So many tears of joy, pain and sadness have been shared. So much laughter and love. This work is so valuable and difficult at the same time. The depths of emotion that has been shared here with us and together, is a gift of such great value. Lifetimes of difficulties have been worked on together. Below are a few reviews of some of our beautiful guests, that have become friends and we will always think of all of them and all of you as family. We love you all!! Thank you for all being you! – William Menech
Texas – United States
Even writing a book could not give a glimpse of what I experienced at Kawsay. As an almost walking dead person, I had turned so many ways searching for help. Resources dwindling, I knew I did not have the energy nor finances to look much further. The deadness I felt inside had been with me since childhood and I just could not shake it off. With the help of Ayahuasca, Huachuma, the support of the curanderos and William’s amazing insightful counseling, the light began to push itself into the dark controlled spaces within my spirit and physical body. Repressed fear began to course through and beg for expression while exiting my body during my Ayahuasca and Huachuma ceremonies. Finally a wail ripped out of my chest as my body remembered the sexual molestation that I suffered and repressed as a young child. So long I suspected it, but thought it only a trick of my mind trying to create a reason for my never ending depression. In an instant, I understood my general mistrust of men and my unreasonable resentment of authority. Even though other grave traumas occurred in my life and were presently developing, this was a positive key factor in curing all. Soon I felt able to forgive my life. I had always despised myself and hoped some event would take me out of my life permanently. But crying tears of self forgiveness, I began to realize this as the point at which I could begin appreciating all of the many blessings in my life. After that session, I went into a ceremony where I experienced true self love – a feat I had never been able to master before. I announced to everyone there that the most important person in the world loved me and that person was me. At that moment, I knew that now, I could truly begin to love others as well. These profound self realizations and I would call them self actualization and even more occurred at my stay at Kawsay. A lifetime of psychotherapy could not closely approach what I experienced at Kawsay. I would highly recommend Kawsay Retreat to anyone. What sets it apart is the small group size and the amount of care and support you receive.Staying at Kawsay, you get to experience the true spirit of the Amazon Jungle versus being only miles away from the congested city of Iquitos like so many other retreats are.
Texas – United States
I recently spent a week Kawsay Ayahuasca Retreat. This was probably the most profound week that I spent in my life. I have a very busy business life serving as CEO of a small software and consulting company. However, I neglected other important parts of my life such as my wife of 35 years. Our marriage was rapidly deteriorating; we had totally lost our physical passion and emotional intimacy for each other. In my view, my wife had become so self-centered and did not care about me any more. I had also become insensitive and was also losing interest in our relationship. We had reached a point where neither one of us were happy. I let my wife go to Kawsay to discover where she wanted to go with her life and to heal from a broken marriage. After a week, she called me and said that I had to go there and be with her and that the time there would provide great insight to both of us.I hesitated at first, but then I decided we needed this opportunity together to decide our future. I booked my one week trip to Peru. William and my wife met me at the airport. My wife, seemed so different. She looked in my eyes and I felt such a love that I had not seen in the last 30 years. We did two Ayahuasca and two San Pedro ceremonies together where I discovered, she is my destiny. I felt such love and passion for her, and saw her as a beautiful being of light. It seemed that sensitivity had grown from zero to 100 over night. At one of the San Pedro ceremonies, she was going through intense emotional processing. I stayed by her side and was truly there for her in her time of need. Our emotional intimacy grew to a level we had never known. This short week in Peru made so many changes in me that it is difficult to describe. Now that we have returned to our normal lives, our love has done nothing but grow. We are planning another trip to Kawsay in the near future. In fact, we plan on recommitting ourselves to each other through a ceremonial marriage, which we want to have in Peru. This experience could never have been possible without the care and support that we received from William and the Kawsay Shamans. This week in the Amazon Jungle, without phone, Internet or even electricity was truly life changing and allowed me to make changes and set priorities in my life that would have been impossible without this experience. I highly recommend Kawsay to anyone who wants to make profound changes in their life.
