Wesley has been working with Ayahuasca since 2014 and dieting the Master plants in the Shipibo tradition since Caya Shobo’s inaugural retreat in 2016. As a farmer and builder of sustainable homes, Wes holds a deep respect for the plant world and the profound imperative to bring greater balance into all our lives. An adept listener and fluent speaker of both English and Spanish, Wes has been afforded a special opportunity to form true friendships and deeply learn from the Shipibo maestros throughout his years serving as a lead facilitator at Caya Shobo. When not in Peru, he lives in beautiful Taos, New Mexico where he tends to his land and learns from the local plants that surround him.
“The well of learning and healing that the Master plants and the Shipibo tradition has allowed me to access within myself is something that can only be described as a gift. I hold these traditional ways with the utmost respect and am humbled time and time again by the plants’ innate ability to support and inspire an understanding of what it means to live in a harmonious way. The potency of the collective healing that occurs when working together and sharing our experiences and insights is profound. I see how important we are to one another in providing perspective into this shared journey of healing and remembrance and I cherish the opportunity to be with and assist others in their own path of discovery”. Wes
Natasha has been working with Ayahuasca and long plant Dietas in the Shipibo tradition since 2011, and has been part of the Caya Shobo community since its inception. She has an excellent appreciation of the Shipibo plant medicine healing process and is now a lead facilitator providing support for guests during their healing process with Ayahuasca and in Master Plant Dieta at Caya Shobo.
Natasha speaks fluent English and Russian. We are very happy to have her thoughtful, calm presence and ready smile gracing Caya Shobo.
“This path with the medicine and diets has been the biggest blessing, touching all parts of my life and relationships. It has constantly helped me to open to more kindness and shaken my rigid views and patterns.
My role at the center has gradually progressed and with it my connection to the medicine and to people. I feel so much gratitude for being in a position to help and support guests that come here with open hearts and minds to healing and transformation. It really gives my life a sense of purpose to be available in that way and reminds me of my not so easy journey that eventually led me to who I am today.
To everyone that feels called here for whatever this path has to offer you, know that you’ll be on your unique journey with maestros and facilitators who truly care and are here with you to support you along the way”. Natasha
As a lead facilitator at Caya Shobo, Jen brings immense professionalism and expertise from her many years working as a Berkeley psychotherapist, helping people in spiritual emergence and spiritual crisis, or integrating different states of consciousness from entheogenic encounters, and also helping those dealing with trauma and PTSD.
Jen holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from UCSC and a Masters in Somatic Psychotherapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies, and has over 10 years of experience working with Ayahuasca and the Shipibo plant medicine healing tradition.
Her approach is holistic, relational, and body-centered. Her work draws from her training in somatic psychotherapy and the Hakomi method, a mindfulness-based technique.
“Each person is a unique and precious individual to be honored, respected, and treated with kindness. I see the body, mind, and spirit as pieces of one whole, and consider each to be an integral part of the therapy. Given the optimal conditions, we naturally will move toward healing and growth. Like a flower, we each have the potential to blossom.
Real healing can occur through developing a secure, solid, safe, and grounded relationship. From that place of connection, the seeds of growth can take root. We come alive when we feel connected to ourselves, to others, and to the world.
Helping to guide people through their own organic processes of healing is a passion of mine. We work to recover that sense of wholeness in you. Together we clear the way for you to walk your own unique life path with joy.” Jen
Charlie began his learning and healing path with plants in 2015. After sitting with Miguel in 2017, Charlie fell in love with the Shipibo “school” of medicine work, specifically with its infinite depth and focus on transformational healing. He has been working as a lead facilitator at Caya Shobo yearly since 2019, staying for up to 4 months at a time. When he is not learning from the plants on dieta at Caya Shobo, he is learning from them in a different context- on a small organic farm in Northern California that he manages.
He is an adept listener and skilled facilitator who cherishes the opportunity to support the healing journey of every person who comes to Caya Shobo.
Charlie is fluent in English and Spanish and is an experienced translator of not only the communication between passajeros and maestros, but also the vegeatlista world view of the Shipibo Onayas.
