Orillas del Río Uchima, Barrio Sacapo, Parroquia San Pedro de Vilcabamba, Loja, Ecuador
I had the privilege of being in ceremony with Santiago eight times in 2015. Santiago pointed me towards the ground at a time in my life when I was flying towards the sun, and communicated to me what I needed to hear – not what I thought I wanted to hear. That which truly supports me to grow and live in harmony was empowered and encouraged, and that which was out of balance was brought to the surface and challenged. After I left the world of ceremonies to re-enter the ceremony of life, the experiences and lessons I encountered with him echoed as I passed through a challenging period of change, as if the meaning of my time in ceremony was close to me and playing itself out. Still to this day, my experiences with Santiago and this sacred tradition support me and remind me to turn towards myself for guidance, and for that I give thanks over and over again.
Santiago embodies true dedication, humility, perseverance and patience – without lording it over anyone and without taking credit for it. I was deeply moved to be in the presence of somebody with such a gift to share, who as far as I can tell is doing everything he can to honour that gift properly and share it in a way that’s good. We might not all be shamans but we can all take inspiration from that! As well as my own experience, I have witnessed many people bravely stepping forward to heal and grow, and Santiago is there in memory as an essential part of such meaningful experiences, that lead people forward towards a more well-aligned and balanced life. My time with him was inspiring to say the least, and I am continuously grateful and humbled to have had the opportunity to meet him, learn with him and experience his work in the service of life.