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 humour, 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!