First of all, it has to be said that this workaway profile is not run by Julio. Instead, in a sense, it can be said to be a workaway run workaway that was created for the benefit of both the family as well as the travelers looking for a place to stay.
Our goal is to provide warm environment for backpackers who want to explore a traditional lifestyle. We run a hostel that offers both accommodations and traditional native medicinal treatments.
The hostel is run by the Urquia family. Don Julio is a traditional ayahuasca curandero, his wife Lastenia works with traditional Shipibo embroideries and often accompanies him in the ceremonies. They know a lot about how to prepare plants for curing the body, mind and soul.
They have many children and grandchildren, some of whom live and work here. The family speaks mostly shipibo, but they all know spanish.
Life is very simple here in the village, people fish or grow vegetables. In addition, a lot of traditional art is made here. Julio's daughter operates the only internet corner in the village, with WiFi and computers to use.
In the future, we would like to establish a nice internet cafe which would most likely be-to some extent-workaway run. While this is not the main focus at the moment, it is something we are thinking about.
15 minutes away from the hostel is a small land which they call a chakra, meaning a field for planting a variety of plants. At the moment, we are working to clear more land both for food and for medicinal plants.
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
The village is very famous for its knowledge of medicinal plant use. There are many places here that offer both ayahuasca ceremonies and other treatments. If it turns out that working with the plant is something that appeals to you, then you will have the opportunity to do this here. It has to be said that this is not a part of the exchange, so we as volunteers have to pay, but possibly at a reduced price. We are also thinking about putting together some jungle tours, maybe a course in shipibo artmaking. It all depends on what you want/need.
The life here is very basic. It's not a five star hotel, or a jungle retreat. The water is out most of the day, electricity goes sometimes, and the work we need done can be a bit physical. If this appeals to you, then what we can offer is accomodations in exchange for work. Three hours a day, five days a week. Accommodations vary a bit depending on the amount of guests in the hostel. Sometimes volunteers will sleep in the hostel rooms, other times in parts of the village where the family has housing available. If people come with camping equipment we can find a setup for this too.
The help we need at the moment (and this will be updated in time) is mostly to work in the fields, clearing and cleaning the ground with a machete, then helping to plant the fields. Sometimes help is also needed to build new houses. If you already have skills and knowledge about such things this is, of course, a plus but not a requirement. In addition, internet, computer and painting skills will be put to good use.
We have a workaway kitchen where volunteers can cook together. The food here is very cheap and we will help you to buy all you need.
Most likely a bed in the hostel, sometimes a mattress on the floor in another house. Tents are welcome. What you will need to bring is bed sheets and pillow please.
With your time off, you can do many things in the Ucayali region. We can organize workshops with ceramics or embroideries. We can also put together trips to the deep jungle. It all depends on our willingness and, perhaps, madness. The city of Pucallpa is also a cool place to explore for those who like cities. There are both zoos and movie theaters for when one needs a break from the village. Last of all, we need to say that we welcome most people. There is no real criteria. The most important thing is that the people who apply here are happy and positive, a bit self reliant, and not afraid of bugs. From the team here at shing heart we hope to see you around and good travels wherever you might be.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
3 hours a day, 5 days a week
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