Listed in Ayahuasca
- Manu Biosphere Reserve
While living in the Southeastern Peruvian Andes and Amazon for 22 years, the co-founder leading practitioner Jessica has been trained and is working with Ayahuasca in the Shipibo tradition. She is certified as an “Onanya” (Ayahuasca master) by the School for Traditional Shipibo Medicine in Pucallpa and member of its advisory board.
A former Manu National Park rainforest guide, she does ongoing healing work requested by the indigenous people of the region. As a traditional practitioner she regularly participates in international conferences.
As a woman and mother, she is highly experienced in assisting people in bringing about positive life change by very practical and down-to-Earth means. She organizes and takes small groups of Westerners (2 to 5 persons) on 7-day-long retreats to “Parign Hak” (Grandma´s Home), a unique initiative of Manu´s indigenous Harakbut people to host her retreats, located in the mountain rainforest adjacent to Manu National Park, where she provides a culturally adapted healing and cleansing process that consists of traditional plant baths and three ceremonies in Ayahuasca´s natural home, combined with an intimate immersion into Harakbut culture.
Other local healer are usually on site and participants may be brought together in ceremony with Harakbut community people in an attempt to not only facilitate integral healing for all ceremony participants, but also to foster mutual cultural understanding.
As recommended by the International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research & Service (ICEERS), all participants go through an integral process of selection, preparation, ceremonies and integration. This process includes a pre-ceremonial information package, a previous personal interview, traditional dietary restrictions, integration circles, further one-to-one integration interviews in between ceremonies and availability for further consultations for as long as necessary after the third ceremony.
I and three friends spent 11 days with Jessica in the Amazon rain forest along the Madre de Dios River. Seven of these days were at Parign Hak retreat.
I had been to Peru two years prior, mostly visiting the Sacred Valley. On that trip I had also done ayahuasca ceremonies. In comparison, the trip and my experiences with Jessica were on a whole other level. She emphasizes that the experience is meant to be transformative: that it is work requiring serious preparation before arriving, commitment and integration while there, and ongoing homework afterwards. And she is very available to help in the whole process.
During the ceremonies Jessica herself works very hard with the group and personally with each individual. Her icaros were, in my experience, a key to the experience: healing, guiding, transforming.
The family and friends that own and run Parign Hak were very present, caring, attentive. They themselves have experienced Jessica’s healing work and are enthused to share it with others.
We also spent a number of days at the Wachiperi Queros Village. Thank you to the people there who shared their stories, food, crafts, knowledge of the jungle, and seri!
I appreciated that Jessica was like myself a westerner, yet fully and authentically, as far as I could tell, capable and knowledgeable in the indigenous plant healing tradition. She was able to view things and discuss from multiple lenses: indigenous, anthropological, psychological. This helped very much in communication and integration. Jessica also helped me with experiences from my prior time in Peru which still had not been integrated.
I am very grateful for my Parign Hak retreat, for all who helped make it possible!
Parign Hak was a transformational experience and I consider it one of the best decisions I have made as an adult.
A bit of info about myself coming into this ayahuasca world. I work as a software engineer and definitely am more logic-based. I would not describe myself as spiritual or the “hippie-dippie” type but I am extremely curious. I had deep-seated problems with existential dread concerning death and a number of traumas from my childhood that have grown into insecurities that plagued my thoughts. I wanted to give ayahuasca a shot and I was very curious about what the experience could be. If nothing else it would be an interesting time.
I found this retreat with extensive online research. I found many other retreat centers that looked amazing but had weird things that popped up in my research that made me wary.
Plus the name “Parign Hak- Grandmother Home” resounded with me deeply as a down to earth serious retreat that was not about being super “Ultra Spiritual”.
Once I reached out to Parign Hak about my interest in attending one of the retreats, they were very prompt in contacting me and kept up clear and consistent communication. I was given plenty of material to prepare myself and when I ask for supplemental resources they had even more than I had time to get into! Kat was my main contact in the weeks leading up to the retreat and she was incredibly helpful.
The retreat itself was much more integrated into the local culture and environment then I realized. Parign Hak took special care in making sure that we had time to learn about the surrounding rain forest and the local Harakbut people who were hosting us. It was a very holistic experience beyond just taking ayahuasca.
The retreat was very small and intimate. It truly felt like I became part of a family. Everyone had plenty of time to have a one-on-one with our ayahuascera, Jessica, to help work through whatever the previous ceremony brought to our attention. Jessica is incredibly open and was hard-working during the whole experience. She presents herself as a normal human being and not some special more “enlighted” shaman being. I am truly impressed with the years and passion she has dedicated to ayahuasca, the Manu rainforest, and the local Harakbut people. She’s been doing this almost longer than I have been alive and it shows in the quality of her work as a shaman.
The rest of the team on site are Harakbut people who are very friendly and open. They shared their stories which gave incredible perspective about how ayahuasca has helped them in their journeys. I regret not knowing more Spanish to be able to better communicate but Jessica was always around to help translate.
The facilities are very basic with no running water or electricity but are well kept. I personally really enjoyed this opportunity to have so little separating me from the surrounding nature and not having any distractions like my phone. Plus I got to really learn that I don’t need ANYTHING in order to be so happy and fulfilled. The most important things in life are the relationships you have with others and not material things. I’ve always “known” this but actually living it is what made me realize this life lesson in a deep way.
The food was always fresh and amazing. Lots of fruits and veggies with freshly caught fish from the river. The whole team eats together family-style.
The actual ayahuasca ceremonies are well-conducted and I always felt completely safe. My three ceremonies were incredible, healing, and I learned concrete things that will help me in my day to day life.
The integration process starts the next morning when we share what we are comfortable with sharing and continues to long after the retreat is completed. The support I continue to receive has been wonderful for me to really get the most out of my ayahuasca experience.
Overall I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend Parign Hak. I came to Parign Hak as an open-minded skeptic and left incredibly thankful for the hard work that I have done with the team. I will definitely return and I am excited to see my Parign Hak family again.
My week at Parign Hak is one of the most significant of my entire life. The amount of healing and transformation that occurred goes unparalleled to anything thus far for me. I felt like I was in a mini hospital with the highest qualified caretakers right at my side. Jessica respects this plant, the history of it, the Harakbut people and preserving their culture in a way that makes the whole experience feel fully legitimate. Parign Hak is as much about the local community as it is the guests. I felt I was somehow contributing to something bigger than myself. I can’t say enough about how powerful this little spot in the amazon is. The 3 meals per day were fantastic and my body had never functioned better. There is also quite a bit of free time to write, explore do whatever. I felt such a creative surge while I was there and actually got quite a bit of writing done. The only thing I could ask for is more time. I will definitely be back and bringing more people. I want people to experience the pure magic that is Parign Hak, Jessica Bertram and the team.
Highlights for me:
*Food is amazing and PURE
*During the ceremonies Jessica is 100% there for YOU and ready to assist you through ANYTHING. She is incredibly skilled and qualified in a way that not only releases patterns no longer serving but replaces them with power and love
*Vicki and her family see each of the guests as new family members and want to get to know you and your story so they can share theirs. It’s a loving and natural exchange that made me feel COMPLETELY at home
*During the week we saw 5 SPECIES of monkey
*Jessica has a personal relationship with the plants that exists in the amazon. This being said- she knows all the medicinal purposes and beyond which is fascinating. She’s very gracious with her extensive knowledge on all things amazon
*The little houses you stay in are quite comfortable and I have never slept so consistently well in my life
Just go and experience for yourself and be changed for the better.
Terence McKenna’s brother Dr. Dennis McKenna, referred me to Jessica and to Parign Hak. I just returned from a retreat there last month, and I could not recommend it more highly. Parign Hak is the small family home of indigenous den-mother, and retreat owner Vicky and her family. It’s an intimate setting, and me and the 4 other participants were immediately welcomed in as part of that family. The retreats max out at 5 people, which was something that really appealed to me, and was one of the reasons I chose Parign Hak. Many of these centers I found, seem to have 20-30+ people at any given retreat. The small group size gave us all plenty of time to bond with the host family, Jessica and with each other. Jessica the Ayahuasquera, while incredibly qualified, is a western woman and not the stereotypical shaman. She’s very grounded, down-to-earth, and practical in her approach to Ayahuasca, which she views as a traditional medicinal practice. She’s not a “new-age” ultra-spiritual hippy at all, so don’t expect her to sugar coat anything during the Ayahuasca integration process. She knows exactly what to say to help people figure out how to get the most out of their Ayahuasca experiences, and truly transform their lives. As a single female myself, I was looking for an authentic experience, but I was also apprehensive about traveling into the Amazon alone to drink Ayahuasca. The staff at Parign Hak helped me every step of the way, and I felt completely safe and looked after the entire week. 5 stars!
I recently returned from Jessica’s Parign Hak retreat in May 2019. I would recommend this retreat to anyone looking for an authentic and non-commercial experience with traditional medicine. Jessica has a unique way of combining culture, history, nature, community and healing into an eight-day experience. I liked the small group size (5) and getting to integrate with the local people. Ceremonies were profound sacred. I enjoyed the hot spring, jungle tour, seeing jaguar and tapir prints, eating local food, learning about traditional culture of the area, getting “tattooed” with plant tints and seeing traditional cooking methods. The community she is connected with is so friendly and I now consider them all as friends. I intend to return when I can.
