Listed in Ayahuasca
- Manacamiri, Iquitos Peru
The Kapitari Center was founded in 1980, by the shaman Luis Culquiton, widely known as Don Lucho.
Don Lucho comes from a long line of natural healers, but he discovered the healing qualities of plants himself, at a very early age; he drank ayahuasca for the first time at age 16. He soon discovered the power of the plants and felt a calling, which he describes as “the legacy of my ancestors.”
In 1980, at age 30, Don Lucho was an established, self-educated shaman. This is when the spirit of ayahuasca called on him to work with the plants, to help protect the incredible biodiversity of the Peruvian Amazon and indeed to save the world; “Up until that moment, I had not been very concerned about the forest. Then I said; ‘How can I save the world? I have no education, I don’t know anything.’ But I started to learn from the plants. I was told by the plant spirits what their qualities were, whether it was for food, as medicine, or even as fertilizer to add nutrients to the soil.”
Don Lucho developed a new way of agriculture, which is very similar to what has become known as ‘permaculture’ in the West. Traditionally, Amazon farmers would burn down a part of the forest and plant only one or two crops on their fields. But the soil quality is poor in the Amazon and they would soon have to abandon their fields, repeating the process of ‘slash and burn’, slowly destroying the rainforest.
By planting up to a hundred different plant species on the land, Don Lucho recreates the balance of the rainforest, which sustains its own existence. This way, the farmers’ fields remain fertile indefinitely, removing the need to ‘slash and burn’ and even returning wasteland to the rainforest, where it can be reintegrated.
One of the main sources of funding for the Kapitari projects is through our Ayahuasca retreats. Unlike many of the Ayahuasca retreat centers in Peru, Kapitari is not owned or controlled by westerners, but by Peruvians for the benefit of Peruvians.
Don Lucho’s main objective is to share his knowledge, expertise and experience with whomever can benefit from it. He promotes the exchange of seeds and saplings, which he grows at Kapitari and invites people from throughout the Amazon and the world to come learn and share through his ‘Field School’.
Underwhelming! the website promised a lot but very little of the $ you spend are invested into making your experience comfortable (I have never seen such a thin mattresses as the ones in the malocka) Also didn’t learn much about how money is invested in local community – the sustainable agriculture tour was about 2 sentences long. Many people on the retreat felt incredibly underfed and weak as a result. Understand dieta restrictions but the quantity of available food was ridiculous (considering you are very weakened by vomiting etc). If you needed a second helping you got scowled at. There wasn’t a strong ethic about conservation – a beautiful non poisonous snake was trapped, badly handled & bleeding and taken to a ‘farm’- we couldn’t work out why it couldn’t just stay in the forest. We were told the medicine was more of a body healing medicine than a visionary one – certainly we have had much strong medicine back at home and had very few insights on the retreat. one night the brew was so toxic and heavy that many people couldn’t move and everyone was incredibly sick- never had weird medicine like that before! Finally i think the thing that was most disappointing was there was absolutely no invitation for feedback at all- no questionnaire no follow up etc. This place seems like a cash cow for someone and really needs a spruce up.