“I am incredibly grateful to the plants, the maestros, and Miguel and Becky for all they have brought into my life. The Onayas that we are fortunate enough to work with at Caya Shobo are living bridges, between our world and the thousands of years of bio-cultural tradition of the Shipibo tribe. They are true masters of their craft – a plant-based medicine that offers to heal the physical, spiritual and emotional traumas that Western Medicine doesn’t even know how to approach, much less heal. It is an honor and a privilege to support their work, and to be a part of each individual’s healing journey during their stay at Caya Shobo.” Charlie
Franziska is a member of the core leadership team of Caya Shobo, and has been an important host, facilitator and guide for our international medicine community since 2015. She is a mother and an artist and holds a diploma in Arts Therapy from the University of Applied Science and Arts in Ottersverg. Franziska grew up in Germany spending most of her time in nature and developing a deep love of plants and ecology, and in her adult life has pursued learning in a vast array of healing and spiritual disciplines. She has been dieting master plants since 2015 and is continuing to develop in her apprenticeship in the Shipibo medicine tradition. Franziska speaks fluent German and English.
“This medicine path came to me in a time where I was stuck and unhappy in my life and didn’t know who to turn to. It literally fell into my lap and at the time I didn’t understand it but went to a retreat not knowing what to expect. It was a powerful first experience but it wasn’t until a year later that I returned and then started to work in this way frequently. As a result my life has been deeply transformed by it. Mostly through the work of dieting I feel like I have undergone a change of personality especially in the way I interact with the world. Now I can’t imagine my life without this powerful tool and am very grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from this community. This path is full of unexpected gifts and it is sometimes not obvious but very subtle where everyone learns together and from each other. I am very happy to share my experiences if they can shed light on what others might be going through.” Franziska
Maestro Pedro was born in the 1940s into a small nomadic Shipibo-Conibo tribe that moved throughout the lower Ucayali region in Peru. As a young man he suffered the loss of his first infant child to disease, and this tragedy inspired him to embark on what has become a lifetime of learning about healing with the power of icaro, prayer and the medicine plants.
Maestro Pedro began his studies with leading Quechua and Mestizo healers from the Ucayali region, but he soon decided that the most integral path for him was to dedicate himself to the power of prayer, learning directly from the light and knowledge blessings that come from devotional meditation. His icaros carry the vibration of his profound devotion to prayer and are magnificent echos of the deep knowledge and love that resides within the natural world and within all of us. He is a lovely, humble person, always with a ready giggle, and in our opinion he is truly one of the last living maestros who carry the ancient Shipibo understandings of sacred spiritual knowledge.
Today Pedro is grandfather to a large family of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who mostly live in a small community called San Palla on the upper Ucayali river. He is very happy to spend time with us at Caya Shobo and loves to experience the sense of family and community here, especially the way that we take care of him and of one another. We invite you to experience the rare gift of receiving a personal treatment from this beautiful maestro at one of Caya Shobo’s plant dieta retreats.
Angela is a bodyworker, dancer and choreographer from Berlin/Germany. She is a certified practitioner of Cranio-Sacral Therapy and Fascia Therapy/Method Danis Bois. She speaks German, English and a little Spanish. Angela is loved by Caya Shobo guests for being a true listener, both in her facilitative conversations around the medicine process and in her highly intuitive bodywork. She started her medicine path in 2012 and began her first master plant dieta in 2016 with Maestro Onánya Pablo Bardales.
“I came to the medicine in 2012 through an artistic research project in which my dance partner and I wanted to ‘die together’ on stage. But instead of death the medicine brought life, abundance, joy and healing energy to my life. It was the starting point for overcoming years of depression and entering a new direction in my life: working with my hands as a manual Therapist and treating people through healing bodywork.
In 2016 I entered the medicine more deeply by starting the Shipibo plant dieta process. Since then I have been devoted to supporting people seeking to understand the wisdom and knowledge of these powerful plants and the spiritual dimension of it. I am honored that the plants invited me to serve them and to share a unique way of living on this planet in a healing and co-creative way with all beings.