I was looking for an Ayahuasca retreat near Cuzco.
When I came across Parign Hak on the internet, I immediately felt that Parign Hak was the place for me..
And I was right.
The experience was deep …very deep.
It touched my soul and changed my life.
The great organization of jessica bertram.
The professional ceremonies.
The powerful Ayahuasca.
The beautiful location, with his authentic vibration.
The pure delicious food.
The intimate immersion in the harakbut culture is beyond everything that I could have expected.
Deeply Touched by the intense friendliness and beauty of these people.
A week in their presence was a wonderful and hugely educational experience.
There was a strong connection from day 1, and it only grew during the week.
I felt so welcome….so Welcome..
I became family And that’s how it felt. Familia! in my heart!
it has bin said, I say it again: not just an Ayahuasca retreat.
So much more…
Go(D) and find out!
By the end of the week at Parign Hak it felt like I had a second home in the Amazon. The way of living here is so wholesome and feels so natural; eating whatever you pick or catch from the river, spending time together, learning about the local flora, fauna and cultural traditions. Not to mention all of this takes place in the most beautiful setting.
These experiences coupled with the ceremonies helped me heal from past trauma and give me a new outlook on everyday life along with steps on how to apply what I had learned to my every day life.
My experience here is something that I’ll never forget thanks to the knowledge and guidance of the Harakbut people, Jessica, Viki, Alberto, Steve and our nature guide Alexis. I couldn’t recommend Parign Hak highly enough for anyone looking to experience ayahuasca in a safe and welcoming environment.
Words don’t really serve well to say how much the week I spent at Parign Hak has meant to me. I felt myself reawaken. Jessica has committed her life to this medicine, to the healing it offers and to the people who form her team and her family there. Every single person and every single plant at Parign Hak serves a purpose and supports and works in honour of healing. The experience I had and the things I learned and realized have a value that is impossible to attach a price tag to. I will forever be grateful to Jessica, Vicky, Alberto, Steve, Herman, Gladys, and the whole Parign Hak family. I would recommend this centre to anyone who is serious about transforming their lives, about diving deep and making a commitment to their healing and to their personal growth. The way Jessica has combined cultural exchange that is enriching and heart opening for all involved with the incredible healing potential of ayahuasca is truly inspiring. Thank you Parign Hak for all the incredible gifts, dakishi. I know I will be back.
Parign Hak is pretty special. The new Ceremony space (grandma’s house) is a loving little, round building filled with transformative nights.
Jessica is a powerful Onanya, and wonderful advisor and interpreter, not only of the meaning of the ceremonies, but of so many languages, human and otherwise.
Victoria, Alberto, and Steve all helped to take care of us and it was so nice to meet and play with the baby Howler Monkey they had adopted.
The jungle near the center is rich, diverse and beautiful and Jessica and the other guide who came with us were both incredibly informative about plants. insects, animals and birds. We saw a lot of beauty, and met a lot of incredible locals who helped and partook in the ceremonies with us.
The entire experience included jungle hot springs, clear river pools, plant education, ancient carved river rocks, local dances and villages, epic views, and more birds and birdsong than I could imagine. I loved it so much, I stayed for ten more days after the retreat to do a plant dieta.
I will return to Parign Hak, and to these people who became family.
I recently returned from my second visit to Parign Hak. I went specifically to continue the healing process I began the first time. And I got what I was looking for – big time. If the beauty of the Amazon rainforest isn’t enough to soothe whatever ails you, the love and support of the beautiful people who own and operate the retreat will. The food is fresh and organic because so much of it is harvested right there in the jungle. Outside of ceremonies there are numerous walks in the rainforest and trips to hot springs and other “hot spots” in the jungle that only the expert guides such as Jessica, Victoria, Alberto or Alexis can show you. Any one of these features is enough to commend Parign Hak, but this retreat has it all. I shall be always grateful for the love and healing that Grandmother’s Home gave me.
I’ve been to a Parign Hak retreat a few months ago, and I’d like to talk about my experience, which involved not only the Ayahuasca ceremony.
First of all, Parign Hak is not simply an Ayahuasca retreat centre. What I’ve learned there is not only concerned with Ayahuasca cleansing and learning process. Parign Hak is a very special place where you can learn a lot about the forest, the people living there and their history, the plants, what the plants really are, and how you can relate with them.
When you arrive in Parign Hak, a wonderful place in the forest down the Upper Madre De Dios river, you realize you are not simply in a retreat centre, but in a family, in a small community that will lead you through the knowledge of the forest and her spirit.
Thanks to Jessica and the people of the community you will learn many things about the uses of the plants of Amazonian basin, you will discover the plants and you will be taught how to recognize them. You will walk along rivers and through the forest, experiencing particular sensations and feelings, and being deeply connected and grounded to Mother Earth.
Talking about Ayahuasca experience, first I’ve to say that for everyone is a particular and unique experience, so it’s difficult to talk about it. What I just want to say is that Jessica is a skilled and experienced ayahuasquera; I always felt safe with her, and in this area I think it’s what really matters. The environment is safe and protected, and you will join the ayahuasca ceremony surrounded by local people who deeply know what “plants teacher” are, and they will support you with their experience in a very respectful way.
It’s a blessing to have the possibility to join an authentic and familiar place where you can know the history and the culture of local people, live in the forest and connect with her energy, and among this environment receive the teachings from Ayahuasca.
As I already said, what I’ve experienced was not only a cleansing and learning process, but a very human and touching relationship with people and nature.
Last but not least, the food was amazing.
I’ll always be grateful to Jessica and Parign Hak people. I think experiences like this could change many things in this world, and I hope more and more people will join the heart of Amazon and his natural richness.
My time at Parign Hak was one of the most transformative and profound experiences of my life. It has now been 5 months on from the retreat I attended and I feel I can just now properly write a testimonial as I’m still unpacking the power and wonder of this retreat! I dare say I’ll never be the same.
Before this retreat I had not experienced Ayahuasca, or any psychedelic, before. I chose Parign Hak because, as far as I could tell (I didn’t have a personal referral) it would be an intimate and supportive environment in which to experience this medicine for the first time. Well, I couldn’t have been more right. I felt such warmth, support, and love from everyone involved – and I’m sure the experience was more powerful because of this setting.
Some of the things I particularly loved about my time at Parign Hak:
*The small retreat group. I really got to know the other retreat members, and they me. I felt supported by them and I am sure this feeling of safety and familiarity allowed all of us to have deeper experiences.
*The food was simple, flavorful, and delicious! I think the secret ingredient was the hands that made it – thank you Steve and Gloria!
*The cultural exchange with the Harakbut people was so meaningful for me. Learning about their history and traditions (even experiencing some firsthand) provided a whole other layer to the experience.
*The ceremonial hut and its location were magical
Jessica is a talented and immensely knowledgeable shaman. I felt completely safe in her hands and still can’t quite believe how lucky I am to have found her.
The family of Parign Hak (Vicky, Alberto, Steve, Vanessa, and Gloria) are truly special people. You feel such love and acceptance from them the instant you set foot on their land. They, too, have experienced the power and healing of Ayahuasca through Jessica’s ceremonies and have offered their home and land for all of us to come and experience the same.
I had set an intention (not expectation, but intention) before embarking on my journey to experience Ayahuasca at Parign Hak and I can say, without question, that my intention – and then some – was fulfilled. The entire experience will be in my heart forever.
Parign Hak is not JUST an Ayahuasca retreat. It’s arguably the most unique and respectful cultural experience you can have, if you truly want to learn about indigenous Amazonian peoples and jungle life. The week I spent there was filled with immersive lessons in ethnobotany and anthropology, tasting traditional Harakbut food, getting Wachiperi tobacco snuff blown up my nose, and listening to ancient Matsigenka songs. Parign Hak, has not only helped me connect with Ayahuasca (Jessica’s work is unparalleled). It also helped me deeply connect to the Amazon rainforest itself and to the people living there. This was truly an experience unlike anything I could have imagined. Drinking Ayahuasca in this unique context really helped me integrate my experience, and gave me a better understanding of where the medicine originated from, and how it’s been traditionally used. I felt safe and taken care of every step of the way, and the strong maternal presence at the center echos the spirit of “The Grandmother”. This center truly works to give back to the indigenous people in the region, providing the local communities with life-changing access to traditional medicine, as well as giving them an outlet to share their stories with open-minded visitors from around the globe. If you care about a reciprocal relationship with Amazonian peoples and the jungle itself, Parign Hak is THE place to go.
Changed my life! So incredibly grateful! If you are lucky enough to access this remarkable unequalled experience then you will be blessed. Jessica Bertram, the Ayahuasquera, rainforest guide and cultural facilitator of Parign Hak has a wealth of knowledge and remarkable skill. She gracefully facilitates the interaction of cultures, healing practice and environment in a way that is digestible and completely accessible to participants. Parign Hak is set in a fabulously beautiful jungle hosting a cornucopia of plant, animal and insect life. It is absolutely breathtaking and stimulating. My eyes and senses danced from one delight to the next. Victoria, Alberto, Steve, Gloria and Goyo (howler monkey delight), the family hosts of Parign Hak, are deep souled people with their own remarkable group and individual skills. Also, the food was local, traditionally harvested and prepared and absolutely delicious. This center hosts small, intimate groups which allows for proper assistance and integration on all levels, and full personal healing potential. Having a female Ayahuasquera added to my strong sense of safety as a female participant. Highly recommended!!
