Listed in Ayahuasca
- El Triunfo, peru
My name is Percy Garcia Lozano and I am a curandero from Iquitos in Peru. I dedicated my healing center and more than 20 years of my work to people who are seeking healing: be it spiritual, energetic, psychological or physical. My center has a ceremonial maloca and 12 cabins, two of which are designed for families (4 – 5 persons).
This enables me to work with small groups – the number of clients on ceremonies rarely exceed 10 people. Usually, also facilitator and/or one of my students would make sure that participants are safe and looked after during ceremonies. Small number of clients enable me to follow and monitor the entire healing process of each person from the moment they come until the moment they leave.
Besides three ceremonies per week, the healing is supported by dietas with diferent medicine plants (read more about dieta on the dieta page) and/or other healing work the client would need. I’d like to emphasize that my work is based on high ethical standards, including personal integrity on every level. I make special effort to create peaceful and safe environment in which the healing process may be more successful.
Percy Garcia Lozano from the DAS ayhuasca center in Iquitos is a fake shaman. He is talking about the importance of dietas and all that, when he actually eat pork himself and have sex with female participants, I am one of them, so I am talking about my own experience. He can’t even last more than 1 hour during ceremonies, then abandons you in the maloka, dealing with the effects of ayahuasca by yourself. He even falls asleep during ceremonies and always find an escuse of why he cant be there to conduct ceremonies. Before ceremonies started at 8pm and now they start at 5pm and only last for one hour, so like that he can go home as quick as he can. The reality is that he is just thinking about money, and doesnt give a shit about anyone. This is my own experience, so anyone trying to tell me otherwise is just because they are liking his A… That man is truly dangerous, think twice before going to his center, or you might be well disapointed.
I’ve recently returned from a retreat at DAS, where I had a very negative experience. If you’re thinking about doing a retreat here, I strongly urge you to reconsider.
I heard about Percy’s place through a friend of a friend, who reportedly had “an amazing experience”. I was very excited to go there and experience some deep and loving healing. Based on the testimonials on his website, I was expecting to be held in my journey by a master shaman, who would be looking out for me energetically. Unfortunately, this could not have been further from what I experienced.
When I arrived on Monday, Percy came to ask me what I wanted. I explained my intentions for my journey. I also asked if it would be all right if I started with a week, then added another four days depending on how I was feeling. He said he needed to know my intentions so that he could tailor my healing process to the amount of time I would be there. I wanted to have a clear intention going into my retreat, and I had read that I should put trust in my shaman and the medicine, so I agreed to stay for 10 days, and paid for it all up front. I got the impression that he disliked that I did this, and also seemed annoyed when I said I wanted to do the Saturday Amazon trip as advertised on the website.
He told me that for the first ceremony, I wouldn’t drink very much and would probably experience little or nothing at all. In fact, he gave me quite a full cup, and I had a very strong experience. Percy sang about four or five icaros, then his assistant Sara sang beautiful icaros for the rest of the night. I was exhausted from traveling, and really wanted to rest, but felt that the ayahuasca wouldn’t let me. At the end of the night, I got a very strong message that I should pack up and get out of there first thing in the morning. Foolishly, I chalked it up to my ego resisting the medicine and being exhausted. When the ceremony had ended, Percy asked me how my experience was, and I said “strong”. He tried to say something else, but I was having trouble understanding him. He said we would talk on Wednesday.
The next day, I discovered that Percy was not at the center on Tuesdays (or any day that there wasn’t a ceremony for that matter). I was disappointed, as I’d assumed he would be there to help me make sense of my experience. I spent the day sleeping and processing. The center was a truly beautiful and relaxing place to hang out, and the dieta food was fantastic. I talked with the other guests and prepared myself for the next night.