Caya Shobo feels like a home in my heart and is a place where the most profound healing processes I have ever seen are happening. I am happy to help any guest feel at home here too, to relax and develop a deep trust in the medicine, through talking, guiding, bodywork and listening. I want to inspire you to integrate your experiences and ground them into your personal life. I am honored and excited to support everyone in their unique healing process with the plants and helping their relationships with their new plant allies to grow.“ Angela
One of the original co-founders of Caya Shobo, Becky has immersed herself in a path of self-discovery and learning with the Shipibo plant medicine tradition since 2008. She has dieted many Master plants under the guidance of high-level Shipibo maestro and maestra Onányas and supported many others on their own journeys of healing with Ayahuasca and master plant Dieta. For 10 years Becky has served as an apprentice curandera of the Shipibo tradition and nowadays holds small ceremonial gatherings for women.
“I believe that at this time we are all being called to embark on a process of transformation, to heal the wounds and confusions of the past, and to start to realize our potential to live in genuine joy and balance. We each must find our own true self beneath the markings of trauma and conditioning that we carry and discover and integrate the ‘medicine’ within those challenges.
The Shipibo medicine tradition and the master healing plants are living wonders from an ancient world. My own search for healing and greater meaning in life has brought me to this sacred path. And through supporting many others on a similar journey, I have seen that it is possible to slowly but surely nurture a deep connection with the master teacher plants and their songs, and thereby foster a greater harmony and understanding within, while restoring our rightful relationships with all of life.
It is my honor to assist and support others on this blessed journey of discovery.” Becky
Lia has a background in community support and has many years of experience supporting people dealing with physical, cognitive, and mental health challenges. Since 2017 Lia has split her time between providing support and facilitation services to guests at Caya Shobo, and living on the West Coast of Canada where she is now studying acupuncture and continues her community support work. She is also a certified yoga teacher (Hatha/Vinyasa RYT 200 hrs), and offers classes when she is at Caya Shobo.
Having faced some profound health issues in her life, Lia was drawn strongly to plant medicine both by a life-long connection with nature, and deep need to find personal healing. She first sat with the medicine in 2014, and immediately felt like she was coming home. Soon afterward, she opened her first Shipibo plant dieta and has since been following the vegetalista medicine path, doing dietas, both for personal healing and for learning/apprenticeship.
“The medicine path opened a door to profound healing and personal growth. Prior to starting on the Shipibo path, I had for many years been living with a very difficult situation, both emotionally and physically. While I had made some huge progress over time using a variety of healing modalities and other tools, my healing was incomplete, and I was stuck at a point of ‘accepting that which I could not change.’ I believed that my life was simply one that would always include painful limitations.
My first dieta was very powerful. It cleared away things that I never thought could be cleared. It opened a door to great beauty and dramatically changed how I showed up in the world. It wasn’t easy. There are no quick fixes here, and the plant medicine path isn’t linear, but I have never done anything more worthwhile.
As a facilitator, I now have the immense privilege of playing a part in the healing journeys of others. I know every person comes to this with their own unique gifts and powerful inner resources to draw on. The determination to take the first step on a healing path is really all that is needed to set things in motion. I am absolutely honored to offer what I can, especially what I have learned in the last five years diving into the plant medicine world, to support others as they take their own journeys into deeper awareness and healing”. Lia
Miguel is a highly experienced and internationally respected Ayahuasca Curandero from Chile, who began working with Amazonian plant medicine healing in 1997. He initially studied with renowned indigenous maestros in the Quechua-Lamista and Mestizo traditions in Peru and Brazil, including Don Jose Campos, Ronnie Rengifo and Don Solon Tello Lozano. In 2008, when confronted with the challenge of healing his own respiratory problems, he discovered the depth and potency of the Shipibo medicine tradition and since then has primarily focused his shamanic healing work on utilizing the knowledge, power and tools of this tradition. Miguel is one of the co-founders of Caya Shobo.
“People often ask me questions about how to Diet, how to get the most benefit from Dieta.
For me the correct question is not how but why we diet.
On the path of personal transformation you will come to confront many questions and much incomprehension about your process. Ultimately the most important understanding is that change needs to happen.
Little by little as you proceed in the journey of Dieta, your questions will be answered. Learn to stay present and observe the energies and thoughts arising. You are dieting to be able to better understand and transform yourself. ”
Meeting Walter you immediately recognize his natural warmth and humility as a person, as well as his impressive capability as an experienced Onánya Maestro healer. His beautiful, lower toned voice and variety of melodic Icaros can transport you to a place of peace and reconciliation with your life’s experiences and your healing path. Walter is always solid in the middle of the storm.