I finished my retreat with Parign Hak about a week ago now and I’m extremely happy with my experience with them. Not only with the attention and care they provided during the retreat and but also after the retreat with integration
Immediately you are welcomed in like family when you arrive at the Parign Hak grounds. Vicki, Alberto and Steve are the local Harakbut peoples that own and run the retreat and it’s great to know that the money being spent is going straight back to the community. I had never done Ayahuasca before and they provided a safe and secure environment both in and outside of ceremony.
Jessica is the shaman for the retreat and I was BLOWN AWAY by her commitment to each and every one of the attendees, by her integrity when it comes to the practice of ayahuasca, and by her skill and power during the ceremony. She is friendly and accessible throughout the retreat for your questions and post retreat for integration work.
Also, there’s more than just Ayahuasca ceremonies with Parign Hak. I learned a lot about plant medicine, plant communication, how to identify plants with potential medicinal qualities, natural insect repellents, dyes, food sources and more! You will definitely improve your connection with nature on these special jungle hikes.
Alberto shared some of the cultural traditions of the Harakbut peoples of the area that have been passed down through generations by his father to him. He showed us how to use some traditional tools and also how to harvest material to make bow and arrows. The traditional food that is prepared for meals is simple yet delicious! Perfect fuel for your day no matter what’s in store.
Understand that this is a no nonsense ayahuasca retreat in the jungle following the shipibo tradition. There’s no yoga, there’s no spa treatments, there’s no air conditioning or running water, but there is lots of love and respect for you as a person and a massive amount love and respect for indigenous cultures and nature.
You will not be sorry with going on a retreat with Parign Hak!
Thank goodness for Jessica and Kat. Even without the ayahuasca ceremonies, the experience changed my perspective, especially hearing from Alberto and Vicky. My jiu jitsu reached another level from how calm I am under pressure, and my golf game has never been better, because I now get out of my own way. If you’re serious about working with Mother Ayahuasca, this is where you can meet her.
Parign Hak is an incredibly inspiring native initiative devoted to transformative healing. There is none of the culturally appropriative, spiritual consumerism that is common in some other ayahuasca retreat centers. Jessica, Viki, Alberto, Steve and the other community members involved in the vision and creation of Parign Hak are doing something very unique and poweful: linking the personal healing of Westerners intimately with the empowerment, self-determination and revitalization of the Har
I had a very fruitful experience. I came away feeling a strong change in my thinking and empowered to face the challenges of day to day life. We were a small group and we all received lots of attention from Jessica, Vicky, Steve and Alberto. I always felt safe and well taken care of in ceremony.
Outside of ceremony I also had a very meaningful cultural exchange. Being at Pargin Hak and having Vicky, Albert and Steve sharing their cultural traditions and their life stories with us was very enriching. At the end they felt like family and it ended up being an emotional goodbye for everyone.
The final element to put the cherry on top was the natural environment that we were in. Being surrounded by nature and learning about all the amazing relationships between plants and organisms and ourselves that exist and how plants have so much to offer and teach us. I really loved the nature walks, seeing the squirrel monkeys jumping from tree branch to tree branch or watching the various birds the inhabited the area it was really a dynamic experience that filled my spirit on many levels and left me feeling more connected to myself, others and the natural environment.
I have visited Parign Hak twice and been amazed and delighted with the total experience both times. On the recent visit I was accompanied by my family. We are so grateful for all that Jessica and the Parign Hak family gave us. For me, what makes a Parign Hak retreat exceptional is; Jessica’s integrity and competence, living for a time with the Parign Hak family, good strong medicine and the beautiful remote setting. Highly recommended.
Do yourself a favour…if you are thinking about going on this retreat just do it! You will never experience anything like this. It was one of the richest experiences I have ever had.
This was my first ayahausca ceremony and I choose Parign Hak because it looked authentic, professional, and I got a sense that I would be in good hands. I was not dissapointed in the least.
But this experience is so much more than ayahuasca, it was all the plants, the people, and furry friends. Jessica is incredibly experienced, full of all kinds of knowledge, and committed. Vicky, Alberto, Gloria, and Steve will make you feel truly at home and safe. I can’t thank everyone enough! Much love.
It’s gonna be hard to make a review, that can justify the spirit of Parign Hak, of Grandma, of Jessica – and her small team.
One reason is that there is a clear difference between “intentions” and “expectations” – right !?! How can I make review, and still try to emphasize and remind you, that will go there, not have expectations?
I arrived to Peru well prepared, and with homework done, in the form of “intentions” for the trip, and the medicin, and the work on myself. It had been previously informed that we should try individually not to have other expectations, than a “good trip to Quero-community”, and otherwise keep an open mind.
The group was small, and within these small native communities, who are not overrun by tourists, you actually get a chance to truely connect, and make friends.
I came with 3 Intentions to work on, and ask for clarifications/guidance on.
One intention I did NOT have, before coming down to Peru, was to quit my habit with cigarettes, but among other things – This habit got kicked none the less, while I was with the Parign Hak group, and especially Jessica, who somehow managed to move energies.
The conversation went like this, one afternoon early into the trip.
Jessica: I have noticed that you are smoking those western cigarettes – You do know that those are full of chemicals and a lot bad stuff to make you crawe, right?
Me: Yeah – I know I should quit, but the amount of bad habits remain a constant, so why change this for something else. (probably said with some indignations as when someone critize your bad habits)
Jessica: You know you really should let them go, and if it is any help, you can smoke some of these mapachos as a replacement. They are better and natural. The western cigarettes are really (making the a sound) BVADR!
Later that evening, as I was the last man standing in camp, and I sad by myself and had a final evening cigarette, and all of a sudden, I could taste all the chemicals in my cigarette – it was foul, and it was like tasting the first cigarette, I ever had in my life.
Over the next few days I gradually quit smoking the ones I had brought from my home-country, and switched to mapachos…. Now 3 months later, I still have a full carton untouched EU produced cigarettes in my suitcase, and absolutely no desire to go and unwrap them – they are now waiting for a ceremonial sacrifice on the fire.
I will tell you, that the Chi(energy) Jessica can manipulated surprised me a lot, and I am grateful, that somehow she managed push it around, so that I could again taste and realise that I needed to make basic change to how I treated my health. How I could do this with no abstinences, I really can’t say…. I was 22 when I started, and 44 when I quit – makes sense I suppose.
The ceremonies btw was beautiful, and her icaros are from another dimension.
The community is loving and open, and they are both curious towards us as guests, and very eager to share their stories, and teach us the healing properties of the local plants – and allowing us the benefit, if we require it.
I’ll definately return as friend and extended family of the Queros and Jessica, and the rest of the team.
So….I hope I succeeded, without giving you as a reader too many expectations – but maybe support a feeling of trust and confidence in the place and environment, and the work they all do.
A truly amazing experience. I’ve only been gone a week and can’t wait to return.
Thank you so much Jessica and the Parign Hak family. You gave me so much and I carry you all with me everyday.
Much love and big hugs,
Where to start…?
I live in the UK, some 6,000+ miles away. I was searching for a retreat that appeared to have the ceremony and its sacred purpose at the center of its focus, something that didn’t seem to be completely set up for the consumption of western profit.
How lucky I was to come across Parign Hak and the amazing people that make it possible. Jessica and the team there don’t just “run retreats”….they offer something way beyond the value of currency.
They have devoted their lives to plant medicine and take you on a journey through the majestic mountains and into the rainforest. Every step of the way taking the time to teach you about the ancient culture, diverse landscape and never ending wonders of the plant world and how we’re connected to it.
I traveled alone for this trip so it was a big deal to me to be in experienced hands at the other end.
The logistics, organisation, food and travel of this retreat are simply excellent. I’m so confident in the safety and welfare I received that I would happily recommend Parign Hak to any of my close family or friends without hesitation.
Forever grateful for this experience.
If you are looking for a place to experience an Ayahuasca ceremony, Parign Hak offers exactly that and so much more.
The experience at Parign Hak truly is a full immersion into the Manu Jungle as well as an in depth examination of the indigenous people of the area and their ancestors. There is also full on explorations of the jungle as a group that is possibly one of the most informative and fun tours anywhere in the world. You see an unimaginable amount of plant and animal life which is accompanied by a detailed explanation of the biology and traditional use.
It is hard to describe the experience itself with Ayahuasca, but the one thing I can say is that Jessica, the teacher/shaman here, and her team know exactly what they are doing. Anyone that attends this retreat will at all times be in the kindest, most experienced hands. Honestly, I have never felt safer than during my time on this retreat. The only intention from Parign Hak is to empower and and inform its attendees to help them be better versions of themselves. And that intention is guaranteed.
The family at Parign Hak will accept you and treat you as family. How much you get out of the experience is totally up to you, but Parign Hak ensures that the potential gain for you is infinite. I would recommend this place for absolutely anyone.
The value of the love and knowledge here at Parign Hak is so grand and full that it is hard to imagine that anywhere else could be a better option for an ayahuasca ceremony.