Texas – United States
I suffered with chronic migraine headaches for over 7 years on a daily basis. I had several doctors including neurologists and pain doctors to try find out what was triggering them and how I was going to be able to live through this. The best they could do is prescribed Botox injections on my head, neck and shoulders with Sumatriptan Succinate Injection, Treximet, and Oxycodone for pain. I also tried everything I could find on the internet. The Cefaly (electric shock) and the Genesen Acutouch Therapy just to name a couple. The meds made the pain tolerable most days, but my doctors were worried about my organs from way too much Excedrin and ibuprofen. As you can imagine I became religious first and then spiritual. Reading everything I could get my hands on. I was reading books on shamans so it wasn’t long before I decide to go Peru with my husband. I choose really carefully going through all the different healing retreat centers reading the entire web site. I know I needed help and I would like to go where I would have more one on one work with shamans. I found William’s center and I liked that fact that they can have only a max of 8 people with 4 shamans. After my conversation with William on Skype, my husband and I decide to go to Peru. William met us at the airport and we talked more about my health. When we start doing our ceremonies, we saw how hard the shamans work. One ceremony ended at 3 o’clock. They don’t stop there, after the ceremonies they stayed with us in the same lodging and continue to work through the day. We called them anytime when we were not feeling good, and they would come and help us! I have never seen so much compassion, loving, understanding and nurturing care from strangers and here I am surrounded with all of this. It was an amazing experience! The shamans explain to me that everything on earth has a spirit and sometimes we need help from spirits who can help us to heal. I have no more migraines! After 7 years the doctors couldn’t help me and I went to Peru for 2 weeks – and I was healed!Everybody who works there is really caring and loving! We learned a new way of living and we are still learning!Have a wonderful and peaceful journey to Peru! We love you all!
After remaining in touch and developing a deeper friendship in the timespan since my first visit in 2013, I returned with my fiancé recently and we were both extremely pleased with the honest professionalism and love that are fundamental to this retreat center. I now can see just how powerful and effective the work and healing done here is and the incredibly positive impact William, Winister and Romelo will have on whomever makes their way through this process in the future. I am proud to say I was here near the beginning and will continue to strengthen the friendships that have developed down there. As many know, Ayahuasca can be scary, dark and even painful physically at times while confronting different aspects of our reality and individual psyches. Because of this a safe environment with knowledgable Shaman and facilitators is absolutely crucial. There is no shortage here. Winister and Romelo, the father-son Master Shaman duo have more love in their hearts than most people experience in their lives and they literally pour their spirit into you doing absolutely everything in their power to bring you the most healing possible in the time allotted. My respect for them is immeasurable. They don’t cut any corners and afford everyone real, individually focused healing throughout the experience. They had me crying over and over again at the beauty of what they do. William operates in the same manner, and works extremely hard serving as facilitator, translator and organizer while performing his own work on everyone individually. There is much more than meets the eye at Qhiskpikay and long after you leave the center, the reverberations from their work will still be emanating outwards. This is a retreat center that is growing and establishing itself so it is not setup for every situation(yet) but a quick talk with William can determine exactly what is needed on an individual basis and all suggestions are in respect to your highest healing good. The location is absolutely beautiful on the Yanu Yacu river a few hrs outside of Iquitos where they own a large plot of land and are in the process of constructing a truly beautiful and unique complex. I highly recommended contacting Qhispikay Kawsay with any questions. If anyone has any further questions, I am more than happy to correspond and share testimony of my personal growth and experience with these souls.
You can reach me at:Itsluchs@yahoo.com
Minnesota – United States
This retreat is in a beautiful spot on a tributary of the Amazon river, and the ride there and back was gorgeous. We took a small boat into a little pathway through the trees until we arrived at a clearing where the milocha (ceremony room) stood on stilts.
I’ve been drinking Ayahuasca with different groups for ten years, but this trip was different because I was able to go to Kawsay “in between” groups, meaning that no one else was in the ceremony except me, don Winister and don Romulo (the Ayahuasqueros), and William (Huachumero/facilitator). The ceremonies were powerful and insightful, and the shamans at Kawsay were very respectful and helped me with everything (unfortunately, this is not always the case; I have met a couple who were not so respectful, especially toward women). I had a few accidents during ceremony – for instance, when I dropped my sweater into my vomit bucket, and other similar incidents – and everything was quickly cleaned and taken care of for me so that I could focus on the ceremony and my own healing. I felt very humbled and grateful for the amount of care I received, and I saw a lot of it – not just at the milocha, but even after we returned to the city, where I got to eavesdrop while William constantly took calls and thoroughly answered questions about the healing work. I had fun and felt that I was in such good hands during this journey. All three men deserve a very high recommendation for their work, and have warm and funny personalities besides, and the setting was beautiful and peaceful.
I initially drank Ayahuasca as a treatment for PTSD, and though it was an uncomfortable and difficult process at first, it has affected my life in amazing ways – providing healing and helping me see how to create positive change. Every ceremony provides new breakthroughs, far too deep for me to explain in a review.
