Carr. Iquitos-Nauta, Iquitos, Peru
We are sorry to hear that your experience at our center was so poor. There are some things we would like to clarify in response to everyone reading. First, however, we feel it is important to note that on the same day you posted 3 very negative reviews of 3 reputable Shipibo healing centers including Nihue Rao (although we see that this one may have been taken down), Santuario Healing and ourselves, Caya Shobo (https://ayaadvisors.org/dashboard/reviews/croissant/). We also note that you have not posted any positive reviews of any Amazonian healing centers. Certainly the Shipibo and Amazonian vegetalista healing traditions are not suited to all western perspectives or needs. In addition, you referenced hearing ‘swine screaming all day long’. There haven’t been pigs at a neighboring property to ours for over 18 months, so we are curious as to when it was that you visited Caya Shobo.
With regards to the psychological training of our facilitators many of our facilitators have some form of psychological training. On our lead facilitation team we have both a licensed psychotherapist and social worker. At least one of these (both highly trained and highly experienced therapists) was on-site attending to Caya Shobo guests for the past 9 months before COVID-19 resulted in the center being temporarily closed. Further, our facilitators are carefully selected based on their demonstrated capacity to care appropriately for vulnerable guests who are engaged in deep, healing processes with traditional Shipibo plant medicine therapies.
We are disheartened to hear that you felt ridiculed, as we certainly don’t tolerate ridicule, bullying, or shaming. We are keenly aware that people are in vulnerable states of enhanced sensitivity throughout their process of working with plant dietas and Ayahuasca. In fact, our highest priority is to deliver a truly transformative healing service to our guests and to create a supportive environment for that healing to take place.
The native Shipibo maestros and maestras do sometimes share stories from their culture with visitors who are interested in the roots of Shipibo cosmovision. We appreciate that most of these stories of mythology and legend are fantastical, not fact. These stories are offered in a spirit of generosity, allowing foreigners to learn a little about the history of the ancient, Shipibo culture and cosmovision, as passed down over generations.
In closing, again we are truly sorry to hear that you felt there was disrespect towards, and unpreparedness for, guests’ emotional needs. We understand that the Shipibo approach to core healing is not an easy path to walk. It is a long, slow process in which we come into contact with many of our own difficult emotions, beliefs, behaviors, memories, experiences, traumas, relationships, and ways of being. For this, we are aware of and work diligently to provide a high degree of care and skill that is required to support our guests in deep, genuine, healing work. In closing, to reiterate, it is our highest priority to deliver a truly transformative healing service to our guests and to create a supportive environment for that healing to take place.
Carr. Iquitos-Nauta, Iquitos, Peru
We are sorry to hear of your disappointing first visit to the Amazon. While we are obviously unable to control the heat and physical discomfort of the jungle, we do extend our apologies for being late to collect you from the airport – this was an administrative oversight and we regret the stress it caused you. We were happy to have been able to pick you up without too much delay.
In response to your comments about difficulties obtaining a SIM card, it is clear that there was some misunderstanding about your required documents for this. And certainly it is not our intention to make light of your stress in the situation. We did explain to you that we have standard Wi-fi available at Caya Shobo with which you can connect with loved ones, and while we were happy to help facilitate your choice to immediately go to town and purchase your own high velocity card (by finding you an independent driver), we also are not able to control all aspects of our guests’ personal excursions outside the centre. We are better able to help when guests are willing to wait to visit town when our own driver and support staff are available to go with them and help with translation and local knowledge, as we understand that travelling in an unfamiliar country is often stressful and challenging.
Finally, regarding our fee for your short stay at the centre, we are frankly surprised and saddened to hear your comments and we respectfully disagree with your assessment of the final outcome. In our final conversation before you left Caya Shobo, you expressed calmly and clearly that you felt we had reached a fair outcome, which we also believe to be true.
Yes we are a healing centre, and unlike profit-motivated facilities, we apply significant energy and effort to help our guests achieve genuine transformative healing and spiritual learning during their stay. For that we are very serious in the discipline we apply to following the Shipibo medicine healing tradition, and in the level of care and attention we provide to our guests who come to receive healing. We also encourage guests to stay in the quiet environment of the centre, away from the stimulation and stress of the city, which can be disruptive to the healing process, especially required for more serious or long-standing conditions such as ADHD.
As well as being a healing centre, we are also a non-profit accommodations facility. As such we must plan in advance resources such as food, materials and staffing to support our guests’ stays. Also when a spot is reserved for one guest this often means others are turned away due to lack of availability.
For these reasons, as was detailed in your registration email, full payment for your entire reserved stay is due and payable 1 month before your arrival. In some cases we offer a partial refund if cancellation is made with at least 2 weeks advance notice, or in extenuating circumstances, or when we feel that Caya Shobo is not a good fit for the expectations and intentions of a guest.
In your case you booked your stay with a 50% deposit less than 2 weeks before your arrival, and upon your arrival you refused to settle your account due to your physical discomfort in the jungle and your desire for high speed wi-fi in town, and you expressed your preference to come to Caya Shobo only for ceremony “visits” while you stayed in an air-conditioned hotel in town. You also wanted to find speakers to play your music, which we explained was not appropriate for the quiet healing environment we intentionally create at the centre. At this point, we felt clear that this was not a good fit – your wishes for stimulation and a healing process without discomfort, were clearly at odds with the deeply immersive medicine treatment that we specialize in providing.
We therefore proposed that we refund your entire 5 day reserved stay and help you find a hotel where you could explore other options for your time in Peru. You declined, instead asking us to hold your spot, which we did for 3 days, with the clear understanding that this would be in agreement with our terms of reservation – i.e. that no discount or refund for held nights would be given even if you chose to stay in town, or later chose to cancel the rest of your stay. When you returned on the 4th day we again asked you to settle the remainder of your account for the extra 2 nights of your stay. Again you refused, and insisted that you wanted to stay in ceremony but not pay our price, even though we had patiently and clearly explained that these were not our terms of reservation and not consistent with our offering.
Therefore, we felt no choice but to cancel the rest of your stay and write off the remainder of your account, and we went even further – in compassionate consideration of how challenging your first experience of the jungle was for you, we actually gave you $100 cash in hand, effectively refunding 39% of the fee for your first 3 nights and forgiving in total 66% of your original commitment. Further, we kindly gave you some recommendations of other centres we thought might be more suited to the sort of drop-in experience you were seeking. You expressed peaceful agreement with this decision as being fair and reasonable.
Regarding your ‘out of pocket’ travel expenses, we are not able to assume responsibility for losses that could have been avoided or mitigated with more extensive research and planning before booking your travel – to better appreciate the intensive nature of a jungle healing experience, and the longer-term, slower-paced nature of plant medicine healing as is provided at Caya Shobo Healing Centre. It is generally known that the process of healing with Ayahuasca and especially the Shipibo medicine tradition can be uncomfortable, and requires much commitment and patience.
We are genuinely sorry that it was such a challenging experience for you coming to the jungle, and we wish you the best in your search for suitable help for your condition. We are sorry that we were not able to provide that to you at this time.