The only retreat that I’ve come across with a depth of experience & contemplation that goes way, way beyond just Ayahuasca itself. Parign Hak gives you the gift of immersing you not only in nature – i.e., a pristine slice of Amazonia, in Manu National Park – but also allowing you to experience it from the perspective of the native Harakbut people, who assist in guiding you & teaching you about their environment, their history, their culture. Although Ayahuasca in this context resides at the apex of the native peoples’ relationship to the plant world, the Ayahuasca vine is just one aspect of that relationship; Jessica Bertram and the indigenous hosts at the Parign Hak retreat introduce guests to a whole spectrum of other plants & aspects of the Amazonian natural world that collectively define what it means to commune with nature, and with yourself. I don’t see plush 5-star Ayahuasca retreats in, say, the Sacred Valley or Costa Rica as being able to offer a similarly holistic and thus authentic experience. Parign Hak is the real deal, and Jessica Bertram? – she knows her stuff!
My stay at Parign Hak was absolutely incredible. I sought out Ayahuasca to treat depression, which I have struggled with for 15 years. Over the past few years, it had reached a critical point, so I reached out to a friend who connected me with the retreat center, as he had already stayed here. The retreat center is located in the Manu region of the Amazon, where we stayed with an indigenous Harakbut family. A little about Parign Hak: it is run in a way that focuses on the indigenous people, preserves culture and tradition, respects the environment, and fosters community and family. Jessica’s approach is that of strict traditional medicine, which aims to heal by restoring balance. I did 3 ayahuasca ceremonies. Some parts were absolutely beautiful and some parts were extremely challenging, but everybody’s experience with the medicine is different. It pushed me very far out of my comfort zone and challenged all of my beliefs about myself. It made me reevaluate my perspectives, my stories about my life, my relationships, my role as a physician and healer, and it showed me the power in creativity in life and in choosing what to believe. Overall, it was nothing short of life-changing, and it was so much more than just the ceremonial work. I received extensive preparatory instructions/counseling, as well as extensive integration counseling. In fact, I am still doing the integration work as my healing is still unfolding at home. It can take up to 3 months to fully integrate the work, so we will see where I am at then, but I am already seeing profound shifts in myself.
I cannot thank the family and Jessica enough for making me feel safe, for their loving acceptance, hospitality, sharing of wisdom, and guidance through this journey of mine. I can’t wait to come back.
I have stayed at Parign Hak twice. My most recent experience was like a much awaited homecoming, both for myself and my Parign Hak family. I can’t remember being happier to see a group of people because the Parign Hak family is open, honest, trustworthy, fun, and above all, full of love. These qualities were so essential for my healing because I felt safe enough to be vulnerable and delve into the messiness of facing my authentic self. As a result, I experienced healing of issues that I have struggled with and had not made much progress with over the last 20+ years. I would not have been able to reach such a degree of profound insight and understanding of myself and the world around me without the expert guidance of Jessica, a talented ayahuasquera, whose compassion, devotion, integrity and love, as well as her genuine connection with ayahuasca, and intelligence about culture and society is beyond measure. Additionally, Parign Hak offers a loving family that makes the beautifully breathtaking Amazon jungle a home away from home. I shared delicious, nourishing, locally-sourced meals with them and they joked with me and I felt my heart open more than it ever has before. I can’t wait to return to Parign Hak and see my family again!
Parign Hak is a small but phenomenal hidden-gem in the Peruvian Amazon. I was referred to Jessica by Dr. Dennis McKenna. I was looking for a reputable Ayahuasquera who could speak English, but Jessica is so much more than that. She’s the perfect bridge between the Western world, and the wonderful Harakbut culture in which Parign Hak is embedded. This isn’t just a Ayahuasca retreat center, it’s a family home and from day one I was welcomed in as one of Vicky’s (the indigenous owner’s) own kids. The center has a very strong maternal presence, and as a single female traveller, I always felt safe and taken care of. Not only was the host family amazing, but Parign Hak carefully screens all of its participants so everyone there was serious about their ayahuasca work and extremely respectful to our native hosts. They were also a LOT of fun to be around. Parign Hak was the perfect retreat center, and I’m incredibly grateful I was able to participate!
Parign Hak is a very special place in Manu Biosphere Reserve with a wonderful, knowledgeable team that create a safe and healing atmosphere.
This was my first ceremony with ayahuasca and Jessica’s expertise, honesty and humour makes her an exceptional curandero. Parign Hak not only offers a respectful cultural bridge but is also a fantastic example of a sustainable enterprise within one of the most biodiverse areas on the globe.
I could not recommend Parign Hak enough and urge anyone who is being called to plant healing to visit!
If ayahuasca is coming for you, nudging you to imbibe, then a safe and wise choice is a visit to Parign Hak (Grandma’s Place) with Jessica.
A small group of us (4 only) left Cusco with Jessica and (via a lovely one night stop at the Qeros Communidad Nativa) and took the motorised canoe to Parign Hak (Grandma’s Place). At that point it was clear to us that we were family for the duration of the stay.
This is low-key, no bullshit, true trans-personal, trans-cultural experience. Some aspects that appealed to me:
* I felt welcomed, contained, accepted for the way I am
* The food was simple and delicious, cooked under the watchful eye of Gloria
* The cottages and conference room have a delicious humble feel
* The maloca, tucked away further into the jungle, is a sweet piece of mystery
* Jessica has hard-won wisdom and a deep understanding of ayahuasca and ceremony
* The jungle is magical and our forays into it and along the river added a depth to the ceremonies.
I have come back to Australia grateful, humbled, opened to the possibilities of ayahuasca, refocused back to the essentials of life, blown away by plant intelligence.
Parign Hak – Grandma´s Home is named like this for a good reason: I felt extraordinarily well mothered by the Medicine, Jessica, Victoria and her amazing Harakbut family. This small native-owned retreat initiative brings together the feeling of being at home and being part of the local family, with learning about the gorgeous mountain rainforest, plants and animals and the local culture. The local organic food I found on my plate every day and excursions into the nearby forests made this experience difficult to surpass. I couldn´t recommend it more to anybody looking for a truly authentic and unique experience.
Jessica and the Parign Hak team are beautiful souls, absolutely so hospitable and kind. There are so many aspects of the experience that I appreciate, and I’ll do my best to be brief here!
It was easy to trust Jessica from the first moment we met to discuss my application. She is a good listener and has a vast knowledge of various spiritual practices and traditions, as well as a commitment to the integration process, which is above all one of the most valuable aspects of an Ayahuasca retreat experience. She was available to us to speak about our experience, to ask questions, and also to trust our intuition and journey without necessarily relying on her for “answers”. Jessica’s expertise of the area is fascinating and educational. Our journey to Manu and walks in the jungle was full of plant education and stories of her time in the area. Her knowledge of plants, animals, cultural history, and current affairs in the region far exceeded my expectations and delighted my curious sensibilities.
When we were greeted by the rest of the Parign Hak team I could feel something so special about their connection to each other, Jessica, the land, and the medicine. This is a truly powerful group of people who have come into this path together; the healing work being done is not only a gift to the participants who come from outside, but seems integral to the wellbeing and transformation to the family and community as well. This is extremely important to me as many Ayahuasca retreat centers may not necessarily invite participants into the cultural context nor into cross-cultural conversation. I am so grateful for the privilege of connecting with them and learning about their lineages and cultures.
Jessica’s training in and dedication to the Shipibo tradition is very strong. She holds a very protected container and really knows what she is doing. She doesn’t have this egoic personality that many ayahuascero/as can have… She is humble, sincere, and unwaveringly confident in her abilities. During my sessions, Vicki and Alberto were assisting and they also held a strong presence. I felt so absolutely safe. The maloka is beautiful, humble, and surrounded by a strong and protected energetic space with beautiful, powerful plant friends and teachers. I miss it so much!!
The area seemed unique in that it was not full of mosquitos as many Amazonian areas are said to be. I didn’t need mosquito netting. (I went in late November.) The team was honest and helpful about any safety precautions, so not to worry! You’re totally taken care of!
I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to sit with this team and look forward to doing so again someday.
The ethnobotanist Dennis McKenna referred me to this retreat center last year. Parign Hak (Grandma’s Home) is a small place in a beautiful mountainous area of Peruvian Amazon. Going there was one of the most important experiences of my entire life. Not only did the ayahuasca work heal me in a myriad of ways, but the retreat itself was life changing. Parign Hak has a strong focus of the local indigenous culture, and it was amazing being immersed with the native Harakbut population. The retreat has the utmost respect for the indigenous people there, and a couple of locals even sat in the ceremonies to be healed by Jessica (our phenomenal gringa ayahuascera) I’d been on two other retreats in the past, but Parign Has was by far the best. It’s not very commercialized, and kind of hidden in the world of ayahuasca retreats. I probably wouldn’t have found it at all if Dr. McKenna hadn’t given me the referral. I always try to support “small businesses”. Thousands of people go to Rythmia, Temple of the Way of Light, Spirit Vine etc. Those places don’t need your money. But tiny, hidden gems like PH do. So you’re looking for a more personal, intimate and culturally eye-opening experience go to Grandma’s Home!!
I feel incredibly lucky and grateful for the week that I was able to spend with Jessica. It was my first experience working with ayahuasca and I am certain that the combination of Jessica’s work and support as well as the incomparable essence and beauty of Manu National Park combined with the medicine to provide healing that I am still unraveling and processing. I can’t recommend Jessica enough. Years of experience, a profound love & respect for the people and place that she works with and a connection with ayahuasca that is deeply beautiful make her a true gift to anyone who wants to delve into this particular path to healing.