Like many people I felt stuck with my life, I had so many questions I needed answering and I made a decision to go to south america to try out mother ayahuasca in hopes she could enlighten me and help me find what I am looking for. Making the decision of going was not difficult, however as I was going alone I needed to make sure I was safe and that I was going with a good group of people and shamans I could trust. After googling countless of retreats and reading testimonials, I found William Menech’s Kawsay Retreat website. Something drew me in and I got in contact with him. We spoke for about a month or 2 through whats-app before I made my decision to go with his retreat. The moment I got to Peru I knew it was the best decision I have ever made! William and his group of shamans and helpers were all very genuine and welcoming. I could tell that they took this work very seriously and that their number 1 purpose was to help us in our healing and ensure they did the best they could in our with the medicine and the ceremonies. I’ve never met a group of people that are so caring and humble, there was no ego attached to them. Being in the amazon jungle and away from all the modern distraction and also working with the plant medicine was a crazy but yet beautiful experience. I will never ever forget it ! It has almost been a year now since my experience with Kawsay Retreat and until today I am still very blessed that I had the opportunity to work with William, Don Romulo, Don Winister and Caesar. They have helped me change my life in so many ways, words cannot express how grateful and thankful I am. If you get a chance to take time out of this busy life, go and spend some time in the jungle. Work with the shamans and this beautiful plant medicine, you will not only be able to find yourself but you will also open so many doors to an amazing life ahead. There are so many times in the ceremonies where I felt like a button has been reset or reprogrammed. It was like being born again. If you’re reading this testimonial and are seeking some answers, I would highly recommend Kawsay Retreat! With this group of divine souls you will feel safe, connected and right at home.
At Kawsay Ayahuasca Retreat I attended Ayahuasca ceremonies handled by two Ayahuasca shamans, Don Romulo and his son, Don Winister. They were assisted by William Menech, who himself also is a shaman specializing in a different medicine called Don Pedro (Huachuma), and who has become my very dear friend. Without his kindness, openness, fantastic sense of humor, hospitality, close attention to your needs throughout the whole stay and, especially, during ceremonies, as well as his strength, wisdom and guidance I doubt the ceremonies would have been the same for me. Anyone who knows William and, especially, those who get to spend time with him in the jungles would realize what a gift it is to meet this man.
I have researched very carefully on practically all retreats in Peru, and many web-sites looked quite attractive indeed. However, the description of the center and the shamans contained on Kawsay’s website sounded the most appealing to me. Not only was I able to see it myself that all information that’s on the website is true, but that the reality of living in the retreat and attending the ceremonies exceeded my expectations quite significantly.
The ceremonies is not an easy experience; one essentially undergoes a very intense purification process with all the consequences accompanying it. That is why the support and attention from the shamans is of huge importance, and in Kawsay you get all that, but also much more. Besides the work that shamans do for all the attendants at the same time, they also do individual work on each of them separately while others are waiting for their turn. That is why when some retreats claim they are accommodating big groups (12, 14 or even more) it is very hard to imagine how shamans are able to do the healing on each attendant individually at least the way the shamans at Kawsay do it. It was obvious that Don Romulo (who started shamanic work when he was 8 years old) and his son, Don Winister, are exceptionally able and strong shamans who are driven exclusively by the desire to heal people. They both are very humble in regular life, but when it comes to ceremonies you realize how compassionate, loving and strong personalities they are, and how much energy they put into healing people.
It is perhaps early to comprehend fully all that the ceremonies at Kawsay have given to me, partly because Ayahuasca has a lasting effect, and many positive consequences are yet to be seen. What I do know is that I have become much cleaner energetically and physically; I also have reconsidered a number of things that have prevented me for such a long time from opening my heart, from discovering what unconditional love is, and, in general, from living a happy and fulfilling life. Ayahuasca is an exceptional medicine, but when it is combined with such a great team of shamans as you get to meet in Kawsay retreat you can consider yourself to be very lucky!
I had an amazing week at the Qhispikay Kawsay Retreat. Willam is a great person who will be there for you in any way possible. Starting from day 1 I felt completely at home. They work with some amazing Shamans who will do their best to heal, teach and show you amazing things! You will not regret spending some time at this place!
