Meet our family
Don Benigno, The Godfather
Don Benigno, affectionately known as the "Maestro de los Maestros" (Master of Masters), is one of the oldest and most respected shamans still practicing the ancient art of white magic in Iquitos, Peru.
Despite his advanced age of 80+, Don Benigno continues to drink the sacred ayahuasca medicine, a testament to his lifelong dedication to his craft.
Coming from the old school of vegetalistas, Don Benigno was born and raised on the border between Peru and Ecuador. His first encounter with Mother Ayahuasca occurred when he was just six years old, and his powerful icaros—the sacred chants used during ayahuasca ceremonies—are a blend of native Quechua and Spanish.
Don Benigno has been an integral part of La Luna del Amazonas since its inception, sharing his vast knowledge and wisdom with students, patients, and guests from around the world. As a renowned master, he has numerous disciples and has treated countless individuals seeking healing from a wide array of ailments.
Guido has worked at many different healing centers in the amazon jungle, but he has never abandoned the family clinic in the village, where he still receives local patients.
Guido is well known in Santa Maria where he has cured countless illnesses using his knowledge of the medicinal plants of the Amazonian jungle and his physical and spiritual healing knowledge.
"Energetic blockages are common, and many of us have blockages without knowing"
He explains that the healing during a ceremony takes part on an energetic level. The ayahuasca enables him to see and remove any energetic blockages the patient might have.
"For example, During a traumatic experience you might subconsciously block energetic channels or chakras as a defense mechanism to protect yourself from further pain of that experience. This can later in life manifest as depression, anxiety or physical disease. During the ceremony I will remove the blockage, and when thats done, you are healed" says Don Guido.
Don Guido is a maestro de las plants, and will sort out any specific plant diet to attend to your specific ailments, depending on needs and intentions.
Don Leonardo was born and raised along the Marañon and Yanashi rivers, where he was first introduced to the world of medicine at a young age by his family. Beginning at just 12 years old, he would participate in ceremonies every Tuesday and Friday—traditional days for Ayahausca ceremonies—alongside his father, grandfather, and other curanderos from the village.
Witnessing the healing power of natural treatments and plants sparked his interest in shamanic practices and the art of healing. As a young apprentice, Don Leonardo undertook numerous plant dietas in isolation, an essential aspect of his training. Since the inception of La Luna, Don Leonardo has been an integral member of the team, eagerly sharing his magical knowledge and experience with our guests.
Don Jack, the youngest of four shaman brothers, hails from a family steeped in the traditions of healing. Growing up under the guidance of his older brothers, and their godfather, Don Benigno, Don Jack has inherited a wealth of knowledge and wisdom in the ways of the shamanic arts.
Don Jack's icaros are both sweet and powerful, showcasing his deep connection to the spirit world and his mastery of the sacred medicine. When he begins his distinctive whistle during ceremonies, there is no doubt that he is a true member of this remarkable lineage of healers.
Don Jack's humble and open demeanor belies his immense skill and dedication to his craft. He is a living embodiment of the ancient traditions that have been passed down through generations, and his presence at our center is a testament to the enduring power of the shamanic path.
Enrique - Facilitator & Translator
Originally from Sweden, Henrik, known as Enrique, has been living full-time in the jungle since 2015.
After years of wandering through Sweden, the USA, Spain, and Costa Rica, battling depression and anxiety, he found himself in the heart of the Amazon. After trying various Western pharmaceutical treatments, psychotherapy, and even benzodiazepines and antidepressants without success, Enrique discovered the transformative power of ayahuasca.
Before establishing La Luna, Enrique spent a year living with the shamans and their families in the shamanic clinic in the village, gaining a deep understanding of the medicine and the spiritual world of the shamans.
He has facilitated over 1,000 ayahuasca ceremonies, acting as a bridge between the modern Western culture and the ancient Amazonian spiritual tradition.
Enrique is first aid and CPR certificated and used to work at the emergency center 911 (112) in Sweden before he moved to the jungle.
Besides his ayahuasca work, Enrique is a student of theology at Stockholm School of Theology, delving into ancient mysteries and texts to better understand the direct experiences ayahuasca offers.
He is also involved in the Zendo Project by MAPS, working with psychedelic harm reduction and integration, and has studied Ayahuasca safety at ICEERS (The International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research, and Service).
The son of the esteemed Shaman Don Benigno and a versatile member of our community. Raised in the Amazonian shamanic tradition, Walter has developed a deep respect for the ayahuasca medicine and the healing arts. At our center, Walter wears many hats—he assists in ceremonies, prepares the sacred brew, and ensures a comfortable and harmonious environment for our guests.
As our property caretaker, Walter takes great pride in maintaining the grounds, tending to the lush vegetation, and keeping our facilities in shape. His adaptability, dedication, and connection to the shamanic lineage make him an invaluable member of our team.
Nina, whose name means "fire" in Quechua, is a proud descendant of the Yagua people. Her roots are deeply intertwined with her ancestral history, as her grandmother was part of the first generation of Yaguas to establish the tribe in Nuevo Perú, where the Yagua language is still taught in schools.
Growing up in the village of Santa María, Nina was raised in a family of paleros (tree healers) and curanderos Napinos from Diamante Azul, a renowned shamanic village on the Napo River. This rich cultural heritage has shaped Nina's character and her deep appreciation for the healing arts.