Después de haber pasado unos días en Parign Hak no he parado de recomendarlo a mis amigos y familia. Es una experiencia mágica, logras desconectarte del mundo exterior y conectarte contigo mismo. Muchas gracias Jessica por la guía y enseñanza, eres una persona admirable y tu trabajo excepcional. Gracias Viky y Alberto por el amor, la protección y confianza. Hacen un excelente equipo y un bello trabajo. Una parte de mi corazón se quedo en ese lugar, ansío volver pronto.
After having spent a few days in Parign Hak I have not stopped recommending it to my friends and family. It’s a magical experience, you manage to disconnect from the outside world and connect with yourself. Thank you very much Jessica for the guidance and teaching, you are an admirable person and your work exceptional. Thank you Viky and Alberto for love, protection and trust. They make an excellent team and a beautiful job. A part of my heart stayed in that place, I look forward to coming back soon.
Viajar hacia Parign Hak es mágicamente viajar al corazón de la selva.
Es viajar para visitar la casa de la abuela, mi abuela. A medida que avanzaba en el viaje y me profundizaba en la vegetación, cruzando ríos y tomando un bote, me empezaba a sentir mas en casa.
Al llegar, el lugar se abre de par en par y es hermoso, podía sentir el cariño puesto en la construcción de cada detalle y sobre todo en la conservación del lugar y el cuidado puesto para que viva en armonía con su entorno.
Inmediatamente sentí el respeto y amor que le tienen a la naturaleza. Y pude comprobarlo cuando los conocí: Jessica, Victoria y Alberto me hicieron sentir en familia. Ellos hacen un equipo maravilloso, donde durante la sesión no solo sientes que estas en manos de personas preparadas sino que ademas estas en manos de personas que realmente les importas. La protección y el cuidado con el que se dirigen a cada uno de sus visitantes hacen que ciertamente sea la casa de la abuela para cada uno.
Fue sin duda, la mejor experiencia que tuve con la planta, de una conexión especial, que solo personas a las que se le han sido otorgadas las llaves pueden hacerte acceder.
Traveling to Parign Hak is magically traveling to the heart of the jungle.
It is traveling to visit the house of the grandmother, my grandmother. As I went on the trip and went deeper into the vegetation, crossing rivers and taking a boat, I began to feel more at home.
Upon arrival, the place opens wide and is beautiful, I could feel the affection put in the construction of every detail and especially in the conservation of the place and the care put to live in harmony with its environment.
Immediately I felt the respect and love that they have for nature. And I could see when I met them: Jessica, Victoria and Alberto made me feel like a family. They make a wonderful team, where during the session you not only feel that you are in the hands of prepared people but also you are in the hands of people who really care. The protection and care with which they address each one of their visitors make it certainly the grandmother’s house for everyone.
It was without a doubt, the best experience I had with the plant, of a special connection, that only people who have been granted the keys can make you access.
I’m not sure I’ll be able to explain how grateful I am for my time at Parign Hak, but I’ll certainly try. This place is a “hidden gem”, so to speak, and I probably wouldn’t have found it if my friend hadn’t raved about it to me. I knew I had to go to the Amazon. There are tons of retreat centers in or around Cusco, but Ayahuasca is from the jungle, and I felt like she’d been calling me to the rainforest for many years.
Parign Hak isn’t in Iquitos or Pucallpa, and is well away from all the weird ego-trips, competition, and dark “sorcery” of the Shipibo world (if you don’t know about this aspect of ayahuasca PLEASE research it before committing). Instead we were immersed into the world of the Harakumbut people. Our hosts were loving, attentive and eager to share their culture with us. Tons of people know about the Shipibo culture, but there are many other indigenous Amazonian groups that work with ayahuasca. These people have a fascinating history and culture, and in sharing it with us, I could tell they were strengthening it.
The part of the jungle Parign Hak is located is unbelievably beautiful. It’s in the mountain rainforest part of Manu National Park, and has incredible biodiversity. We saw jaguar tracks, a harpy eagle, this crazy nocturnal jungle rat, tons of birds, among many other amazing things. We visited during a rare cold-front and I ended up wearing my hoodie for the duration of the retreat, which was glorious. Versus, when I visited Pucallpa it was unbearably hot, flat, swampy and full of mosquitos. Manu is completely different, and if you want to see the Amazon in all its glory, I couldn’t recommend a better spot. People come from all over the world just to visit this park, and when you’re there you understand why.
Jessica is the shaman and she doesn’t bullshit you or sugar-coat anything. She’s very serious about the work, (while simultaneously having a great sense of humor about it). She’s a lot like the medicine itself, and will gladly hold up a “mirror” and show you what you need to look at. It’s not always pleasant, but if you’re serious about trying to heal a part of yourself, then it’s exactly what she and the ayahuasca help with. She was always there to talk to, and integrate my experiences. 5/5 stars, and if I could give them more I definitely would!!
The week I spent at Parign Hak was one of the most important of my life. When I saw that this was the place Dennis McKenna sends people too, I had to research it further. While it seemed like a small and relatively unknown center, I had an incredibly strong “gut-instinct” about it, as soon as I started exploring the website and saw the beautiful photos on their Instagram account. I KNEW this was the place I was supposed to go to for my first ayahuasca retreat. I’m so glad I trusted that feeling. Jessica is the ayahuascera and she conducted a very thorough pre-screening process. I’m grateful for that, as the other people in our group were AWESOME, and now hopefully lifelong friends. She only takes participants who are serious about working with ayahuasca and respectful to the native family that runs the retreat. Which meant that everyone in our small group was on the same page (even more so after the retreat). I’m still processing what I learned about myself during my time there, but what I do know was that my week in the jungle has changed me forever and for the better. Please give this wonderful little place a chance!
I just spent a week with the beautiful people at Parign Hak – I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. The location is unbelievably beautiful (and clean). The food traditional and delicious. And Jessica’s medicine is very female led with absolute integrity. She’s an incredible Shaman and leads beautiful life-changing ceremonies. I’ve been to a few Ayahuasca retreats in Peru and this was by far my favorite. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a safe and loving space to work with the plants.
Parign Hak is a small, intimate and amazing alternative to some of the big-name retreat centers. “Big name” also seems synonymous with “big groups”, and some of the most popular places on here have upwards 80 participants at a retreat, AND in the ceremonies. In researching centers, I wanted to stay away from the large, super-popular ones, as I assume that if there are almost a hundred people at a retreat you’re basically just a number to whoever’s running it.
Parign Hak maxes out at 5, and in the retreat I went to there were only 3 of us. This allowed for plenty of personal attention both in and out of ceremony. I hate crowds, and the idea of drinking ayahuasca with a large group of people seems awful to me. It’s very easy for me to pick up on other people’s energy during a ceremony. So logically, more people means more shit you could potentially take on. The ceremonies were peaceful, quiet, and I was able to do some really deep healing work. The icaros were beautiful, powerful and unlike anything I’ve heard before.
Jessica (the ayahuasquera) was ALWAYS there when I needed her, both in and out of ceremony. The whole retreat I felt very taken care of and supported by the on-side Harakbut family. I’d never heard of the Harakbut people before coming to Peru, but over the course of the week I learned so much about this fascinating and resilient culture. I loved this place so much, and I’m already planning my return trip!
My visit to Parign Hak changed my life! For me as a single female traveller I felt completely safe and taken care of. It was the perfect combination between transformative ceremonial work and profound immersion in rainforest nature and local Harakbut culture. I felt so welcomed into Vicky and Alberto´s family! Jessica is an extraordinary wanderer between cultures, an outstanding ceremony leader with an angelic voice and on top of it a very knowledgable rainforest guide. Everybody on site was extremely supportive and shared even their own intimate experience with the medicine. Previous stays in other retreat centers in Peru have not provided as deep a healing for me as my stay at Parign Hak. Also, the ongoing post-retreat integration check-ups are so important and amazing! No doubt, I will be back for sure!
As a single woman traveling alone in Peru, this was the perfect place! I was directed to Jessica by Dennis McKenna, when I met him at a lecture in Hawaii. I asked him if he could refer me to a trustworthy ayahuasquera (I wanted to work with a woman). I also wanted to experience ayahuasca in Amazon, as it’s where the medicine originates, and is basically the heart of nature itself. Jessica’s originally from Germany but speaks perfect English, which was important to me since I’m not fluent in Spanish (or German) She’s got a very different approach to plant medicine than many of the retreat centers I’ve seen. She’s not “New Age” or “Ultra Spiritual” which seems so common in the West. She’s very down-to-earth, direct, and practical when it comes to the medicine. I felt so safe at Parign Hak, that I was able to do some of my deepest “shadow work” there. Between Jessica and Vicky (the Harakbut owner of the center) there is a powerful maternal presence. This resonates with the spirit of Ayahuasca and creates a nurturing and loving environment, perfect for intense healing work. The center also has a strong focus on cultural exchange, and I learned so much about the local people by being there. This is not a luxury retreat, so if you require pampering and modern Western accommodations, look elsewhere. But if you’re willing to “rough it” a little in the jungle, in exchange for top-notch work with Ayahuasca, and a life-changing exposure to a rich indigenous culture, definitely consider Parign Hak! I will be back!
Jessica Bertram and the entire Harakmbut family at Parign Hak in many ways mark the most vital turning point of my life.