On Wednesday, I was hanging out in the common area, and Percy came by. He asked me if I had any questions. I didn’t really, but I was hoping for him to share some guidance or insight into the process he had planned for me. In the afternoon, we met by the river for the floral bath. Percy seemed bored when he showed up. He didn’t look any of us in the eye or say anything during the bath. He just poured the water on our heads. I looked like his mind was somewhere else. When it was my turn, I got a strong feeling that he didn’t really like me. When the bath was over, he said the ceremony would be in an hour.
We all sat waiting in the Maloka. He showed up and did very little preparation, then started calling people up to drink. The woman next to me was sobbing (with fear?) before he even called her up. I got another strong message from my intuition not to participate, but I felt there was no way for me to back out. Everyone was there to drink, and I had to go through with it.
I watched Percy preparing my cup. After he poured in the ayahuasca, he looked thoughtful for a minute, picked up another bottle, and VERY carefully poured just a couple drops of something into my cup. I thought it was kind of weird, but assumed he was just adding another plant to enhance my experience. When he called me up, I heard an undertone of darkness in his voice. I walked up and drank. This time, there was far less in my cup than the first time.
I went back to my mat, and a fire burning in my gut as my body began to take in whatever I’d just drunk. Within 10 minutes I knew I wasn’t going to trip at all. I was annoyed, and hoped that he would offer another drink later in the ceremony, but gave up on that idea pretty quickly. Once again, he sang four or five icaros, then turned it over to Sara. This time, though, he left the Maloka completely, and didn’t return for two or three hours. I lay there listening to Sara’s icaros and feeling completely sober.
When the ceremony finally ended, I heard Sara waking Percy up – he’d apparently fallen asleep. I felt disappointed that he hadn’t been present for nearly the entire ceremony. There was no guidance or protection during the trip, but I supposed it didn’t matter since I hadn’t had a journey. It was announced that we could go back to our huts.
I walked outside and had a very strong feeling of being unsafe. I felt that there was bad energy out there in the night, and there were very sinister sounds coming from the forest. I rushed back to my hut, shut the door and closed the flimsy aluminum lock.
A few minutes later I began to feel very sick. It felt like I was poisoned. It reminded me of the feeling I once had when I’d accidentally eaten unripe ground cherry tomatoes – a nightshade – in the past. I became convinced that the extra thing in my cup must have been Datura / Brugmansia / Toe. This is a poisonous, potentially lethal plant that some shamans are known to use. In the [Ayahuasca Test Pilot’s Handbook](https://books.google.com/books?id=el6OAwAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PT77#v=onepage&q&f=false), one person who consumed it described his experience as “two days in hell”. Of course, I don’t really know what I drank, but having worked with this plant before as a gardener, and based on what came next, I’m fully convinced that’s what it was.
I lay on my bed, feverish, sweating a sticky sweat, my heart racing and my stomach cramped. I called for help but nobody seemed to hear me. I gagged myself and was able to throw up what was left in my stomach. But by this time it had been in my system for four or five hours, so it was too late to prevent feeling sick.
It suddenly dawned on me what a bad state I was in. I had given Percy almost all of the money I’d brought. I had no cell service, plus my phone was mostly out of batteries and there was no electricity to recharge it anyway. It was a half hour hike through the jungle to get to the road, and it was at least an hour by car to get to Iquitos from there. The only way I knew to get back was to ask Percy to call his taxi driver friend to come and get me. I realized I was reliant on him for everything. But I no longer trusted him. It was the middle of the night, it was dark, cockroaches were crawling all over me and my stuff, and there were very evil sounds coming from the forest. Everyone at the center was probably tripping hard or asleep, except for the night guard, who wasn’t responding to my calls for help.
I decided I had to get out of there at the earliest opportunity, but there was no way I was going out into the dark jungle while I was poisoned. I felt that I needed someone to look after me, so I called out for help again, and louder. I clearly said who I was, which hut I was in, and that I felt really sick and didn’t know what to do. But nobody responded and nobody came.
