Dining Room Caya SHobo Ayahuasca Retreat Center, Iquitos, Peru
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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.
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.
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.