Minnesota – United States
The things we were able to do, the places you took us, the adventures we had, the sites we saw and the memories created will remain with us for the rest of our lives. The good news is that Deborah and I were able to come to clarity on the direction of our relationship and learn a lot about ourselves individually as well as about our lives together as a couple. Although the time spent in the jungle, especially during the wet season was challenging, Deborah and I both emerged as better, stronger and much more spiritual people as a result. When we arrived, our relationship and feelings regarding our future were not on a solid foundation. That changed dramatically since our time with you and we are now so much in love and planning how we are going to happily spend the rest of our lives together. With the dynamics in our personal lives and well as our relationship, without the personal attention provided by you and your staff, this outcome would not have been possible. The high ratio of healers and your model for assuring that each client receives the help needed, made all the difference for us.Additionally, at no time during our stay did I not feel you, Winister, Ceser and Romulo had nothing but the best of intentions for us to help us through the healing process and would go to no length to assure we received whatever was needed at the time. Thank you for all the positive energy you brought to our lives. I left a lot of emotional baggage, guilt, doubt, fears and un-dealt with resentment regarding my family in the jungle and emerged as a much stronger spiritual person as a result. This I will carry with me the rest of my life. It has allowed me to find forgiveness for childhood traumas and become both closer to living and passed members of my family as well as the ability to develop stronger interpersonal bonds with the ones I love. Additionally, my back, which had been becoming chronic prior to my visit has not bothered me since I received treatment. I was supposed to see a neurologist upon my return but the doctor who recommended the neurologist after being told of the treatment I received in Peru (which I found amazing that he was familiar with) suggested I cancel….which I did. I have had no further pain since. Perhaps we make a return visit sometime, maybe we don’t. In any regard our time together has left us stronger more spiritual people and has done wonders for our relationship. I highly recommend you, your model of high healers to client ratio, your process and wish you nothing but success fulfilling your mission to help people in need.
Chris Paddy Bonnar
The name translates to liberation of the soul and it could not be more apt. This was exactly my experience at this amazing retreat. My safety and comfort were a top priority from the outset. The food and facilities were top class and the staff were incredibly attentive and friendly. My group and I all felt a strong connection with William, the owner of the retreat and the two shaman performing the ceremonies. The experience they offer is second to none. They keep groups small to maximise one to one time with the shaman through out ceremonies. The retreat is deep in the jungle so even the journey there proves to be an eye opening, unforgettable experience. The atmosphere was friendly and safe. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone interested in spiritual healing. The experience has left me a happier stronger man. I will never forget my time there. If you want a safe, authentic and enlightening experience with spirit medicines Qhispikay Kawsay Shamanic retreat is right for you.
I loved everything about qhipsikay. The shamans were really experienced, and William is with you all day so I Could ask as many questions as i liked which was really helpful as I am pretty new to all this. He also took us on many different excursions to learn about different tribes in the Amazon, I especially liked monkey forest, so there’s always something to do. I’m really glad i chose this center, they’re really there for you to learn and experience !
Texas – United States
My wife and I went to Qhispikay for treatment of my wife’s chronic migraines. She suffered for 7 years everyday with no real help from our western doctors here in the US. Our doctors gave my wife everything from Botox injections from her forehead down her back to prescribing her Sumatriptan Succinate injections, Treximet, and OxyContin. After 2 weeks working with the Shamans she was 75% healed and continued to heal the other 25% at home following the Shamans orders to keep her diet. The Shamans worked around the clock taking care of my wife when ever she was in pain. We are forever grateful for the love and healing we received. Thank you, Love the Wilkerson Family.
Florida – United States
Ayahuasca has taught me about awareness of the extras life affords us and for us to be positive. For one thing, it makes you more grateful than we are. When troubles come our way, what is our most familiar complaint? “WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS? This plant medicine enables you with the answer that we all so long for.It’s simple, nothing is meant to stay the way it is, and you can change it. What is important is the direction you choose to do so. Ayahuasca for me changed the way I think, it has prepared me to face all the storms knowing they are all a part of normal human experience and all serve some purpose. It makes you realize that nothing can destroy us, nothing at all, temptation, responsibility, failure, pain, bereavement or death. You will come to realize nature may serve as clues to what we are, the attitudes we should take towards life and its universe and how we can understand and look at things differently. The ceremonies have changed me in a meaningful ways and I believe it has put me on a path to continue my spiritual journey. The truth is I was amazed at my first Huachuma ceremony with William and how it was possible for all of this to have taken place in such a short amount of time. I would like to take a minute to thank him. For William to share his unique gift and his delivery was so effortless and personal that it never felt like a chore. He has a great energy and bright spirit and has a great knowledge of how the body works and where the limit is for each individual. The experience with William, the Ayahuasqueros and the Amazon gave me a greater understanding of this universe and I am thankful to have been given the opportunity to explore something above and beyond.