My experience became very dark. I felt that if I didn’t pray for my life, I would succumb to the poison and die. I lit all the candles I had, turned my head lamp on maximum brightness, burned palo santo and cedar incense, and asked every person I could think of who cared about me to pray for me. Although I’m not a Christian, I prayed extensively to God, Jesus, and Mary to get me through the night. I kept reaffirming my desire to live, and every time I did the animals in the forest seemed to laugh at me menacingly.
I thought that if I could make it until dawn, I would be ok because the sun would come up. I planned to high-tail it out of there. The only catch was that I had no way back to Iquitos. My options were to either ask Percy (who had just poisoned me) to call me a car, or risk hitchhiking. I packed my bag and tried to decide what to do, praying all the while. At some point several hours later, another guest came and did an extraction on me, but by this time I had already gotten through the darkest part of the crisis on my own, and it was little help.
Finally, after about eight hours of this, dawn came. So did a very heavy rain. I went out and asked some of the workers if there was a way to get back to Iquitos. They told me to wait until Percy woke up and he would help me. I didn’t really want to do that, so I put on my pack and hiked out of the jungle in the pouring rain, still praying for my safety.
I put out my thumb. After 15 or 20 minutes, I was picked up by a man in a beat up little Toyota hatchback with a picture of Jesus on the stick shift. He took me to Iquitos, where I checked into a hotel. I spent the next 24 hours laying in bed, heart racing and unable to sleep. At one point I felt that I was under psychic attack, but I think I was actually just experiencing extreme paranoia from the influence of the poison and feeling unsafe.
The next day, Friday, I was able to fly from Iquitos to Lima. It took me another day to get out of Peru, because I kept having problems with changing my flights. When I finally took off to fly back to the U.S., I got really bad diarrhea in the plane.
In the end, my sense of Percy is that he is out to make money, and is more actor than shaman. He painted an image of himself as a caring shaman that would protect his guests and guide them through the healing process. But in fact, he stayed away from the center as much as he could, did the minimum amount of work to keep up the appearance of caring for the guests, and left us alone to fend for ourselves during a very dark ceremony.
He had control of everything: arrival and departure from the center, access to food and water, and which plants we ingested when. I was happy to put myself in his hands and trust him, until I felt that he poisoned me for no other reasons than that he didn’t like me and was tempted to play god because of the power he had.
The center itself was beautiful in the day, but at night I felt and heard very dark energies, and my journeys were very much like walking through hell.
I will never go back to DAS, and I urge you to stay away as well.
I stayed here for a week but paid for longer stay up front.
First thing that worried me when I arrived, was that he asked what my special requirements were as he didn’t understand them. He had said they were no problem before I booked it.
Then on my first ceremony, I had a bad trip. Not blaming him for the bad trip but I called out for help but by that time, Percy had already left the temple. It was left up to the other guests to try and help me. Apparently I tried to climb over a railing which one of the guests had to hold me back. This meant I was ruining the other guests experiences, when I should have been taken care of by the staff.
At 7am the next morning, one of the guests came and got me as I was still in the temple all by myself, still having a bad experience. He had to help me to my room as I was still unable to do anything myself.
After I got some sleep, I was wanting to talk to Percy about what had happened. That’s when I found out that he is only there for the ceremonies on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. That meant I had to wait for almost two days before I could speak to him. Once again it was the other guests that I talked to about it.
I later realised I had left some personal belongings in the temple. When I went back to get them, they were no where to be found. I asked the staff if they had seen them but no one had. This meant someone helped themselves to my belongings while I was not sober enough to look after them. No flashlight and one shirt down now.
Then there is the bathroom, which is a muddy creek that is downstream from another village. This means that you bath in waste / sewage water. Not only that, but this is where they wash the dishes they serve your food on.
Then there is the complete lack of things to do there. Apart from a very small library and going for walks. If it wasn’t for the other guests, I would not have had any help, information or entertainment during my stay.
