I was interested in doing a yagé retreat and found Eagle Condor’s website online. I read great reviews of their 10-day retreats online and was drawn to the idea of combining Amazonian traditions with those of the North. And I wasn’t disappointed. The retreat center is a beautiful wonderland up in Santa Elena overlooking the city of Medellín, everything was well coordinated and very comfortable. The lodging and food and logistics were all taken care of and top notch. The three organizers — Jesse, Hans and Bobby — are all great guys, and a lot of fun, but moreover, they’re very committed to these traditions and provide a helpful link (not just as interpreters) to understanding the traditions. I was also impressed by their willingness to speak openly about their own journeys and challenges — you really are made to feel that you are their peers in this journey, there’s no hierarchy here. The two shamans — Greison and Gonzalo — are equally approachable and caring, and clearly committed to these traditions. I found Greison in particular to be a powerful and loving presence, and I very much look forward to sharing in a ceremony with him again. On top of all this, I would add that the environment felt very safe. The organizers were attentive and skilled at dealing with emotional and physical issues, and for first timers, it’s nice to know that you are close to medical facilities — though of course, nothing of the sort ever seemed necessary during the retreat. Lastly, as someone who’s dabbled in different spiritual traditions and retreats, I very much appreciated and was humbled by the Eagle Condor Alliance’s commitment to preservation and their use of a portion of the funds to protect swaths of the Amazon where the yagé culture and traditions are in danger.