At our center, Nina is a versatile and invaluable member of our team. Her warmth and gentle presence can be felt in her facilitation of ceremonies and the soothing flower baths she provides for our guests. Nina's connection to her ancestral knowledge and her innate healing abilities make her an asset to our community.
Ismael, the adorable son of Enrique and Nina, is the youngest member of our family and a cherished part of our center. Though still just a little one, Ismael already has a vital role to play: bringing joy and smiles to all those around him.
You can often find him hanging out, soaking up the positive vibes, and sharing his infectious grin. His youthful presence is a constant reminder of the beauty and innocence of childhood, and we're grateful to have him as a part of our community.
Natalia, our radiant facilitator and artist, brings joy and creativity to our center. Her captivating smile reflects her warm and welcoming personality, which resonates with everyone she meets. Natalia's artistic talent is on full display throughout our center, where her beautiful paintings, inspired by her own ayahuasca visions, adorn the walls. She is an integral part of our ayahuasca ceremonies, providing guidance and support to those seeking healing and self-discovery.
Outside of ceremonies, Natalia can often be found in our ayahuasca plantation, where she lovingly tends to the baby vines and happily shares her knowledge with our guests. Her passion for nature, spirituality, and personal growth is contagious, making her an invaluable member of our community.
A multi-talented and free-spirited member of the La Luna del Amazonas team. Born and raised in Colombia, Oscar's passion for art and nature has been a driving force in his life, leading him to pursue studies in biology while developing his artistic talents. This unique blend of scientific knowledge and creative expression allows him to explore the intricate connections between the Amazon's diverse flora and fauna and share them with others through his captivating artwork. Oscar's artistic style is a testament to his deep connection with the natural world, as he masterfully captures the beauty, mystery, and complexity of the rainforest in vibrant and intricate depictions. His canvases come alive with the colors, textures, and essence of the Amazon, serving as a visual celebration of the environment he holds so dear.
Whether through his captivating artwork, engaging discussions about the rainforest ecosystem, painting workshops, or simply sharing his love for the natural world, Oscar's free-spirited presence at La Luna del Amazonas contributes to the immersive and transformative experience that guests seek. His contagious enthusiasm and boundless creativity inspire others to embrace their own journeys of self-discovery and connection with the world around them.
As a translator, Delfina's linguistic skills and cultural sensitivity allow her to communicate the shamans' teachings with clarity and empathy, ensuring that each participant fully grasps the depth and meaning behind the ceremonies. Her warm, compassionate nature creates an atmosphere of trust and comfort, making her an invaluable guide during the retreat experience.
A creative spirit at heart, Delfina is an accomplished ukulele player, often serenading our guests with her gentle melodies during moments of relaxation and reflection. Her love for music, combined with her dedication to healing and spirituality, makes Delfina a cherished member of the La Luna del Amazonas family and a valuable resource for our guests seeking transformation and growth.
Our warm and welcoming facilitator and translator from Sweden. Ada has been an integral part of the La Luna del Amazonas family for several years, deeply invested in helping guests navigate their transformative journeys through the rainforest.
Ada's fluency in Spanish, Swedish and English allows her to bridge the language gap between guests and the indigenous shamans, ensuring that each participant fully understands and benefits from the ancient wisdom and practices shared during their stay. Her gentle and supportive approach creates an environment of trust and comfort, fostering a sense of community among guests.
In addition to her translation and facilitation duties, Ada is also an avid yoga practitioner. She is delighted to share her love for this ancient discipline with guests, guiding them through yoga sessions that complement their transformative experiences and promote physical and spiritual well-being. With her deep connection to La Luna del Amazonas and commitment to supporting guests on their paths to healing, Ada is an invaluable member of our team.
Danilo is our smiling guide in Iquitos. He has been working with ecotourism in the Amazon since he was born, and has an amazing knowledge about the jungle and its habitants (flora and fauna).
He picks up our guests in Iquitos with his air-conditioned minivan, and take them to the boat. After the retreat he meets up at the port and drops off at the airport or any hotel.
Carmencita is our gourmet chef. She is always up for a smiling picture with out guests. She practice kitchen magic and cooks healthy but delicious food optimized to the ayahuasca treatment. Occasionally fish from the river just outside the kitchen, but mainly vegetarian and always with a vegan option.
Our center offers a unique opportunity for volunteers who are passionate about personal growth, healing, and indigenous wisdom. As a volunteer, you will be immersed in the Amazonian shamanic tradition and assist in various aspects of our guests' transformative experiences. This may include helping to prepare the sacred ayahuasca brew, maintaining the property, assisting in ceremonies, and providing support for our guests.
Volunteers will have the chance to learn from our skilled shamans and experienced facilitators, gaining insights into the ancient wisdom of plant medicine and indigenous healing practices. This is an excellent opportunity for those seeking personal growth, cultural exchange, and a deeper understanding of the connection between nature, spirituality, and healing.
If you are interested in volunteering at our center, please note that you must first participate in one of our retreats. This ensures that you have a deep understanding of our practices and can better support our guests during their transformative experiences. We look forward to hearing from you and discussing how you can contribute to our community!