Finally. When I decided to leave, I asked Percy if I get some money back for my unused portion of my stay. He dodged this question. He didn’t even ask why I wanted to leave early. Shows how much he cares about his guests.
In the end I left without getting anything back.
If you are just looking for a place to serve you ayahuasca and don’t care about hygiene or anything else then this place might be ok.
I am writing this on the morning after my Ayahuasca experience so understand that my views on my experience may change however I will revisit what I have written to update when I have had space to be more reflexive. At the present time I feel an utter sense of doom and disappointment.
My wife and I are spending a year travelling around South America and one of the pivotal points we have been waiting for on our trip is to undertake an Ayahuasca ceremony. This motivation has directed our trip in its route and its motivation. We had originally planned on doing a week long retreat however due to time constraints that were enhanced by the week long journey to Iquitos from Panatoja we decided that we would attend a day ceremony but still catch our transport out of Iquitos a week later so if we wanted to extend our experience we had the option to.
When we arrived at DAS Percy and Joel met us at the gate. They said that our bungalow was being prepared so we could wash in the river and they would come and explain what the process would be once the cottage was ready. Percy came to get us and showed us to the cottage. He showed us the room and asked for cash up front, which we paid. He the left us saying there would be a flower bath at 4pm. We spoke to the other two guests for a while then went over at 4pm for the flower bath. One of the other guests who was about to undertake his third experience at the site said that it would be at this point someone would talk to us and tell us what would be happening, although he gave us an account himself.
The flower bath was a pleasant experience but still there was no explanation or discuss of our motivation for coming, as we were told there would be. We met in the ceremony room at 5pm and Joel said that Percy would enter and call us up for the drink, once we had drank the drink we should not talk, only meditate. He also explained things such as where the toilets were and how we should use the flash lights etc.
We all drank our first drink and as I was coconscious of needing the toilet, thought I would go one last time. Upon returning to my mat I felt extremely sick and vomited probably only 15 minutes after drinking. I lay for a while and listened to the process taking effect on the others in the room, including my wife. One of the participants was extremely sick and required help from Joel to go to the toilet as she was extremely unwell. As her sickness died down she was laughing and appeared to be having a good experience. My wife was sick very late on. After she was sick I remember her saying ?I don?t understand what is going on? repeatedly over and over again. Her body in strange positions similar to positions she uses in yoga.
I had felt a low level sensation after the being sick however this had passed and I was now just sat listening to the experiences of others and the chanting of Percy. Joel came and asked me if I thought I needed a bit more. I replied that yes I thought so as it wasn?t really having any affect. Another drink was prepared for me and the other male participant. My wife and the second female had said that they did not require a second cup. I drank the second cup and waited. Because I had been sick so quickly the first time I had expected it to come on reasonably fast but this time it didn?t. I waited and waited and begun to think that maybe it just wasn?t going to work for me. As I sat up almost giving up I felt extremely sick, extremely quickly and vomited. This was probably just over 30 minutes after I had taken the second cup. Now I knew this was going to take affect so laid back waiting for what was about to come. At this point Percy was playing some chimes/bells and was walking around the room stopping behind each of us. I began to feel the effects coming on. Percy stopped playing the bells and Joel announced the Percy had said that the ceremony was now over we could remain in our positions or return to our room. I could not believe it! It was as if they had led me to a very intense experience and left me to deal with it by myself. My trip became increasingly strong and increasingly dark.
I have had multiple experiences using DMT in the past. The early stages of these experiences had been overwhelming positive and I had learnt a lot however the latter had taken me to an extremely dark place that I was very afraid to go back to. I had hoped that through the guidance of a shaman I would understand these experiences and value the negative as well as the positive. Since being in Peru my wife and I also visited another Shaman and drank San Pedro. This was an incredible Shaman that we were set up with through The Shaman Shop in Cuzco. Our San Pedro experience was extraordinary and the guidance of our shaman showed us what an extremely wise and gifted individual he was, a true spiritual leader however at the same time setting himself out as an equal to us as opposed to someone who should be worshiped. So we arrived as DAS with high expectations of an equally good spiritual leader however I was left feeling quite the opposite.
