Updated: Mar 28, 2022
Hello everyone! I’m back from Peru. I had wanted to do more videos than this and send them from the jungle, but the internet and weather didn’t want to cooperate. But I took lots of photos and will share them with you over time. This first entry is just a quick introduction to Selva Madre, the center where I was staying, and to Don Lucho, the wonderful shaman I had the honor to work with and befriend. This is Lucho and I standing in front of the kitchen. They wear western clothes when not in ceremony!
Selva Madre is a beautiful healing center in the Amazon Jungle just outside of Iquitos. It is run by Don Luis Rimachi (Lucho to all his friends and family), a Mestizo shaman with 40 years of experience, and his sweet family. Though there is currently no electricity, the cabins are surprisingly comfortable, with cement floors and their own private shower, sink, and toilet (a rarity in this business)!
The center was established to provide westerners access to the powerful healing of aya, but Don Lucho also serves as the village healer and often has local visitors stay for various medicinal sessions, sometimes with aya, sometimes with other treatments. For example, there was a Peruvian man who came to stay with us for a week. He had a wound on his leg that western-trained doctors had been attempting to treat for 3 months through typical lab tests and antibiotics, but it was only getting worse. The man went to some other shamans, but they couldn't help him either. Don Lucho is often the shaman the other shamans will send their patients to, when they are unsuccessful. And this was how this man came to Lucho. Lucho used aya and his ability to communicate with nature to see into the source of the problem. This was a complicated process and I’ll be writing more about it later. But by the end of the week, the wound was nearly completely healed!
As someone trained in western medicine, this approach to healing is both strange and mysterious. Yet I'm starting to get an understanding of it. Over the next several months I will be partnering with Lucho, his brother, Guido (also a long-standing shaman), and artist/educator Robin Ward to bring more of this understanding to you all. Stay tuned for more information!