Jessica is an amazing Ayahuascera and has become my friend. She is unique in that she views her work through an anthropological lens and was a rainforest guide for several decades in Peru before becoming an ayahuascera. She is also a westerner who has lived and worked for indigenous people in the Peruvian Amazon for decades which gives her a unique ability to guide people through transformative work.
The Harakmbut family who live at Parign Hak are amazing. Vicky and Alberto and the entire family will make you feel incredibly welcome and they will sit with you in small ceremonies and take excellent care of you. I felt and still feel an incredibly close bond with them.
I also second what one of the other reviewees wrote. I recently had dinner with Dennis Mckenna and this is a spot that he highly recommends.
If you want to have an incredible experience, this is the place to go. I do plant medicine integration work now and recommend this place to all my clients.
Dr. Dennis McKenna (brother of the late Terence McKenna) referred me to this center, and I’m so grateful that he did. What Parign Hak lacks in Western “creature comforts”, in makes up for in every other possible way. First off, it’s one of the few (if only) ayahuasca centers located in Manu National Park. Any nature buff will know that this is a biodiversity hotspot, and I can’t imagine anywhere on Earth with MORE life crammed into it. If you love seeing plants and animals, this is the place to go. The ayahuasquera Jessica worked as a tour guide there for years, and could easily identify everything we encountered on the multiple beautiful jungle hikes we went on. The ceremonies were small, with only a handful of other participants. Jessica’s near 20 years experience as an ayahuasquera clearly shines through during these times. I’ve never felt more comfortable around an ayahuasquera(o), and she’s incredibly easy to talk to. Humble, kind, and with an remarkable sense of humor. She’s completely fluent in English too! This makes integrating the experiences so much easier. On top of all that, the center works closely with the surrounding community. You learn about the indigenous Harakbut people, their culture, food, history etc. It’s incredibly respectful to the native population, to the point where locals sit in the ceremonies to receive healing work from Jessica. If you’re looking to experience deep, safe, and transformational work with Ayahuasca, in the miraculous rainforest from which it originated, this is THE place.
My experience with Parign Hak was life changing. Jessica’s knowledge, skills and attitude combine perfectly with Vicky’s to make their ceremonies very powerful experiences. The fact that this operation is female-led and based on Jessica’s deep relationship with Vicky and her family make things even better. I always recommend Parign Hak and would not recommend any other Ayahuasca retreat given the fact that Jessica and Vicky’s is so much better than others.
Along with the surge in Ayahuasca tourism that South America has seen over the past decade has come a lot of western glitter, pomp and circumstance, cultural hybridization, and both financial and sexual opportunism. To avoid as much of this influence as possible, I sought something simple and humble, rooted in indigenous ceremonial practice. Once I began to seriously search for centers, I found that not only did such a place exist, but that it was also lead by women and endorsed by Dennis McKenna. That place is Parign Hak, or “Grandma’s Home,” in the native Harakbut language. The combination of these factors gave me the confidence and courage to take a leap of faith I had been contemplating for the last ten years of my life.
Over the course of her 24 years in Peru, the organization’s co-founder, Jessica, has taken great care to cultivate mutually beneficial and culturally respectful relationships with a number of indigenous community members and their leaders. This opens up a rare and beautiful pathway to participate in an uncorrupted and increasingly rare form of Amazonian medicine. Those who come to Parign Hak bringing trust, commitment, discipline and respect are treated to an experience which consists of so much more than just imbibing. Participants are introduced to the art, dance, language, food, mythology and biodiversity of a people who have over millennia been the pulmonologists, so to speak, of the lungs of the planet. In this area of Peru, that includes the Harakbut and Matsiguenka peoples. Their own history and struggle, from the spiritual to the geopolitical, are also given a most important platform. In this way, the container and context in which Ayahuasca medicine is practiced is given as much emphasis and attention as the brew itself, and I found this to be of great personal value. Indeed, each proved to be an integral part of a larger whole.
Jessica’s skill as an ayahuasquera is not something I can speak to with great authority, because my experience with shamans and shamanism is slim to none. I *have* seen dozens of “regular” doctors of all different types. If we can consider them all, shamans and doctors, to live under the single banner of healthcare practitioners, then Jessica ranks near, if not at, the very top of the list of any human being in whose care I’ve ever been placed or placed myself. She helped usher in and guide me through the single most powerful and transformative psychedelic experience of my life. Her care and insight continued in the days and ceremonies following that night, and in the weeks and months following my return to my home country.
The mirror which Parign Hak helped to raise and hold in front of me in ceremony, and window it opened before me into the world this medicine occupies, has provided me with an increase in perspective which is beyond the scope of this review. Contrary to some of the rather fantastic accounts online and in the popular press, this is really only the beginning. Now comes what may actually be the hardest part of the process; the “homework” of integrating these newly gained insights into my daily life. I’m confident in my ability to move forward with what this extraordinary place has given me, has helped me to give myself, and I am eager to return someday soon.
i’am quite cautious who i ceremony with. i was lead to jessica and can honestly endorse her as a gifted, safe and dedicated ayahuascara.
my experiences lead by jessica have been incredibly powerful, loving and yet challenging at times. she’s guided me and others before, during and after ceremony. her dedication is inspiring.
i also deeply appreciated her knowledge of life in the jungle and the opportunity to meet, share and live with indigenous peoples.
the experience was rich and life altering. i look forward to the next time i can visit.
I worked with Jessica and completely healed my asthma. It was completely life changing.
When I first met her I thought “what a weird German woman” and wouldn’t have considered drinking ayahuasca with her. But then a bunch of things and more importantly indigenous friends, each who happen to be healers from the Andes, the altiplano and from lake Titicaca, came together and said I should join them in the ceremonies and the timing was right. Jessica came and we talked to prepare for the work and she seemed very professional. Immediately when the first season began Jessica was transformed. I don’t know how else to say it, she was like a magical being and completely in charge, working with each person and containing the entire event. When I struggled she helped me. She taught me during and between the seasions a lot about how to “work” with the medicine rather than just fall into a chaos. I returned a year later to work with her in an even smaller and calmer group of just 3 people in which each person worked in their own very concentrated way. With Jessica’s guidance I asked the medicine to work on healing my lungs. To my complete and ongoing surprise, the three sesións ocurred like what can only be described as a long surgery, carrying on each of the three nights where we had left off the previous. After the sessions I was shocked that I felt that I had had a surgery and needed the physical and emotional time of a few weeks to recover. Half a year later I went on a hike and in the middle of it realized that for the first time I could breathe normally, no pain (I had previously ended up having such bad asma attacks when attempting any such activity that I would sometimes cough blood).
Jessica amazed me, she fully supported me before during, in between and after each session, even now, years later. When she becomes your healer is is a fully holistic and commited situation, as is the tradition in a traditional tribal situation. She is a down to earth, funny German lady but has completely become a traditional medicine woman.
I feel 100% confident in recommending her as an ayahuasquera. Her work is efficient, full of love and very very careful. I tend to be a very rational person but I greatly thank her for allowing me to witness, experience and believe in traditional and psychotropic healing. Jessica offers her ceremonies in the traditional Shipibo style, singing icaros herself. The indigenous have embraced her and her work for a good reason.
Visiting Parign Hak is an amazing experience unlike anything else on earth. The ayahuasquera Jessica (while not indigenous) has been deeply embedded in the indigenous culture for over 20 years, and REALLY knows her stuff! I’m a single female from the United States, and I’m fairly inexperienced with world travel… I was initially a little scared to go into the Amazon, but not anymore! In addition to being an Ayahuasquera, Jessica was a guide for Manu National Park for years, and she made the journey into the jungle informative, safe and fun! She has a brilliant sense of humor and is very easy to talk to (she speaks English, Spanish and German). She’s always there if anyone needs personal attention, or help integrating the ayahuasca experience OR a hug – thanks Jessica 😉 . Parign Hak has a huge focus on learning about the local Harakbut people, which is a beautiful and life-changing experience in and of itself. This place is phenomenal, and I can’t wait to go back!!
This is no ordinary Ayahuasca retreat that you’ll find just anywhere. You will go places and meet some very special people that you would otherwise not be able to meet if not for Jessica. When I was there, I realized that her bond with the indigenous community in Peru was very much like one of family. They love her, trust her, and open their homes and hearts to anyone that she decides to take on in the group. Jessica, and everyone that you will meet at Parign Hak are amazing people, who will make you feel at home. I know that going abroad to a new place, and participating in a ceremony as intense and life changing as one with ayahuasca can be frightening, but I am so thankful to have gone, because I felt very safe and well prepared thanks to everyone’s support and education. If you feel a calling to experience ayahuasca, this is the place. Personally, I chose this retreat over the rest for the simple reason of following my intuition. I can definitely, and happily say that I’m not the same person I was before the retreat. I felt the need to share this, and let others know what a special opportunity this is.
I just finished my first Ayahuasca ceremonies at Parign Hak and there are no words that explain how happy I am about my decision. I was very hesitant at first about if ayahuasca was the right plant for me. Jessica was so supportive and really helped guide me through my experience and I cannot recommend her enough. I heard about her through a friend and if I know of anyone really interested in this kind of experience I would recommend Jessica in a heartbeat. I don’t think I would have done it if it wasn’t for her and everyone at Parign Hak. You can tell she is not only passionate about what she does but she is also very trustworthy and committed to helping you better yourself.