I had a wonderful experience working with William, Romulo, and Winister. Our whole group was awesome. Everyone at the retreat was very attentive. We were able to visit monkey island and there was even an impromptu wedding ceremony during our retreat week. The Maloka is beautiful and so is the property. This is definitely an experience I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I can’t thank you enough, William! If you find yourself in Iquitos, Peru definitely check out Qhispikay Kawsay Shamanic Ayahuasca Retreats!
Will Diefenderfer – United States
Life changing. Eye opening. Heart expanding. Back for my long awaited second visit in April. My first visit here was by chance or maybe destiny but it dramatically altered my life for the better. Anxiously waiting to get back down there to share stories and learn more about this amazing reality. I highly recommend Don Romelo, Winister, Cesar and William as well as their family to provide a caring and compassionate shamanic healing environment whether your first or one hundredth time around. ❤️
I have seen a lot of people come in and out of Iquitos looking for the best place to try ayahuasca. Most of them seem like a cattle call, 15 or 20 people headed out into the jungle to do large group ceremonies. Kawsay offers that personal touch that William provides. You get a ton of one on one time with his excellent shamans, Romolo and Winister. These guys are true professionals.
Florida – United States
Always looking to connect, grow, and discover more, to see and experience the gifts given to us by Nature, and just an excuse to travel with friends, I set out on a journey, really not knowing what to expect. I had never been to the Amazon, and let alone in the hands of people I did not personally know. I was immediately put at ease.From landing to departing back home, our host Shaman was with us all the way. We were able to venture the waterways of the Amazon, hike through the jungle, get lost in its grace, and experience the culture and markets of Iquitos. All of the Shamans were extremely mindful, attentive and caring. It was an experience that was personal and different for each of us. Yet a treasured time for all that decided to embark on this journey.
I don’t know what to say, it’s beyond words.
I had the best time of my life in this place, everything was just perfect I felt like I’m at home with family and friends that I wished to have for my whole life.
I’m from Egypt 27 years old who had some difficulties in my life, depression, illness and more but let me tell you this, now I’m cured, clear and happy I can’t remember since when I had that smile like the one I had now everything in my life is much better now.
I’m so grateful to the shamans, especially William for all his hard work and devotion, he didn’t leave us for a minute always there for help and support I learnt a lot from him and now he’s a friend and a brother.
Up till now we speak regularly and if I feel anything wrong I just speak with him and he helps me out! So it’s not only during the retreat you will have continues support for your whole life if you want to!
These guys are not doing it for the money it’s just their nature to help people and change their lives for better.
The place was perfect, food was awesome I can’t recall any bad thing or comment that I had during the whole week.
If you feel that you are called to do the ayahuasca definitely this is the best and the safest place ever, I want also to warn you that there are lots of bad shamans out there and they can do bad things to you and I witnessed this with one of my friends during ceremonies. I’m also very grateful to Don Romelo and Wienster for all their hard work and care. they are angels and if I can help this place with any means I will just do it blindly.
Thank you very much for making my life much better I owe you my life and I wish you the best cause you deserve it.
Till we meet again
My Dear Kawsay Friends,
I am thankful beyond words for the incredible healing and unforgettable Amazon experience that you gave me. Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the positive results that I’ve gained from being in your care. Everything about Kawsay is perfect!
William, while the difficult sacrifices that you and your beautiful family have made by moving to Peru – giving up many of the comforts and relationships you cherished in the U.S. in order to accept the calling (and the gift) that God has given to you – let me assure you that the work that you all do and the healing you bring is so appreciated and you are saving lives and souls. You have brought me to a true awakening and guided me through the most profound and positive experience of my life. Your work has saved me from possibly destroying everything I hold precious. Your vision for Kawsay is spectacular, the setting of your retreat is surreal and everything from the food, your staff, our many Amazon excursions all exceeded my greatest hopes. I cannot wait to return.
To anyone reading this review, I am a 50 year old businessman, father and husband from the U.S. I would consider myself a very practical person, I am not religious but I am somewhat spiritual (or at least I thought so) and I’m certainly not naïve. I came to Kawsay hoping to deal with some life-long issues that often consumed my happiness and ability to function to my true capacity. My “stuff” has caused me and my family more stresses than I care to admit. Throughout my adult life, I’ve worked extensively with many of the typical therapies available to us in our developed countries. But I can honestly say that I never felt any real progress or peace to any great extent or any length of time.
