that time, I learned to have more patience when playing and that the right moment always comes and you just have to take it.

They say that golf doesn’t build character, it reveals it. People who get anxious or angry quickly find that golf will just accentuate those aspects of their personality. Players often scorn their club, the ball, the hole, or even themselves. However, you quickly realize that it’s almost mandatory to learn to control these frustrations in order to play a better game – or to simply not end up throwing your clubs in the trash!

What I love most about golf is that you compete against others, against the difficulty of the course, and, more than anything, against your personal flaws, be they physical or mental. There are no excuses, and improving depends solely upon yourself. Also, the 19th hole (aka the bar) is one of the best parts of the game!

Since 2009 when I fell in love with the sport, I recommend it to everyone and tell them “you won’t regret it!” I know that’s not 100% true, but I also know that in spite of having off days, I’m always excited to get back on the course.

Learning Happens at Any Age

By Marcos Lopez – Business Analyst at Santex

Marcos Lopez spends some of his time outside of the office teaching Physics classes to adult students. Read more about his rewarding experience.

For what reasons did you start teaching Physics classes to adults?

Mainly because it is an experience that allows me to learn and grow. The fact that they are adult students makes the approach, methodology and type of class unique from most teaching experiences. My students live a reality that has nothing to do with the common student, and attending classes can be a challenge if you are located in an area that’s far away. I like being able to help those people.

Did you have any prior teaching experience?

I began to teach classes during my last year of college, at the local Institute of Computer Science (AES) first to children, then to adults. I spent 5 years of teaching all kinds of people –  adolescents who were forced to go, workers who needed to learn to use the computer, and to an elderly lady.  She was unable to write, and needed to communicate with her son who lived in another country via email, (it took an hour to write just one line of an email). That was such a rewarding experience. I was also Teaching Assistant for a course on methods and techniques of Scientific Research on the Phonoaudiology at UNC for 10 years.

Did you always know that you wanted to be a teacher?

Yes, always. It is an area where I feel comfortable and that I have the skills necessary to carry out the complex task of transmitting knowledge to another person. I like to ensure that the student understands what I’m teaching and has enough confidence to ask me anything (not only about the subject in question, but what anything that they may need to know).

How many students are in your class?

Last year there were 12 at the start, which ended up being 8 in the end. Making the time for class is more complex for adult students. The goal is to try to keep them in school and not let them leave and go back to their old ways. It is a big step to finish secondary school, no matter what your age is. It’s never too late!

How much time do you dedicate each week to preparing for these classes?

Generally, each week you should review the theoretical content that will be explained in the following week’s classes – how to put things into practice and that it is applicable to the students. They have to be able to process and apply the information in some way, because sometimes the context and the content may be totally new to them. On Saturday mornings I usually do this type of planning.

What do you think is different about teaching older adults than teaching someone your own age?

The need to overcome setbacks in life is an important factor. The students want to prove to themselves that they can overcome this hurdle in spite of the passing of the years and the reality in which they live. We are talking about my superiors, very respectable people, accepting life’s circumstances and talking to me, the teacher, with great respect. They have a lot of issues outside of the classroom, and many times I as a teacher must support them and listen to them. They may be day-to-day situations, that make it difficult for them to get to class. If they can’t find a babysitter, it may be that they talk to me about it and I end up teaching class with a baby on my lap. I want my students to be present in the classroom without distractions. They need to be able to have their hands and minds free so they can take notes and process the information I’m giving them. It’s a really gratifying feeling.


In what ways does the study of Physics complement your work as a BA?

The two are not specifically related, but being a  teacher enables you to improve the way you communicate with others. You become attentive to the behavior of the people you interact with, which enhances the way in which you communicate. Above all, it helps you stand in front of an audience and know what to say and how to reach them. This same idea can apply to the online meetings I participate in with clients and the teammates for my software development projects.

Cultures Crossing Borders: Santex visit to Mexico


This past month, Juan Cruz Leyba (Front-end Developer), Victor Zapata (Java Developer), and Emilio Garcia (Java Developer) represented both the Lima and Cordoba offices with a trip to Guadalajara, Mexico, to meet with the Santex client Tacit Knowledge. The two weeks of face-to-face collaboration brought the teams together in order to kick off a new project. See what Juan, Victor, and Emilio have to share about their experience.

Did you see many differences in the way people work in Guadalajara? Which were the most noticeable?

J: I did not see many differences. The methodologies are pretty much the same as we practice everyday. The only thing I noticed as being the most different is that they drink beer at work. While working! And it’s accepted by everyone.

V: The way of working is very similar. They have the benefit of working from home, but because of our visit, they came to work to be with us. They work in very collaborative way.

E: One thing that’s neat is that they can work standing up because they have adjustable desks that can change height! That’s something that seems to be trending these days.

What did you enjoy the most about travelling to Guadalajara for work?

J: I enjoyed getting to know a new city, a different country with different foods and habits. Also Mexican people are the nicest in the world. We had first class treatment starting with the hotel and in every other place we visited. We met other developers from Panamá, India, and Honduras, and we had a great exchange with them. It was a great experience.

V: The Tapatíos, as they call the people born in Guadalajara, are amazing people. They have great food, a lot of bars and catchy music. All the people we interacted with were kind to us.

E: What I enjoyed the most was to have the opportunity to work with this nice group of people. They were always open to sharing knowledge, exchanging ideas, and even joking around with us. I also loved the tacos.

Any must-sees in the city?

J: Downtown is beautiful, but you should go before 8pm. Chapultepec Boulevard is a must-go for great bars and restaurants. Plaza Andares is the best shopping place in town and Karnes Garibaldi is an awesome restaurant with the best service and the most typical recipes from Guadalajara.

V: If you have the opportunity to go there, you should taste the “Carnes en su jugo”, served in Karne Garibaldi. They have the Guinness Record being the quickest restaurant to serve your order. Another part of their folklore is the wrestling. It was a great experience!

E: Karne Garibaldi is a must-try restaurant.

Do you think this trip changed you in any way?

J: I don’t think it changed me, but it’s been very helpful to get up and running with a new project. It also helped me to confirm that we can work without having any kind of problem with different cultures, in an unfamiliar place.

V: I think that getting to know new places and talking with the people helps to enlarge your vision of the world, and it helps you to understand other thinking ways.

E: Yes, it changed the way I see the project and the people working on it. The good mood of all the folks in the office made me to enjoy this visit a lot.

Something different that you took away from the experience, and something that was the same that surprised you?

J: It was amazing how polite the Mexican people are. They are so nice that it never stopped surprising me. It was also very nice to see how people from all over the world could sit at a table and try to communicate and understand each other in order to make the project a success.

V: The Mexicans have an incredible way to be. They are so kind! Additionally, despite the distance between us, it’s incredible to see how our realities are so similar.

E: I expected the traffic to be similar to Lima and the people to not be so kind and talkative. I was totally wrong. They are in fact very nice, and by the time we were there the traffic was not such a big deal. I also never thought I would end up speaking with the same accent as the tapatios.