The entire trip was truly a once in a lifetime experience. Jessica has such a deep connection with the people in the native communities. I am such a history buff and to really learn about the people in this area was incredible. I would have gone on the trip just for the jungle experience. We didn’t just learn about the native plants/ fruits/ and animals around the area. We learned about the people and built relationships with some of the people from the communities. We had a true jungle experience that you cant find with just any tour. This is truly an incredible experience and I feel so appreciative that I was able to be a part of this. I feel so lucky!
It was a life change experience. We were treated as a family member within the community, the food is amazing (fishes were the best) and the nature is astonishing. The ceremonies were unbelievable, now i understand why Dennis McKenna suggests this retreat in Perú. I feel much more confident and clear about my life. I feel self-empowered again. In my oponion the work that the master does is oriented to responsability, love and respectful. Absolutly reliable… I am going to come back soon… greatful and humble =o)
I’ve recently had my first three Ayahuasca ceremonies at Parign Hak and could not be happier about that choice.
It was a long way of spiritual development that lead up to wish of encountering Ayahuasca. Nevertheless I was quite unsure if it would be the right point in my life. What further supported my uncertainty was all the ‘casual’ approaches to the plant I’ve seen while traveling through Peru that seemed very immature and hardly respectful. Especially in places like the Iquitos area or the sacred valley it is easy to fall in the new age trap of love and light 😉
So as I could not refer to any own experience I did not know how to differentiate wich almost let me give up. Very fortunately a friend of mine who lives in Peru that I deeply trust recommended me Jessica’s work when I told him about my seeking.
From my first contacts with Jessica on I had a very good feeling about the retreat because she really scanned my person and was extremely careful in the decision if she wanted to work with me. Now that I know how much harder these high standards make her work I can value them even more.
The family at Parign Hak itself would already have been worth the whole trip. Everyone created a very loving and open hearted surrounding wich made a beautiful framework for the experience to settle. Also I could not recommend Jesicas work more. First of all she is extremely experienced and committed to her work with the plant. She did an incredible job in keeping the space and also applying personal healing in the ceremonies. I especially liked her very grounded and honest being. Without any doubt there was zero spiritual ego involved. Besides that her healing work was definitely wholistic. Without her support outside of the Ayahuasca realm I clearly would have had trouble to integrate my experience but due to her strong insights about the vine she could really open my eyes and give me possibility to take responsibility for all the positive change in my life.
I finally want to add that this combination of the healing work and cultural/anthropological and botanical learning is surely very unique.
After all I am incredibly grateful that my path lead to Parign Hak. Should I feel like working with Grandma again I will return there without any question.
Muchas Gracias por todo!
“The First Time Single Lady”
Choosing Nihue Rao for my first Ayahuasca experience, was the best choice I could have made as a single woman going alone to the jungle. From the first email contact to actually being there, I felt a sense of family & connectedness. there where at least 4 single woman staying during my time at Nihue Rao, with the 24 hour security we all felt safe. The staff is supportive and caring without being intrusive. During ceremony you feel the love,compassion and understanding for the individual experience that you may be having.(no one experience is the same) I highly recommend Niue Rao for the “First Time Single Lady” and All who want to feel at Home in the Jungle!
If Aya has in some shape or form entered your awareness, if the idea of doing Ceremony has come up for you, if you find yourself on this website… I would humbly suggest to you, from the bottom of my heart, that you dive in heart-first and just say Yes to having this transformative experience in your life. Just that. Just say Yes and bracket (for the moment) the logistics and the fears and the ‘buts’ and ‘what ifs’. This is precisely what I did once I felt the call to join Ceremony and all else worked itself out. Because if you heed the call, the path will unfold itself for you. I truly believe this and have experienced this over and over again in my life.
Saying Yes to visiting with Aya at Parign Hak was one of the best things I have every allowed to happen to me. Despite the perceived obstacles, the oh-so-real imagined fears. I am so grateful that Parign Hak exists in this world and that this is where I was able to have my first experience with Ayahuasca. Not all centers offering Ceremony are equal — I highly recommend you listen to your heart and allow your intuition to guide you as you make your decisions. Suss out the intentions and the feeling you get from the organizers and practitioners. Do your research based on this and not based on how attractive a website or description is.
What these beautiful human beings have created at Parign Hak is nothing short of miraculous. Tucked away from all capitalist models and tourism-driven spiritual retreats, Parign Hak is truly a hidden gem offering rare, powerful experiences. It is run professionally but is anything but corporate — it is extremely personal and entirely rooted in the heart. What you will experience here is a human experience — you will join the Harakbut in their wisdom, in their traditions, in their living ceremonial practices. You will join them as they gather with you in Grandma’s Home — not separate, together. Together living interconnected alongside all the living beings of the Amazon and immersing yourself in the heartful wholeness of life there on the land. They will share with you their knowledge of Plant Wisdom, of working with the Earth, of their cultural traditions, of their relationship to the spirit realm. You will be immersed in Amazonian life. What better way to unplug from any limited, partial, narrow life and plug into the expansive Living Organism that is all Creation. This was my experience: plugging in to a much greater and all-encompassing matrix of life. All limitation shed itself as irrelevant.
The beautiful people at Parign Hak, with Jessica taking great care in the collaborative process, have created a micro-socioeconomic development project driven by the indigenous community’s will to survive and thrive. You are not just joining an Ayahuasca Retreat — you are helping support the self-determination and survival of a rich cultural heritage and wisdom system. You are supporting a program designed to help a people, who have been labeled as extinct, to survive. You are joining them in healing and thriving together.
Forget tourism, forget self-help — this is Transpersonal Transcultural Transformation. Together!
Why spend your money on a simple self-help ‘retreat’ when you can contribute to the transformation and survival of a community as it evolves and takes on the encroaching forces that are destroying life in the Amazon.
My experience at Parign Hak was the most transformative experience of my life! It was safe, pure-hearted, deep, cleansing, and, above all, designed with expert care and devotion for the transformation and well-being of all. I am so thankful to the two powerful women at the forefront, Jessica and Vicky, and to every single one of my new friends there for how much they give — it was personal for them, and you can feel their investment in you. I invite you to invest in them back – invest in this beautiful program they have self-initiated for you – and you will reap innumerable rewards that keep giving. I am still unfolding and learning from my experience long after visiting Parign Hak!
Drop everything that stands in your way and say Yes. You will be forever changed.
With All Love
Ayahuasca is the gateway to awake, remember, and access other parts of the soul in order to purge, cleanse, learn and heal. During an Ayahuasca ceremony, one has the opportunity to heal traumas, addictions, rewire thought patterns, transform beliefs, and recover ones power and sovereignty, by opening the heart, mind and body into higher and deeper frequencies of consciousness.
I chose Parign Hak, “Grandmother’s Home,” as the source for my retreat, because I trusted in the authentic and therapeutic ways of the native Harakbut community members. All members “take pride in the fact that the ceremonies are small, female led and offer a safe space for serious transformational work. Parign Hak is committed to being “environmentally sustainable, culturally respectful and reaffirming, as well as mutually beneficial for both locals and retreat participants alike. The center is also available as a resource to community members.”
Parign Hak is truly a very unique retreat center. It resides in the Southeastern Peruvian Amazon, in Manu National Park. Not only is the location of the retreat center remote and raw, it is also one of the most amazing cultural exchange experiences I have yet to be a part of. Literally, I unplugged from the modern world and plugged into all that really matters-the Matrix. I easily found the gracefulness to navigate between the depth of the seriousness of the healing work and the playfulness of being completely connected to the people and the exotic natural world around us. I shared tears of laughter with this beautiful community, while also tapping into the cosmos all within the same day.
Harakbut people have a vast knowledge and connection to the plant and animal worlds. Parign Hak is immersed in nature, embraced by the powerful vibrations of the Peruvian Amazonian jungle and it has one of the most bio diverse ecosystems found in the Amazon. I felt safe and exposed in the eco-sustainable friendly environment that was provided. The people of Parign Hak unzipped the sacred hearth of their retreat space, and their hearts and invited us to jump right in. I felt vulnerable, secure and ready to dive deep into healing work that I came to do.
We hiked through the jungle, swam and floated in the river, collected seeds to make jewelry, caught fish with our bare hands, learned how to shoot bow and arrows, were serenaded by traditional songs and storytelling by the fire, and fell in love with the ancient heart rhythms of Manu and its people.
When I arrived, my heart was overflowing. I felt HOME. My purpose of being at Parign Hak was to encourage the remembrance of my soul’s inner knowing and to reestablish a deeper relationship with myself and the sacredness of being interconnected to everything. When I departed, all of my senses were activated and I could feel the pulse of all life, spirit and matter running through my entire being. I felt HOME and didn’t want to leave.
My life has been forever changed since visiting Parign Hak and I am so very grateful to this entire team of amazing, genuine, and caring people for helping me feel safe, supported and loved through this extremely transformative part of my life journey. They make you feel like family as soon as you meet them. The compassion and love that flows from these beautiful souls in this magical rainforest is absolutely healing and life-changing. It is really hard to put this experience into words. As I read through these other reviews I am resonating very much with their spot-on descriptions of this trip – the jungle excursions, hot springs, the deeply rooted-in-tradition Ayahuasca ceremonies conducted by Jessica, the love and compassion emanating from the Harakmbut people, the thoughtful preparation of food fresh off of the land & their willingness to comply with dietary restrictions, the team’s respect and support for your growth process, etc… If you have a strong desire to heal yourself in mind, body, and spirit, which simultaneously helps to heal the world, a visit to Parign Hak is a darn good place to start!