It’s been two weeks since I’ve returned to the U.S. from my trip to Kawsay and I am still in complete awe over the benefits of my life-changing experience. I will NEVER view existence the same. The effects of the medicine and shamanic healing seem to have somehow re-wired my brain, purged the negative perceptions in my subconscious and healed my soul. It’s also shown me that God is so real and we absolutely live in a spiritual universe. I never expected this.
I won’t go into the details of these ceremonies because they are truly sacred and each person will have their own experience. It’s all very personal and just too unbelievable to explain unless you go through it for yourself. But I will tell you that the medicine and the spirit energies know what each of us need and it will fix you. At times it can be very intense but it’s all part of the healing. Just keep in mind that this is medicine and these shaman are healing you. Clearly, God created these plant medicines and gave us Shaman in order to heal us and to enable us to live a happy and enlightened existence. The results I’ve gained are just incredible and the changes are deep and indelible.
I am forever grateful beyond words to these three incredible Shaman, William, Romulo and Winister. I feel they are the most extraordinary (yet very ordinary) men and absolute masters of plant medicine and shamanic healing. These gifted souls possess the ability to channel energy and spirit in ways that are mind-blowing and I feel so humbled by the care and dedication that they graciously poured into these ceremonies. I couldn’t help but feel that I was in the presence of giants.
I will positively be returning to Kawsay to further my personal and spiritual evolution and I am happy to share more of my experience with anyone who is interested in taking this journey.
When I was I referred to Qhispikay from a friend, I had experience with drinking Ayahuasca at many places in Iquitos and Pucallpa Peru, I’ve had some good experiences at a few centers but more than not most centers have no integrity in my personal experiences. My experience with Qhispikay was by far the best, it started with a phone call from William calling me in states inquiring about the reason for wanting to drink ayahuasca and whether I was taking any medication or had any medical issues. It made me feel good that William reached out and was looking out for my best interest.
When I arrived William was there to meet me at the Dawn of the Amazon. We then took a beautiful one and half hour boat ride down the Amazon river to the center. The lodging is a half hour boat ride to the maloka for ceremonies, it’s such a beautiful piece of land, so quiet and peaceful.
The ceremonies are the best I’ve ever sat in, the healing you get here is amazing, I’ve never experienced anything like it, Romolo ,Winister and William are so full of love and compassion. I experienced my first San Pedro ceremony with William which was great to have someone knowledgeable to guide the ceremony, it was a unique experience and I’m looking forward to learning more about San Pedro in the future.
I was so impressed of the healing Romolo and Winister did on me that I can say there are not a lot of center in Peru doing what they do, and the experience they have. In this work unfortunately there are bad shamans out there, and I’ve experienced more than a few. I can only say that for now on I’ll just be going to Qhispikay I don’t need to explore anymore centers, I found a place where it’s the healing that really matters through genuine good hearted people that care. If you want the true healing just this is the place!
Thank you for all you did for me William,Romolo and Winister!!
I could write an essay on my stay at Qhispikay Kawsay, but I feel like regardless of what I write it’s going to fall short of conveying just how amazing my time here really was. So because of that I’m going to try to keep this review as concise as possible – although there is A LOT to say about this place.
I’ll start by saying that William is one of the most amazing individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. He’s incredibly compassionate, affable, and welcoming. It’s plain as day to see how big his heart is after spending a few days with him, and it’s very obvious that he truly believes in the work that he and the other shamans are doing here. I feel like my stay would not have been complete without his company, and I also feel like I have made a friend for life in him.
My intention for coming to Kawsay was born out of pure curiosity. Although I knew that I have areas of my life in which I had the potential to grow prior to my attendance. My experiences were not all pleasant, overall I’d say it was a very challenging ordeal to put myself through, although with conquering that challenge I feel like I have grown as a person, both mentally and spiritually. If you are coming here expecting a nice relaxing holiday in the astoundingly beautiful Amazon then you might have to reassess your reasons. I’m not saying don’t come here, quite the contrary – DO come here, but realize that it WILL be challenging, that there will be times when you may feel beat up, when you may want to quit, when you may feel defeated. Ayahuasca is a tough medicine to work with, but after persevering through three ceremonies I was granted a beautiful gift in the fourth. During the ceremonies you really get a sense of appreciation for the work of the Ayahuasqueros, Don Romolo and Don Winister, as through their work it becomes so apparent how much they care about truly healing people – it’s almost as if it oozes from their pores as a pure, visceral, unconditional love.
