The Ayahuasca Initiation Course

The Ayahuasca Initiation Course

A Traditional Initiation into Curanderismo

The Ayahuasca Curandero Initiation Course is intended for people who want to take their study of the Amazon healing arts more seriously.  Students will spend 40 days straight with the shipibo curandero don Enrique and our team of healers at the Ayahuasca Foundation’s remote Curandero School, drinking ayahuasca in ceremony 18 times or more.  At the root of the course, students follow true plant diets with one or two sacred and powerful plants.  This course is held at our Curandero School, located in a different part of the rainforest, and which requires a bus ride and a 45 minute hike into the jungle.

Students follow an intense but abbreviated version of a traditional, authentic shipibo initiation.  The accommodations at the jungle curandero school have modern amenities like running water, a gas stove, and limited electricity.  There is also limited phone service at the school, but no access to internet.  The food will be prepared by our experienced staff, adhering to the traditional diet food eaten during an authentic initiation.  Students receive initiate’s clothing made by the shipibo, also according to their tradition.  The AF team leads this course with total attention to the students and to the teachings of the science of healing so that everyone sees, hears, experiences, and understands plant spirit healing to the most profound level possible in their six weeks in the Amazon Rainforest.  The six week initiation is held three times each year, according to the course schedule.

It takes years to become a true maestro, but with the proper foundation in the principles of plant medicine, students can find their way much more easily down a path that can often times be confusing.  The courses provide a basic training in these principles: how to prepare the sacred plant medicine ayahuasca, how to lead ceremonies, connect and communicate with spirits, do proper plant dietas, prepare a numerous variety of plant remedies and administer important treatment methods such as plant baths, vapor baths, purgatives, inhalants, massage, and work done with mapachos and agua florida.


Shipibo curanderos with decades of experience teach the courses, assisted by qualified, english speaking student healers, who translate the lectures and workshops led by the maestros, lead their own lectures and workshops, and contribute other complimentary methods, practices, and perspectives to enhance the learning experience.  The opportunity to study in this way is rare but important in an age where the wisdom of these healing traditions is so desperately needed to restore balance to the world.  It will take many more healers on the planet to achieve that balance, and the Ayahuasca Foundation strives to educate and train the future healers of the world.

The Total Cost of the Initiation Course: US$4050

Here is an example of the itinerary for the Initiation Course:

WEEK ONE
SUNDAYArrive and stay in a hotel for one night. Meet the other students and curandero.
MONDAY – Go to curandero school and settle in. Ceremony discussion.  CEREMONY #1
TUESDAY – Take a powerful purgative called Sangre de Grado. Dieta discussion.
WEDNESDAY – Begin the first plant dieta with a two day fast.  CEREMONY #2
THURSDAY – Tobacco and soplaying/Ceremony preparation workshop with mapacho.
FRIDAY – Have hands painted to signify the diet. Vapor baths begin.  CEREMONY #3
SATURDAY – Continue vapor baths. Workshop on healing songs called Icaros.

WEEK TWO
SUNDAY – Continue Vapor baths.  Practice icaros as a group.  CEREMONY #4
MONDAY – Continue Vapor Baths with students administering them to each other.
TUESDAY – First inhalant, preparation and administration.  CEREMONY #5
WEDNESDAY – Cold water baths preparation and administration.  Practice Icaros.
THURSDAY – Plant baths continue. Agua florida workshop.  CEREMONY #6
FRIDAY – Baths continue. Workshop on shipibo language and culture.  Icaros.
SATURDAY – Baths. Workshop on opening/running a ceremony CEREMONY #7

WEEK THREE
SUNDAY – Baths, workshop on ceremony procedure continues.  Practice icaros.
MONDAY – Baths. Ceremonial techniques: soplando and chupando.  CEREMONY #8
TUESDAY – Workshop on cooking ayahuasca.  Students prepare the medicine.
WEDNESDAY – Ayahuasca preparation continues. Practice Icaros.  CEREMONY #9
THURSDAY – Finish ayahuasca preparation. Rest and relax.
FRIDAY – Another workshop on ceremonial techniques.  Icaros.  CEREMONY #10
SATURDAY – Half way point in course.  Review with curandero/assistant healers.

WEEK FOUR
SUNDAY – Begin second diet (optional), starting with a two day fast.  CEREMONY #11
MONDAY – The 2nd half of the course features curandero-guided student-led ceremonies.
TUESDAY – Walk around the camp/jungle learning about plants. CEREMONY #12
WEDNESDAY – Plant remedy workshop.  Learn remedies for a variety of conditions.
THURSDAY – Students prepare inhalant/baths. Practice Icaros. CEREMONY #13
FRIDAY – Another plant walk to learn about plants and their properties and uses.
SATURDAY – Students prepare another bath.  Practice Icaros.  CEREMONY #14

WEEK FIVE
SUNDAY – Another plant remedy workshop.  Plant baths.  Icaros, techniques.
MONDAY – Student led ceremonies continue. Another inhalant.  CEREMONY #15
TUESDAY – Take another powerful purgative and complete the cleansing process.
WEDNESDAY – Workshop for therapeutic massage.  Icaros. CEREMONY #16
THURSDAY – Continue to practice, questions with the curandero & assistant healers.
FRIDAY – Course begins to wind down.  Practice and review. CEREMONY #17
SATURDAY – Final questions about the future as healers in their home countries.

WEEK SIX
SUNDAY – Relax and work on personal areas that need work.  CEREMONY #18
MONDAY – Practice the dieta ending dances and icaros.  Relax.
TUESDAY – Final ceremony led by curandero. Receive Arcanas. CEREMONY #19
WEDNESDAY – Diet ends with a sacred ceremony. Enjoy delicious food and relax.
THURSDAY - Head back to town and spend one night in Iquitos. Internet, laundry, etc.
FRIDAY – Shopping for needed items like palo santo, sangre de grado, or gifts.
SATURDAY – Receive course certificates and DVDs. Say your goodbyes…

Each course is different and the itinerary is subject to change according to the flow of the course.  Daily routines that include meditation, yoga, or other disciplines will most likely be offered.  The plants used in the dietas, baths,  vapor baths, and remedies are all subject to change for each course.   Material may be added or changed, and the order of workshops and discussions may also change for any particular course.  We continue to improve the course each time, so the changes may not yet be reflected on the website.

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