Born in the small jungle village of Nuevo Loreto, 3 hours boat journey from Pucallpa in the Imiria National Forest, Walter opened his first dieta at age 15, and learned the way of the medicine with his father. He is now 55 years old, and lives close to Caya Shobo with his wife and 5 of his children.
In all the years we have known and worked with Walter, he has proven his loyalty and friendship and his dedication to helping people.
Walter’s Shipibo name Huesha Mano means World of Happiness.
Maestra Maricela is a highly experienced Shipiba Onánya curandera and Raomi herbalist. Born in the Alto Ucayali river village of Roya, south of Pucallpa, her father Nicolas Vardales is a well known Shipibo medicine man with a strong famileal lineage of medicine knowledge. At age 13, in receiving treatment for some serious health issues of her own, Maricela began to learn about the healing properties of Amazonian medicine plants. She continued dieting with different master plants until she started working with Ayahuasca in her early 30’s.
Now 46 years old, Maricela is an experienced Shipiba Maestra of high level. When she sings in the Ceremony it is as if a rare and beautiful bird from the jungle emerges in her throat and the Maloka is filled with joy and light. As she is healing you, there is a strong sense that she is not alone and you may feel the dance of beautiful feminine spirits all around yourself.
Maricela is also a confident and articulate speaker, generous in sharing her knowledge of the healing and spiritual properties of the Amazon plant medicine world. She has a cheerful and personable character and is always happy to help prepare medicine perfumes or other special gifts upon request.
Her Shipiba name Aincaisina means Wise Young Girl. Maricela lives in Pucallpa with her husband Maestro Francisco Vasquez and their daughter, another up and coming Shipiba medicine woman. We feel very fortunate to know Maricela and to have her help and presence and also that of her family.
Although only 39 years old, we believe Arturo to be one of the most talented young Shipibo healers working in Peru today. In his powerful voice, his beautiful melodies, his vitality, and his calm, self-possessed presence we see a person who carries the legacy of the ancient knowledge of his forebears.
Arturo holds an advanced technical knowledge of Shipibo healing and medicine plant dietas and is an excellent teacher of the Shipibo culture, history and cosmovision. He is a courageous and generous curandero, a warrior against the darkness, a great friend of the plants, and a person with innate grace and intelligence.
Born in a small native community village down-river from Atalaya, Arturo started learning the medicine path at a very young age (under 10 yrs old) from his mother and father who are both Master Onányas of the Shipibo tradition. By age 18, while studying Teaching at university in Lima, Arturo was already holding healing ceremonies for his university professors.
Today, Arturo is married with 3 young children. He presently lives at Caya Shobo. We are very happy to have his presence as a lead Maestro at Caya Shobo, and to have his family in our hearts as our dear and close friends.
Immersed in the medicine world her entire life, Maestra Lucinda is the eldest daughter of renowned Shipibo Onánya Maestro Pascual Mahua Ochavano, born in the Shipibo village of Paoyhan or ‘Water of the Pearls’ located on the banks of the beautiful Ucayali river, north of Pucallpa. When she was a tiny infant of 4 months old her father opened her first learning dieta to bring her the advanced knowledge of the Noya Rao “Tree of light” of her ancestors.
Now 55 years old, Lucinda is a confident and wise maestra, with a sweet and modest nature and a powerful reportoire of master plant dietas and advanced medicine knowledge. Her gentle Icaros belie a quiet power within, and her feminine energy of care and compassion evokes a feeling of being embraced in the flow of life. She calls on the power of her profound connections with ally healing spirits to transform and purify your inner world. Her Shipiba name Cushainbo means Powerful Woman.
Lucinda has has 4 adult children and 8 grandchildren, and holds strong family values and ethics as well as a great sense of humour. We are very happy to have her presence, her knowledge, her laughter and her help at Caya Shobo.
Orlando also belongs to the famous family Mahua. His great-grandfather Manuel Mahua was renowned as one of the most powerful Onánya shaman in the entire history of the Shipibo tribe. Manuel’s daughter Manuela, grandmother to Orlando, is also a well – known living Onánya Maestra. Manuela brought up Orlando from early childhood and opened his first medicine plant dieta at age 7.
