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:

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 to clean out the stomach.
WEDNESDAY – Begin the first plant diet with a two day fast.  CEREMONY #2
THURSDAY – Tobacco and soplaying/Ceremony preparation workshop with mapacho.
FRIDAY – Have hands painted to signify the diet.  Plant baths begin.  CEREMONY #3
SATURDAY – Continue plant baths with students administering them to each other.

SUNDAY – Begin Vapor baths.  Workshop on the healing songs.  CEREMONY #4
MONDAY – Continue Vapor Baths with students administering them to each other.
TUESDAY – Icaros workshop focusing on first icaro of the course.  CEREMONY #5
WEDNESDAY – Learn second icaro. Opening the ceremony and connecting.
THURSDAY – Agua florida workshop. Learn the ‘chupe’ technique.  CEREMONY #6
FRIDAY – Vision discussions. Meditations continue. Practice the icaros with the chacapa.
SATURDAY – Medicinal plant remedy preparation and administration.  CEREMONY #7

SUNDAY – Jungle walk to learn about plant identification and medicinal properties.
MONDAY – Another medicinal plant preparation workshop.  CEREMONY #8
TUESDAY – Rest and relax for a day. Practice soplaying and singing the icaros.
WEDNESDAY – Medicinal plant discussion, connecting with the spirits.  CEREMONY #9
THURSDAY – The Ayahuma diet ends. For two days we eat food with a little salt and oil.
FRIDAY – First half of the course review with the curandero.  Relax.
SATURDAY – Take part in the preparation of the sacred brew ayahuasca.

SUNDAY – Begin second diet (optional), starting with a two day fast.  CEREMONY #10
MONDAY – The 2nd half of the course features curandero-guided student-led ceremonies.
TUESDAY – Fast ends. Learn third icaro. Vapor baths with eucalyptus. CEREMONY #11
WEDNESDAY – Prayers to open and close the ceremonies. Science of healing discussion.
THURSDAY – Prepare ayahuasca. Receive ayahuasca vapor baths. CEREMONY #12
FRIDAY – Practice the icaros. Continue meditations. The student led ceremonies continue…
SATURDAY – Medicinal plant remedy preparation and administration.  CEREMONY #13

SUNDAY – Bone and joint alignment and therapeutic massage workshop. Learn fourth icaro.
MONDAY – Student led ceremonies continue. Vision discussion.  CEREMONY #14
TUESDAY – Walk in the jungle to learn more about the plants and the medicinal properties.
WEDNESDAY – Practice the icaros and the dances for the end of the diet. CEREMONY #15
THURSDAY – Continue to practice, going over any questions with the curandero & guides.
FRIDAY – Study the icaros and practice the dance as a group. CEREMONY #16
SATURDAY – Final questions about the students future as healers in their home countries.

SUNDAY – The final student led ceremony. Continue to practice.  CEREMONY #17
MONDAY – Final discussion about healing. Questions and answers. Dress rehearsal.
TUESDAY – Final ceremony led by curandero. Receive Arcanas. CEREMONY #18
WEDNESDAY – Diet ends with a sacred ceremony. Enjoy delicious food and relax.
THURSDAY – Final day in the jungle. Celebrate with the jungle community nearby.
FRIDAY – Head back to town and spend one night in Iquitos. Internet, laundry, etc.
SATURDAY – Receive course certificates and get gifts or medicines. Say your goodbyes…

Each course is different and the itinerary is subject to change according to the flow of the course.  The plants used in the diets, baths, and vapor baths 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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