I feel as though this is quickly turning out to be exactly the opposite of the concise review I was intending to write in the first place, so I’ll wrap it up. Coming to Kawsay was an ineffably amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone. Being immersed in the Amazon for over a week and falling in love with it (one of the most profoundly beautiful places I’ve had the pleasure of visiting), being surrounded by amazing people and being welcomed with arms wide open, and learning a lot – about myself, different cultures, shamanism, how amazingly fun monkeys are to play with!
This has been the experience of a lifetime, and I will definitely be returning in the future. I’m incredibly thankful of William and Co. for all of the hard work they do to make this possible, and I eagerly look forward to coming back in the future!
Okay, let’s put it this way: If you are searching a safe, authentic and reliable place where shamans and the director of the center REALLY know what they are doing, Qhispikay Kawsay is the place to be. Those eight days i spent in the jungle with William were just – with the lack of a better word – amazing. I learned so much about myself and so many locks I had in my mind were opened.
I’ve heard and read that in some places the medicine won’t work quite that good. Here you can be sure it will. I went to journeys cannot even know how to describe. I found places of joy and happiness inside me I knew I had lost long ago. Not all of the moments during the ceremonies were happy ones – there was also lot of mess and some darkness I had to face – but with the hard ones I learned a lot too.
My reasons to participate in the retreat was to get help for my depression and lack of self-esteem, but mostly for my porn addiction I had suffered over a decade. It’s now been three months since I participated and I now know it was an essential part of my still ongoing healing process. Now back in Finland, I’ve managed to really face my problems in the way i couldn’t think I could have before.
So, if you’ve never tried ayahuasca before (and even if you have) I warmly recommend this place. They don’t fill they’re retreats with too many people (i think the maximum number of participants was eight – and I was there alone!!) and there’s always three very experienced, dedicated and warm-hearted shamans looking after you (William, the director of the place being one of them).
What else would I say… I guess i also have to mention that the food was great and that the place is not right next to city, or roads or a highway, so it also ads a bit to the feeling (You have to go there by boat). And here you don’t only get to experience ayahuasca, but also get a taste of wachuma, another sacred plant of Amazon. That is, the fifth ceremony is not ayahuasca ceremony, but a wachuma-ceremony, in which i personally really encountered my own demons and problems.
It feels that the more I write the more there is to say, and the more it feels I really cannot reach what I really would like to say. So maybe I’ll end here. Because there is so much stuff in my head that I think still needs to be worked, and because my heart was left in the jungle and especially to this place, I cannot wait to get there and meet shamans Don Romolo and Winister and my new friend William again.
I see that some have left their email too for more info. I think I’ll do that too. So here it is: toni.jyvala(at)gmail.com
New York – United States
The first retreat I went on was with Madre Selva. I went there solo and six others were also there from different parts of the world. We left after 3 ceremonies because their Ayahuasca wasn’t working. One of the guys we were with did Ayahuasca in another country and said that Madre’s Selva Ayahuasca was ineffective. So all 7 of us left before the 4th ceremony. When we got back into town, my friend Mette and I started looking around for another ceremony. We were at the Dawn of the Amazon, that’s a restaurant that serves the special diet for people taking part in the ceremony, by the way the food there is awesome. So the New Yorker I am, I start talking to everyone at the restaurant and I came across the owner of Qhispikay Kawsay Shamanic retreat. We said we had five people interested in going, we lost two on the way because of the bad experience at Selva Madre. William said he could take us for two ceremonies at his retreat and gave us a good price for those days, I can’t remember how much, but it didn’t deter us. The journey to the retreat was beautiful. We took a boat across the Amazon and then walked through a remote village to another boat that took us either up or down the Amazon, not sure which way we were going. The scenery was amazing, the sounds of the birds, the sunset were all incredible. I think the boat ride itself was worth the trip. It was the most beautiful place I ever visited. When we arrived to the Qhispikay Kawsay retreat, we each had our own bedroom that was elevated above the ground. He said in the rainy season, the water rises so all the homes are above ground. I suppose it would be difficult for any wild animals to enter too. Upon arrival, his chefs prepared us a very yummy meal, I would say that was another highlight of the trip. Once we all got settled, we took a tiny boat each night to the ceremony hall that was across the river from the retreat, 5 minutes. It’s a bit muddy so I highly recommend boots, a headlight and of