Pisatahua is locally owned and managed by
residents of the Aquicuana Reserve
Wara Wara Puma is a female Shaman and medical doctor of Aymara origin, brought up by her mother and grandmother, both native aymara women. She is well versed in Aymara healing practices and spirituality as well as Ayahuasca and San Pedro (Wachuma) ceremonies.
Wara is also a Sun-Moon Dance and Moon Mother facilitator. She has a pure and courageous heart and sings with the voice of an angel. Truly a treat to behold, Wara works with love, surrender and devotion. She maintains tha uttmost respect and care for her patients. In addition to being an incredibly talented and dedicated healer,…
Master Curandero Don Marcial was born in an indigenous community outside Riberalta in 1937. His parents are both Tacana natives that migrated from the Ixiamos region at the height of the rubber boom at the beginning of the 20th century.
Don Marcial, the youngest of his three brothers, discovered many of the jungles’ mysteries and developed a deep spiritual connection with the Amazon from a very young age. He would accompany his brothers for excursions that could last months, surviving on the abundance of fruits, fish and nuts they found along the way.
Despite his 81 years of age, Don Marcial is extremely fit and spends most days working in his gardens. He leads ceremonies and has the ability to concentrate and chant for many hours. He is extremely attentive to participants and Pisatahua guests often comment of his strength and warmth.
Don Marcial is windowed and the father of 16 children. He lives a 15 minute drive from Pisatahua with many of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Wara Wara Puma is a female Shaman and medical doctor of Aymara origin, brought up by her mother and grandmother, both native aymara women. She is well versed in Aymara healing practices and spirituality as well as Ayahuasca and San Pedro (Wachuma) ceremonies. Wara is also a Sun-Moon Dance and Moon Mother facilitator.
She has a pure and courageous heart and sings with the voice of an angel. Truly a treat to behold, Wara works with love, surrender and devotion. She maintains tha uttmost respect and care for her patients. In addition to being an incredibly talented and dedicated healer, she’s a full-time mother to her son, Inti (4), and her baby girl, Illari Rosita.
Tupak Wayra is a Bolivian healer from two indigenous linages: Quechua in the Amazon, and Aymara in the Andes. He is the cofounder of numerous organizations that work for the restitution and diffusion of indigenous knowledge such as: “Camino Ancestral Bolivia” (Organization providing ceremonies with plant teachers), “Ayllu Phunchhawi” (Practical workshops and investigations on ancestral music), Ayllu Qollañan (Education and Indigenous investigation) and Casa Ajayu (Cultual and Healing Center). He also leads distinct workshops about indigenous cultural history and knowledge. Alongside his community, he travels throughout Bolivia, organizing ceremonies to heal and spread indigenous culture.
“To cure ourselves we must return to our roots”; for this reason the healing ceremonies must always be accompanies by the wise words of Mother-Earth (Pachamama). The techniques utilized for healing can be teacher plants (Ayahuasca, San Pedro, Willka, and Tobacco), offering to sacred locations, teas from plants that heal specific diseases, and consultations with the sacred coca leaf (a very important master teacher plant in the indigenous Cosmo-vision that acts as our oracle).
Dr. Zuzana Sebkova-Thaller is a doctor of art history, mother of 7 children and grandmother of many times. She is one of the pioneers of Qigong and Chan Mi Gong in Europe, is a trainer and founder of new disciplines such as “Qigong with children and young people”, “Qigong during pregnancy and childbirth”, “Qigong for MS” and “Shamanigong.” Zuzana Sebkova-Thaller is the author and actress of many films about Qigong and Chan Mi Gong.
She’s also conducted a wide range of research into the enduring effects of Qigong and Chan Mi Gong on physical, mental and spiritual health.
In “Schamanigong” Zuzana has been bringing together Far Eastern energetic methods, shamanism and science for many years in order to “serve life through synergies.” In fact, she has over 40 years of experience working with Shamanic methods. She’s led shamanic workshops all over the world; alongside healers from Tibet, Mongolia, North America, to name a few. She is now working within “the Art of Synthesis” brining together her 77+ years of life experience.
Zuzana attended a retreat with Pisatahua in 2023 and we immediately realized she had to return in a teaching capacity. We feel blessed to be able to work alongside her and bring this opportunity to our guests.
After years of intense study that have included several month-long master plant dietas spent in solitude in the jungle, Niño is a curandero ayahuasquero, curandero tabaquero, curandero palero, curandero perfumero, and curandero oracionista. He has received and healed patients suffering from lesmanyasis, reproductive problems, addictions, depression, insomnia, anxiety, mal viento, heart problems and various forms of trauma.
He started his “camino de las plantas” at age eleven; however, it was durring his early teens was when he truly started to feel the call of the jungle and its medicines. To be able to support his parents and siblings, he turned this curiosity and passion for the plants and animals of the jungle into work as a jungle tour guide. The years he spent living, exploring and learning in the jungle flourished into the powerful connection he now has with Pachamama and the medicine itself.
He works with respect and integrity. He brings a heartfelt desire to treat those who come to him.
Chaca was born and raised in Riberalta, the capital of the Bolivian Amazon. For over 25 years, he’s worked as a professor of socio-cultural anthropology at the University San Andres in La Paz. He’s conducted research and written extensively on native communities of the Bolivian Amazon with a focus on high risks populations, indigenous sexuality, spiritual culture, sustainable development, indigenous rights and political participation.