My trip after the second cup returned me to the place of my bad experiences using DMT. It is a sense of nothingness, that the world does not exist, nor do my loved one, nor do I. I am just a looping thought process that is left for infinity with no vessel or way of ending it. I called out for my wife but felt that this was arbitrary as my wife did not exist and nor did I so the comfort of her arms was not possible. At this point I lost complete control of all my bodily functions. I felt myself having extreme diarrhoea but this was just a feeling of the brain and not possible in reality as I did not have a body to perform this function. I continued to call out that I loved my wife however as the words came out of my mouth each time it was as if they were meaningless as my wife did not exist all that did was the feeling of love that she represented.
Soon the spinning repetition that was going on started to include a vision of my wife being brought to me by Joel. She was clearly still under the influence herself but was voicing that she would comfort me but there was an extremely bad smell that I needed to wash off. Her saying this began to plant me back in to reality as I realised that I had messed myself and she was real. We walked together directed by Joel to the river where we washed. At this point I was now experiencing reality again. Once washed we headed back to our cabin. Joel and Percy were stood in our path and we talked to them as we passed.
In the morning I have woken feeling utterly let down. I feel that when my experience was at its most intense and I was at my most vulnerable Percy ended the ceremony. To me his involvement had been valueless. He had chanted and played instruments while I was sober and once under the influence left me. During our last shaman experience we discussed/explored the concept of a ?C.D Shaman?, the concept of playing chanting on a c.d while under the influence of these kind of plants and how this could not compare to the guidance of a real Shaman. Although Shaman Percy did not play a c.d, he did not consider the stage of those in the room or anything about their experience. He was more concerned with his own experience. He did his time of playing instruments and chanting then ended suddenly to spend the rest of the evening being sick himself. The other participant who was on his third experience at the centre stated that on his second ceremony of Ayahuasca he took it alone. Shaman Percy felt that he was ready to be given the drink while he was alone in his bedroom so was given the drink then left alone without the guidance of any Shaman. From my understanding of the role of the Shaman this seems utterly neglectful. This was a young, vulnerable guy being left to deal with a very powerful substance without any guidance.
In the morning we walked back to the river to wash my clothes and hopefully speak to Percy/Joel. Percy approached us and asked how was the experience I said that it had been not so good but was aware of the language barrier between us so went no further. Joel then came to speak to me about my experience. He repeatedly said that to have a valued experience you need to have undertaken the diet and not just be coming to the experience for the ride. After him repeatedly telling me that it was my bad experience was my issue because of various reasons I explained that we had been following the diet. He then put it down to us coming for a one night experience and not being truly in need, giving an example of one of the other participants who had had a positive experience. I did not feel the need to explain that we had the option of staying for the three ceremonies nor my motivations for coming or what I had hoped to get out of it, primarily because he was not interested. Joel?s role was supposed to be acting as a translator and care taker however he was now giving justifications for Shaman Percy. We did not have one conversation with Shaman Percy during our whole stay.
Upon returning to our cabin one of the other participants showed me the comments book that previous guests had been asked to complete. The book was clearly held together with Seloptape, being a mish mash of one than one book. All accounts were overwhelmingly positive about DAS and about Percy. It seemed strange that no one had anything negative to say about the place.
I have reread this account a few days after my experience and although have edited and added slightly feel that it is a true representation of what happened to us. Ultimately Ayahuasca does what Ayahuasca does, I am not questioning the power or effects of the substance itself however I feel that I wanted to have the guidance of a Shaman for my experience and Shaman Percy did not perform this function. He acts and performs the ceremony as if he is some kind of guru, this is not how a shaman should be. A shaman should be as an equal but understand your needs and wants and guide you through the process. From what we saw Shaman Percy is not capable of this.