course 99% DEET. I felt like I was in a movie, the ceremony hall was beyond my expectations, and they had these comfortable seats that you could swing back and forth with and beds for us to sleep on afterward. As for the ceremony, the shamans did things to me that I find hard to describe. When he was in back of me, I felt like he was able to enter my brain, it was a very comforting soothing feeling. I got insight from the experience and want to go back badly to experience it again. The music they sung enhanced the experience. They sang for hours. I would say the entire experience lasted five or six hours. During our day, he took us to the Land of the Monkeys. This place blew my mind away. The monkeys were all humping me and of course I loved the attention. You know as one of the golden rules of Ayahuasca, no sex, so anything was appreciated. The next ceremony was just as cool as the first and during the ceremony when I was dealing with all sorts of different dimensions, I heard myself saying, this makes sense. It makes sense, and throughout the year the “it makes sense” has resonated in my daily life back in NYC. The last day we went to see these very large trees, the biggest ones I ever seen in my life. I held the vines of the trees, and I could feel the energy of them. It’s a place where one becomes a shaman. When we returned back to the retreat, we were all bathed by the shamans in a flower bath, at least I think it was a flower bath. It was very refreshing before having to go back to civilization. William, I thank you and the shamans for bringing more enlightenment to my life. I highly recommend this retreat for the scenery, excursions, food, warmth of the shamans, hospitality of William, and the tranquility and many surprises this place offers. If you have any questions, my name is John, you can email me at Jvitkovich@yahoo.com.
I am so relieved and thankful with my decision to choose Qhispikay Kawsay for my first ayahuasca ceremony/retreat. Selecting among the many options near Iquitos was difficult for someone naive to ayahuasca, and discerning which of the criteria were important was challenging despite doing a fair bit of research. I have never written a review before, but am compelled to do so about my time at Kawsay.
I can categorically say that any other centre would not have been able to match what Qhispikay Kawsay offered during my stay. Make no mistake, the Shamans are a huge part of the healing process, and having available 3-4 who are authentic, knowledgeable, and dedicated was INVALUABLE. I can’t express the gratitude I felt to Don Romulo, Dom Winister and William for the work they did for me, which no other could have been able (or willing) to do. The combined years of experience far exceeds others, and they were able to address with specific issues that arose during our stay (as part of the ceremonies and otherwise as needed). They are all gentle, sincere, hardworking, and inspiring souls.
The location where the ceremonies are conducted is indeed a magical place, the canoe rides at night helped prepare for the often difficult but rewarding journey that Mother Ayahuasca took us on. I was originally concerned that the medicine would not be strong enough, but found that I did not even need a full dose for 3/4 ceremonies.
Other centres may dismiss or marginalize the impact of San Pedro (huachuma) ceremonies; however under a Shaman specializing in huachuma (William), this was FAR from the case. Some of the most powerful work at my retreat came with the San Pedro ceremony.
The food was as good as far as a no-salt, no-dairy, no-sugar (including fruit), no caffeine ayahuasca dieta can be. This strict dieta speaks to the commitment the center has to the healing process, and I did not find it overly burdensome. The few activities during the off-days were enough to keep us engaged, while providing adequate time for the necessary reflection and integration of the experiences. William is always available and very willing to provide support, answer questions, share knowledge, and act as a much-needed anchor for the experience.
The ayahuasca experience itself words cannot describe. My reality has changed. I will be returning to Qhispikay Kawsay as soon as I am able.
This retreat was the best experience of my life. If you are interested in attending an Ayahuasca Retreat, this is the best place to go. Will is the host and he will guide you every step of the way. He spoke to me multiple times before we arrived. He helped me get a hotel in Iquitos the night before the retreat. He helped with finding a reliable money exchanger. He is also the most genuine and caring host you’ll ever meet. He really takes the time to be professional, helpful, and a great teacher. All the shamans have a real and beautiful gift. They are the real deal. They helped during the ceremonies and even after. They went out of their way to address every issue and really have a special gift. I felt safe, and well taken care of the entire time and I was very nervous about everything before arriving. There are a lot of places in Peru that will take your money and give you a subpar or unsafe experience. I personally can tell you, that this is an authentic experience with real healers and you will be surrounded by knowledgeable, friendly, safe people. I can’t wait to return to learn more about myself, life, and everything ayahuasca wants to teach me. Thank you for everything.