Wigberto also served as the Bolivian State Minister for indigenous affairs, he’s been an adviser to numerous indigenous organizations, and worked as a consultant for indigenous development projects. He helped establish multiple indigenous territories and fought extensively for ingenious land rights. His investigations concerning ethnic and cultural diversity were used by the Bolivian Government as a basis for the new constitution of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.
He’s co-founder of Pisatahua and the Bolivian-based non-profit Fundacion Amazonia.
Eya was born and raised in Northern California, graduating from UC Davis with a degree in political philosophy. He’s worked as an educator in the US, a researcher for the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung in Berlin, Germany, and as a consultant and board member to non-profits in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. He holds a masters’ degree in sociology from the Universities of Freiburg (Germany), KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) and Jawaharlal Nehru (India). Eya is the founder and executive director of the 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Sustainable Bolivia.
For more than a decade Eya has conducted research in the Peruvian, Ecuadorian and Bolivian Amazon on cross-cultural shamanic plant medicine. He’s worked as a researcher and graduate assistant at the University of New Mexico, he’s dieted master plants and studied ancestral medicine from a spiritual guide in Bolivia. Alongside his wife, he’s utilized his unique personal and professional experience to facilitate plant-medicine ceremonies in Europe, the US and South America.
Sasha was born in Riberalta, Bolivia, a short distance from the retreat center Pisatahua. For the first two years of her life, she lived in an indigenous Esse Ejja community, before moving to the Bolivian capital La Paz. Growing up she would split time between the Andes and the Amazon, attending high school, while accompanying her father into the jungle on multiple anthropological expeditions.
She considers herself a life-long student, having studied ancestral & medicinal plants from a personal spiritual guide, law and human rights in Bolivia, and psychology in the US. She’s speaks multiple languages including Spanish, English and Portuguese as has followed a diverse professional path — working as a model, a TV moderator, the director of project development for a non-profit in Bolivia, and a as gardener on a Northern California farm …to name a few. She’s taught yoga and pilates, volunteered as facilitator for plant medicine ceremonies and as has experience as a nature guide.
Sasha’s life-history provides her a unique perspective where indigenous cosmovisions a ‘modern’ healing practices collide. As a member of Pisatahua’s family, she continues to integrate different healing modalities, while further developing Pisatahua’s integrative approach to mental/physical health.
Sara came to Pisatahua for the first time in 2018 as a volunteer for the sister non-profit, Sustainable Bolivia. She’s now spent nearly a year and a half with Pisatahua working in the garden, assisting in ceremonies, coordinating volunteers and helping in other aspects of the organization.
From a raft guide in the Pacific Northwest to a horticulture therapy guide in Hawaii, Sara has logged many hours outdoors with her hands learning first hand about the transformative and healing potential of the natural world. Sara’s personal transformational healing journey came through debilitating health issues, which sparked a deep path of healing and inner transformation. She’s found a calling working with plant medicine through her journeys along with help of the curandero(a)s at Pisatahua.
Sara studied Peace and Justice Studies and Spanish Language at Whitworth University in Washington. She is a certified Kambo practitioner, 200 hr YTT yoga teacher, bodyworker and ordained psychedelic facilitator with Sacred Garden Community in Berkeley, CA.
Carlos Gil studied web development in Spain.
He has also taken SEO courses (web positioning on the internet). He is applying his knowledge in our current projects, he helps us to have better visibility of our organization on the internet.
Carlos was born and raised in Guayaramerín, a town about 90 kilometers from Riberalta. He currently lives in Riberalta with his wife Karina.
After living several years outside of Bolivia, he has returned to his homeland, where he enjoys the jungle environment offered by the Bolivian Amazon.
Since 2021 he has been collaborating with Sustainable Bolivia.
Elver Juan Canamari, better known as Don “Choco” and his wife, Artemia Cortés Aguilera, or Doña Arte are the caretakers of Pisatahua, who help maintain and carry out different tasks both during and between retreats.
Born and raised near the Pisatahua property, Choco is a fisherman at heart. When he’s not cracking jokes with Pisatahua guests, you might find him working on a new wood project or out enjoying the jungle. Choco’s favorite part about living at Pisatahua is getting to share experiences with guests who come from all over the world and learning about their culture. In fact, he gives boat rides to our visitors and loves sharing with them his knowledge of local flora and fauna. Choco’s work at Pisatahua focuses on maintenance and projects around the retreat center.
Choco’s wife, Doña Arte has been working with her husband at Pisatahua since its foundation. Also from the neighboring Warnes Community, Doña Arte is the matriarch of her family and a beloved member of her community. Doña Arte is hardworking, patient and kind and she loves to spend time with her children and grandchildren. Arte’s work at Pisatahua is focused on cooking and cleaning for the guests.
Don Choco and Doña Arte have been married for over 25 years. They have six children and five grandchildren. They’re raising their grandchild, Nikoh (5). Additionally, three of their children live and help out around Pisatahua:
Mariana (22), who lives nearby with her partner Rudy and daughter Nicole (3). Mariana is kind and easygoing and a great help to the team during the retreats.
Blanca (19) is fully of laughter and spunk. She spends most of her time with her son, Issan (3) and also likes to be in nature and watch telenovelas. She primarily helps cook and clean during the retreats.
Fosforito (17) is kind, hardworking and always willing to lend a helping hand. He’s a great ‘futbol’ athlete as well as a source of knowledge on the rainforest.