From age 24 Orlando underwent serious study with his grandmother, happy to devote himself to becoming a healer amongst his famous shamanic family. Within a short period of time, Orlando became well-known in the Shipibo and western healing communities for his impressive dedication and tireless hard work.
Orlando also carries a surprising amount of energetic power for such a young healer. And he is devoted to constantly improving himself, learning about the native plants and healing traditions of other parts of the jungle and other countries. Always with a friendly smile, ready to help, attentive to his patients and friends both in the ceremony and during the day, he is a good friend of Caya Shobo and we are happy to present him as an important member of our healing team.
Fernando Levi, also born in the village of Paoyhan, is the grandson of Pascual Mahua, and, like his father, his grandfather and many generations before him, Fernando has inherited the Shipibo name “Sani Piko” which means “The Great Medicine Men.” This legacy of ancestral knowledge and the discipline Fernando has brought to developing its power within himself is clearly evident in his Icaros, in his medicine and also in his extensive knowledge of master plant dieta for healing and learning.
When he first starts to work with you, Fernando brings the power and purity of his plant dietas and especially his master ancestral dieta with the “Tree of Light” to the job of clearing and cleansing the energy of your body, your mind and your soul in preparation for dieta. From that place of purity, you then can feel the light in his beautiful voice carrying you to more elevated places of consciousness, dislodging the roots of dis-ease from your psyche and your spirit, and teaching you to carve new pathways of thought, understanding and healing for your life.
A generous and adventurous person by nature, Fernando always has a full-hearted smile for everyone he meets, and enjoys spending time with guests in quiet conversation which often centres around his passionate stories of learning and growth with the medicine.
Fernando is the father of 3 young children (with his wife Delci). We are so happy to know this gifted young Maestro Onánya, and to diet and grow with him as he develops his extensive talent and preserves and continues the ancient knowledge of his forebears with earnest responsibility and joy.
Francisco (or Pancho) has been working with the Shipibo medicine path since his early 40’s, and is now in his late 60s. His beautiful Icaros are sung in the more traditional and deeply poetic ‘Shirobehua’ style, where his energy of happiness and hopefulness radiates out to eclipse negative energies in the ceremony.
Although he started his learning later than most, Francisco has rapidly progressed to become a truly high level, mature Maestro Onánya of the Shipibo tradition. He carries immense compassion and is very caring and kind with patients and students. He enjoys sharing his stories and knowledge generously.
Pancho is married to Maricela Rios Inuma, another of our favorite Maestra Onánya healers. Together they have a daughter who they live with in Pucallpa. We are very happy to have his presence and support as a lead Maestro here at Caya Shobo.
Rafael was born into a family of Ayahuasca Curandero Medicos in the Shipibo village of Santa Rosa de Dinamarca, 5 hours journey by riverboat to the south of Pucallpa. Growing up immersed in the world of Ayahuasca, he observed his parents and the men and women of his extended family always working in healing ceremonies and guiding plant dietas. At the age of 18, his curiosity to learn more about this path inspired him to open his first plant dieta, and he has since been learning and dieting with different master plants over the past 15 years.
Now 33 years old, Rafael is a healer of excellent talent and with a really sweet personal nature. His icaros can bring a sensation of pure happiness into your heart, and allow you to easily open to receive his healing. He has a great knowledge of plants and plant dieta healing. Rafael’s Shipibo name Kesin Ronin means Gentle Anaconda.
Rafael has 3 young children and lives near Tamshiyacu in Loreto. We are very happy to have his radiant smile blessing the centre, and his generous support in bringing the benefits of his family’s ancestral knowledge to those seeking healing at Caya Shobo.
As a teenager, Pablo felt the call of the medicine, but without access to knowledgeable teachers in his own family or community, he pursued his own learning path with Ayahuasca in the way of the ancient Shipibo Maestro Onánya – by entering the jungle alone and following the call of the plants in isolation dieta.
Now 49 years old, Pablo is an experienced Maestro Onánya himself, who holds a powerful knowledge of the medicine plants. When he sings for you, you feel his song in your body and your mind, and there is a profound sense that here is a Maestro who knows exactly how you feel. Pablo has a deep focus and dedication to helping each person in his care.
Pablo lives in Atalaya with his wife and 2 children. We feel very fortunate to have Pablo as part of our team of Maestro Onányas here at Caya Shobo.