Hello I have been bringing medical students, colleagues, clients, and patients to the Amazon and the Andes annually since my first visit in 2012. I met Jessica in Peru in 2016 via a mutual friend who *highly* recommended Parign Hak.
I was impressed by her background as a Cultural Anthropologist, Tour Guide, and Curandera. So I resolved to bring my next group to visit with Jessica and Parign Hak tribe.
This visit was phenomenal, to live with a tribe, to become adopted by them, to participate in their daily activities, and ultimately to partake in Ayahuasca ceremony with them and Jessica, was truly a heart-opening experience. Jessica is THE “Jane Goodall of the Jungle”. She is a virtual treasure trove of knowledge about the local plants, trees, and critters, which enhanced our experience.
Jessica emphasized community gatherings, and integration as part of our experience, and the endless support she offered afterwards reflects the impeccable caring and integrity of her work.
These memories live fondly in my heart, and the experience went beyond what we could have imagined.
Everyone has a story – the story of their journey through life. Contained within that story are many chapters and roads travelled. If you want to enrich and deepen your life story, a trip to Grandmother’s Home (Parign-Hak) in the Peruvian rainforest is worth your time. The time spent communing with the vast array of plant life in the Amazon jungle is magical, and tea time with Grandmother Ayahuasca is a deeply cleansing, healing, and learning experience.
Jessica, the ayahuascera who facilitates the Grandmother’s ceremonies, is a many-storied lady. She was called by Grandmother (a wonderful tale in itself) and serves her calling with integrity, compassion, encyclopaedic knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Amazon rainforest, and keen insight into Grandmother’s teachings. The voice that comes out of her when she chants the icaros during ceremony is otherworldly.
Jessica’s friend and teammate, Victoria, along with her partner Alberto, are in charge of the smooth running of Grandmother’s home. Along with their extended family, Victoria and Alberto provide wholesome, ethically sourced meals right out of the rainforest and its rivers. The whole family is warm and welcoming, providing love and support during their visitors’ stay, especially during ceremony. They are beautiful, enlightened souls, and it’s impossible not to be moved by the level of commitment to their guests. They, too, have their stories, and I felt honoured and privileged that they shared some of them with me.
I am a writer who ventured into the Amazon rainforest with Jessica to meet beautiful people in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and it was in the name of learning from Grandmother herself. After some serious, transformative healing, I came home with myriad metaphors and symbols to enliven and embolden the rest of my life. My brief but extraordinary stay at Parign-Hak marked the beginning of the rest of, and best of, my life.
After completing my second retreat with Jessica in Parign Hak (in 2015 and 2017) I can only give the highest recommendation to Jessica as curandera, the hosting family and the place. Jessica’s approach is very studious. Before accepting me as a “client” based on our email correspondence, she talked thoroughly with me twice and I had to fill out a questionnaire what gave her a clear picture of “my case”. Before going to retreat I’ve been sent the detailed itinerary with all useful practical details and all needed information about the medicine. During seven days in the retreat she was always available and willing to talk about the process I was going through, to share her vast knowledge of medicine, of the Harakbmut (people native to the area) history, customs, about surrounding nature… Her ceremonies are a powerful yet gentle experience. Trained in Shipibo tradition she adheres to it. Her icaros are pure magic and entire approach very warm and encouraging. Her experience as Manu National park guide is a great addition to her healing skills. The nature around Parign Hak is amazing and trips into the jungle and up and down the pristine Alto Madre de Dios river makes the retreat a really special and transformative experience. Vicky, Alberto and all other members of hosting family at Parign Hak made me feel at home and completely safe. Having experienced ayahuasca ceremonies with ten different ayahuesceros I can, without any hesitation, wholeheartedly recommend Jessica and retreats at Parign Hak.
My week spent with Jessica at Parign Hak was one most transformative experiences of my life. She is a wise and gifted ayahuasquera, and the best Amazonian tour guide imaginable. Every plant we passed, every bird call that echoed through the air, every butterfly or frog or spider we saw, Jessica knew all of them! She along with the wonderful family at Parign Hak created a safe, nurturing and welcoming environment. It was an amazing experience to be exposed to the rich Harakubut culture, and to try their delicious traditional food. The ceremonies were excellent. The small groups were very personal and allowed for plenty of one on one work. Jessica´s icaros were exceptionally beautiful, and brought me much deeper than any of my prior ayahuasca ceremonies. I unlocked childhood memories I had completely forgotten about, and healed in ways I never thought possible. All in all it was an amazing week, and one I will never forget. Jessica is the perfect guide for both inner AND outer space, and I highly recommend both her and the team at Parign Hak.
I have worked with Jessica in her ceremonies on three occasions: August 2014, December 2015 and July 2016. The last series was at Parign Hak. Each occasion consisted of a series of three ceremonies. In my experience, Jessica has the utmost respect for ayahuasca as a healing and teaching medicine, and for the participant utilizing it. There was a pre-ceremony interview where she consulted with me on a one-on-one basis. She listened attentively and respected my boundaries as I described specific issues that I wanted the medicine to address. Jessica was caring and compassionate in her approach. Moreover, Jessica described the nature and context of the medicine and advised me on how to proceed during the ceremony. In ceremony, Jessica was always available for assistance. She sang plant icaros in the Shipibo tradition. With the guidance of mapacho tobacco, ayahuasca and her icaros, I had complete trust with Jessica and ayahuasca during the ceremony. After each ceremony, there was a closing circle with Jessica and all the participants, where each person shared his or her experience. This was very beneficial because there was a lot of learning that was shared by each participant. Jessica provided further consultation for the next ceremony and many suggestions for integration going forward.
Shintuya is a small village on the Madre de Dios River. Victoria and Alberto warmly greeted our group upon arrival. We boarded “lancha” for a 10 minute journey to the ceremony site. The very capable Jose met us at the bank of the river. We were welcomed in the traditional Harakbut manner. Jessica’s team was very dedicated and loving during the entire retreat. I appreciated their experience with the medicine and the rainforest. They demonstrated so much knowledge during our walks into the forest. The site is surrounded by the rainforest, giving the entire retreat the natural environment of the ayahuasca medicine.
Jessica is a gifted ayahuascara. I wholeheartedly recommend her, having had a number of wonderful and insightful ceremonies with her over the last few years. I admire her character, discipline, generosity and integrity. She clearly explains everything about ayahuasca and how to get the most benefit from it, and she is fluent in English and Spanish.
You can be sure that you will be safe and well looked after. For safety, Jessica screens and advises participants in advance, and in ceremony she supports every participant fully. There is plenty of follow up and time for questions and for getting suggestions. If you wish, she even stays in touch with you to see how you are progressing afterwards, when you return to your normal life. She is completely dedicated to helping others and to her craft. You are blessed if you can arrange to visit and be in ceremony with her.
Jessica’s close ties with the Harakmbut people, which she has cultivated over the years, and her traditional training with the Shipibo people ensure that you have a genuine traditional Ayahuasca journey.
The setting is in the heart of the rainforest, an untouched wilderness where I marvelled at the beauty every day. The Harakmbut people we met were so good to us and we enjoyed their warm hospitality, slept in thatched cabañas, and ate local food. Meeting these people was a highlight of my experience there.
A life-changing spiritual and cultural experience! I am so grateful!
100% Five Stars, Platinum and Gold. I Cannot say enough positive things about my experience with Jessica and her ‘team’.
I visited Jessica and her team in Peru last August. She came highly recommended to me by a very trusted friend. I had been living at a meditation centre for nearly 6 months and became acutely aware of a block in my heart chakra. I was very apprehensive to try plant medicine as the idea of a psychedelic experience deeply frightened me. However, after an additional 6 months of meditation and renunciation of all things material coupled with deep spiritual practice, I made little progress on my blocked heart. It seemed the trauma ran too deep. Eventually, I decided to reach out to Jessica to inquire about possibilities. From the moment I connected with her she was open, responsive, communicative, clear and forthright. I thoroughly appreciated her honesty and commitment to providing the most authentic and ‘true to tradition’ experience possible. Within 2 weeks of our first email exchange, I was in Peru in her loving and experienced hands. We travelled for 2 days to get to Shituya, a small town in the heart of the Amazon Jungle. It was a more-than-overwhelming experience (even though I have had my fair share of back country adventures by that time in my life), but this somehow seemed like a ‘next level’ trip. Despite my anxieties, I felt completely safe and taken care of in Jessica’s hands. I spent a week with Jessica and her team and I would call the experience nothing less than profoundly life-changing on every possible level of existence. This team is overflowing with so much love and care, respect for tradition and commitment to healing that it’s almost impossible to express through words. I have never felt more loved and cared for simply for being human. I was treated with so much compassion that that alone might have been enough to shatter my heart block. I continue to receive support, love and guidance from Jessica as needed despite the time that has passed, and I am able stay in touch intermittently with her team – who I adore – despite the fact that they live in such a remote community. Their commitment to their participants (who inevitably become a part of their extended family) is truly touching. The sense of respect, love and compassion that they collectively express is eye-opening to say the least. If you’ve ever considered trying Ayahuasca or delving deeper into your experiences with this life-changing medicine, Jessica and her team are simply the best available to facilitate a deeply transformative experience with no less love and compassion than a mother of the most divine kind.