My name is Leonardo and I am a Shipibo Maestro in the jungle downriver from Pucallpa. I am 85 years old and I work here with my daughter Lucia who has been training to be a Maestra for the last 4 years with me, I have been passing my knowledge to her so that when the plants take me and I am no longer here she will be able to continue my work here on this earth to heal people using Ayahuasca and the jungle plants. There are many maestros in the world but many also who do not work as I do. I am born from a deep and wise lineage of Shipibo where the whole jungle is a medicine cabinet of different plants all of whom have different energies and abilities to heal people.
When people come to us for a retreat it is a very deep and personalized process, its not just about drinking Ayahuasca, this is only one part. We provide a holistic package of treatment that is shown to us as Shamans in ceremony by Ayahuasca. When we sit with our guests in ceremony we are guided by the plants to see what teas, steam baths or plants that make you sick are needed to cleans and clean the physical and spiritual bodies of our guests. Each package of care is specific and individual and guided by our shared mother Ayahuasca. It saddens me the way in which so many ‘so called’ Shamans are not giving this level of care as without a deep knowledge of the jungle and her ways passed down through a lineage, work with the plant can be dangerous at times or less effective than is needed by each of our guests.
I tell you this so that you have a sense of the type of person we need to come and help us with our work. For several years now we have been blessed with a wonderful foreigner who has helped us to access workaway and connect with people from cultures all over the world. Together we have built a retreat centre in the jungle where me and my daughter live and we are now ready to bring our medicine and healing to the world.
The guests that come and stay with us are in need of healing and enter into a deep process with Ayahuasca. As a family we speak firstly Shipibo and our second Language is Spanish. We have a lot of people who wish to come and know the medicine who don’t have Spanish language skills so what we need is a person who is sensitive and caring to help us to translate for us. This is a position we don’t offer lightly as the nature of our personal hurts can mean that it is hard for some people to share what is within them with a translator present.
We run 12 day retreats that begin on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month ( for the most part) and for each retreat we need 2 committed volunteers to help us to translate the conversations between us and our guests before and after and sometimes during ceremony. This help is needed for 12 days for the duration of the retreats. My daughter also has 3 boys under 7 and we also look for all of our guests. There is an additional opportunity for a volunteer position to help her to take care of the boys and also help clean the house and cook for the guests. Again this position would need to be someone who is of great heart and calm demeanor as the centre is a place of healing.
The centre has certain energetic rules that must be followed by guests and also volunteers. Everyone that stays with us must not use alcohol, drugs or have sex on site. This must be started 7 days before arrival as the nature of some of the deep diets we do actually makes it dangerous for our guests and shamans to be around this energy. Please observe this closely and give it real importance in your planning to come and see us.
Since we opened this workaway we have had a lot of requests about ceremony. To clarify, this opportunity is in exchange for food and a place to sleep if you are able to come and help us with translation.
We understand that many of you reading this may wish to join us for ceremony AND also help with translation, if this is the case please send us an email contact and we shall be able to send you an information pack and the additional benefits we can offer you as a volunteer.
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Helping with Tourists
The person we seek needs to be calm and considerate as we are a jungle family running a centre of great healing. The tribal ways are different to that of the Western world and we live in a calm space that is very different from your hustle and bustle, we move slowly and speak with great consideration. Our lineage means that we are frequently dieting Master plants and this requires a great deal of dedication and peace. We seek a person who can help us translate for other guests that are staying here from Spanish to English. We need people who are also open to respecting the retreat centre rules as the energetic space is very important for us, no alcohol or drugs can be consumed by any one that we accept into our home.
The land on which you stay is our home and we shall welcome you as one of our own children. In exchange we ask that you please help us to keep our lives running here, to translate for the guests help with cleaning and cooking and with the children.
What we can offer in exchange is the opportunity to stay with a Shamanic Family in the jungle. You will be surrounded by the wonderful love of Ayahuasca and be able to witness the deep healings that occur in our place. Whilst you stay with us it is likely that we shall be also cooking Ayahuasca and so if you would like to be a part of that you can help us to prepare this sacred plant.
We have come from a place of little financial income and we are deeply blessed to have met the westerner who helps us to run this page and our retreats to now have so many foreigners come to us so that we can help them to heal We live still now as we have always lived, basically with few material possessions. The place you will stay, is and always will be our home and there is nothing commercial about what we do or how we live with our family. As such we need all volunteers to know that what we provide is authentic, basic and comfortable. You will have basic meals provide which is what we are used to eating from the jungle, rice and yucca and plantain. If you have dietary needs above this we ask kindly that you bring this with you and understand that we are not accustomed to the same foods as you nor that they are financially accessible for us to buy on your behalf.
This is a very unique opportunity for cultural exchange! We have lived with the jungle for many generations, cooking on fires, fishing from the rivers and preparing food such as chapo ( a plantain drink) from the trees. There are many women in the village who are artisans, making jewelry with seeds and embroidering the visions of Ayahuasca onto beautiful tapestries. We all live as one tribe, in wooden houses with grass roofs and swim off the banks of the Ucayali to cool down in the heat of the day. In our centre we prepare Ayahuasca and welcome you to help cook it when we do. You will be surrounded by healing and ancient wisdom which is a wonderful space to be in! The knowledge of specific plants is sacred and secret but you will bear witness to the effects and impact as to how we work and see every person at the end of their stay leave happy and free.
Shipibo and Spanish on the project ( English for emails)
The accommodation we offer is basic and beautiful. You will be in a grass roofed open long house, a wooden built builidng in the breezy part of our jungle home. It has no walls but this is what you want when you are in the jungle!!It is a shared space, not a private one and you will be sleeping with up to 8 people in the same space. We ask that you please bring a mosquito net with you, a mattress will be provided. We also have a kitchen for guests and volunteers and this has a cooker and fridge in it which will be accessible to you during your stay, along with a cubby on a shared shelf for storing your food.
Drinking water can be bought in the village but not much food, if you require fruit please bring it with you as this is not something we provide!! We have water on site also but it will need to be boiled before consumption.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4hours a day, 5 days a week