- Iquitos, Peru
Aya Madre is a shamanic healing center outside of Iquitos, Peru. It is owned and operated by master Shipibo shaman Estela Pangoza and her family. Maestra Estela is a renowned healer who works with the power of ayahuasca and mother nature as part of an ancient system of holistic treatment. Come heal your physical, emotional and/or spiritual illnesses, and connect more deeply to nature, yourself and higher states of well-being.
Maestra Estela has owned this property and been hosting a wide range of guests, clients and patients for over 5 years. In 2018 the center was officially founded as “Aya Madre.” Maestra Estela’s vision is to open a space deep in the heart of the jungle for people from the around the world to experience the deep and profound healing of mother nature.
While “ayahuasca tourism” has boomed in the Amazon jungle, with tourists seeking the sometimes thrilling visions ayahuasca can offer, Maestra Estela practices a traditional form of Shipibo plant medicine. This tradition sees ayahuasca as one of many master plants which along with a range of other plant treatments, can act as a powerful diagnostic tool, purgative, and ultimately, help us connect more deeply with the healing power within ourselves and all around us. This form of Shipibo plant medicine has been practiced for thousands of years, and at Aya Madre guests will be immersed in the full system of healing under Maestra Estela’s care and guidance.
As far as we know, this center is unique in being 100% owned and operated by a female, indigenous shaman. This is no small task in a world of shamanism dominated by men. Maestra Estela provides a safe, nurturing, empowering environment where you can experience the deep healing of the jungle, Ayahuasca, and the Shipibo plant tradition.
Aya Madre was perfect me. It is a true healing center. It is not just an Ayahuasca retreat. I found warm welcoming energy and peace. The retreat is very well designed and the whole concept is well thought of. It is a place, where different medicinal plants are used and combined with different healing practices. This is very important if you are familiar with the medicine or if you have already been to the Peruvian jungle.
The retreat is absolutely authentic. I noticed very little “gringo” conveniences added. The tambos are set well apart from each other and without electricity. You have the opportunity to completely detach from civilization and focus on yourself and pray or meditate. There are very little distractions, which I found very useful for the healing process.
Apart from the ceremonies, the maestra is prescribing various medicinal plants, which are ingested multiple times a day and help cleanse, heal, invigorate and restore the body and mind.
The food is way more diverse than in other retreats I have been to. There are fruits and cooked meals all in accordance with the strict Ayahuasca diet.
The place is very clean and beautiful. There is a clean river just outside if it, which we loved after our daily steam baths.
Aya Madre is smaller than other retreats. In our last ceremony we were only 9 people. This helps the shaman focus individually on each participant, something that I did not experience elsewhere. The daily price includes everything. Mapachos and Aqua Di Florida are included as well. Included is a daily massage and a Shipibo steam bath (something I loved). Everyone in the center is approachable and ready to talk and listen. Maestro Guillermo was helping the maestra during my stay. He is down to earth and very easy going. One evening he came to the maloca, sat down with us and told us amazing stories about the plants and the tradition.
One of the things that I noticed during my stay was that I didn’t count down the days and didn’t feel any pressure before ceremonies. The flow of energy is amazing and I will return for another week or too.
Amazing and totally unique experience. Deeply healing.
I spent a month working with Estela, and now I am actually helping her with her website and intake process. She is a true curandera in the old-fashioned sense. I stayed with her and her family for a month in her amazing and beautiful center. It is rustic and simple and certainly not a luxury center. What I loved about working with Estela as my shaman is that she didn’t just have me take Ayahuasca over and over again. After a few ceremonies, we both realized it wasn’t healing me, and she laid out a treatment plan for the next month. This included a whole host of plant remedies, massages, steam baths, etc. She sat with me time and time again to explain what she saw in my body, what she thinks I need, how the healing works, etc. I felt so loved and cared for, and the plants have really helped me work through some much-needed psychological problems. Estela seems to understand the issues us “Northerners” have, which are both mental, energetic and physical all at the same time. What a powerful, loving and healing soul. I can’t recommend enough working with Estela. Go to Aya Madre!!