Volunteering at Gaia Sagrada Ayahuasca Retreat Center is a great ayahuasca work exchange experience, with magical shamanic ceremonies at the core of our program, Ayahuasca Ceremonies and San Pedro Ceremonies specifically. This is away you can be at an ayahausca retreat cheap and practically free!
Our ayahuasca center has two speeds for the ayahuasca work exchange program: 1) full throttle during the ayahuasca retreat, and 2) laid back and relaxed between ayahuasca retreats. Most of the work exchange hours are done during ayahuasca retreats. Between ayahuasca retreats you can relax and take your time, as prepping for the next retreat can be done at a mellow pace. Sometimes the ayahuasca work exchange team goes on travel excursions between retreats, and sometimes there are special private ceremonies held for the work exchange team (not guaranteed, only sometimes). You are guaranteed to have the opportunity to be in at least one ceremony per retreat ($95) and sometimes there is room to even do 2-3 ceremonies a retreat, but one is guaranteed.
A Way to Do A Cheap Ayahuasca Retreat, or Even a Practically Free Ayahuasca Retreat
Our ayahuasca work exchange program gives you the chance to be in a close to free ayahuasca retreat, or at least it is a really cheap ayahausca retreat this way. It could even be considered a way to do the cheapest ayahuasca retreat, trading work exchange for housing and food and only paying $95 per ayahuasca ceremony or san pedro ceremony. Lots of people are looking for a cheap ayahuasca retreat and being on the ayahuasca work exchnange team is a way to do it as the cheapest ayahuasca retreat you can get.
True, you can’t do all the medicine ceremonies in one retreat at a time, it would be impossible to do the work and all the ceremonies, but at least this way you can have the opportunity to be in an almost free ayahuasca retreat. This is a RARE opportunity, as most ayahuasca centers charge you a lot of money to work on their ayahuasca work exchange team and only give you perhaps one or two ceremonies per month for all the money they charge you. This is why Gaia Sagrada Ayahuasca Retreat Center is such a desired work exchange situation in the ayahuasca community. No other ayahuasca center offers this kind of deal!
Most ayahuasca work exchange members don’t want to leave when the three month commitment is up. They often say this is the most amazing experience they have ever had, and most definitely the best work exchange situation they have ever been in, hands down. It IS pretty luxurious for a work exchange program. Great beds, healthy food, magical ceremonies and watching the transformations of lives of the participants and also your own life, and more fun than you could have ever imagined, all while in a beautiful, peaceful paradise in the Andes mountains of Ecuador The work doesn’t really feel like work!
Ayahuasca Work Exchange Commitments
- 2 month minimum commitment for ayahuasca work exchange positions (3 months maximum)
- Come between retreats on the Wednesday before the retreat starts, and stay until the Saturday after the last retreat you are here for, as there is preparation and cleanup before and after retreats. You MUST arrive in the afternoon of the Wednesday before the ayahausca retreat starts because our ayahuasca work exchange meeting starts right after dinner and you can’t miss that if you want to be on our ayahuasca work exchange team. See our Retreat Dates page. to determine what would be the Wednesday before a retreat starts.
- The ayahuasca work exchange members must commit to staying until the Saturday AFTER an ayahuasca retreat ends. Wednesday to Friday is the ayahuasca retreat clean up time!
- 12-15 ayahuasca work exchange positions are available per month
- 32 hours per week
- This is not just a “work”, punch the clock and check out kind of work exchange program. It is important that you mingle with the guests, be there for them emotionally as they go through their processes, and love them up while they heal! If you have ever wanted to be a healer, counselor and helper to others, this is a chance to hone your skills.
- $200 deposit to secure your volunteer position 60 days before your start date. You get the full deposit back at the end of your stay. We only keep the deposit if you don’t come or you haven’t finished all your hours.
- $25 must be paid to pick you up in Cuenca (all rides leave from the airport) and bring you to Gaia Sagrada on the Wednesday before the ayahuasca retreat starts. All first timers at Gaia Sagrada must use the drivers who know how to get them here to Gaia Sagrada. Use public transportation once you learn landmarks and where you are. No one can ever make it on directions, we are truly in the country!
Ayahuasca Work Exchange Benefits
- healthy and yummy food!
- dormitory housing, comfy BIG beds in nice, modern housing!
- hot showers 24 hours a day
- use of facilities, hot tubs, wifi, etc.
- hiking 100’s of miles of country roads
- being around medicine ceremonies and helping the shamans with their work
- a chance to have a more personal connection and relation with an ayahuasca shaman or san pedro shaman
- discounts on ceremonies (ayahuasca work exchange members pay $95) Volunteers can participate in 1 ceremony, sometimes 2 ceremonies, per retreat, depending on space. 1 ceremony per retreat is guaranteed.
- lots of love, laughter and fun in paradise! The ayahuasca work exchange program is a truly beautiful spiritual family with the staff and shamans at Gaia Sagrada.
Work Exchange Includes:
- food prep and cooking for retreats
- kitchen cleanup
- leading yoga sessions if you are a yoga enthusiast (no teacher certification required in Ecuador)
- general work around the center
- helping people get back and forth to the bathroom during ceremonies
- preparing ceremony spaces
- being there emotionally for the retreat participants and assisting them with their needs
More About Dormitory Housing & Use of Facilities
Housing is modern and comfortable, includes dorm bunk beds (male and female dorms separate), hot showers, hot tubs, wifi, and food during retreats. Between retreats you would make your own food and cook in the community kitchen, just help yourself to our pantry. The place is yours!
If you are interested in a staff position at Gaia Sagrada, usually we pick staff members from those who have done work exchange here before. Anyone wishing to be a staff member must come and do two months of work exchange first. It’s sort of like a job interview or tryout for the job. We need to get to know you a little bit and you need to see if it’s a good fit for you.
- Conversation must be inspiring, not depressing. That means no endless talking about conspiracy theories or what is wrong with the world, for instance. We are here to uplift people and help them find joy. It is also important that you keep your language clean, no swearing.
- No drinking, smoking marijuana or recreational use of drugs of any sort are permitted on or off the property while you are on our Angel Dream Team. Use of these substances is grounds for immediate dismissal.O TOLERANCE! We mean it! Between breaks, if you leave for an excursion to see parts of Ecuador, we are ok with it if you have some beer or wine, but you cannot get drunk and represent Gaia Sagrada in this way or smoke marijuana. If you are a person who needs to use alcohol, marijuana, or any other drug on a regular basis, this is not the place for you and it’s not going to work out. We can tell you that right now! We must keep the energy clean here and preserve our reputation as a safe place to experience these medicines and stoners are not who we want handling these retreats. This is not a party zone! This is serious work we are doing with inter-dimensional and spiritual healing, so let’s focus on the purpose. Besides, keeping your consciousness clean for a couple months or so might do you some good and then you might find out what you’ve been missing! Challenge yourself and see if you can get that addiction gremlin off your back for a little bit. If marijuana or alcohol are used often, you have an addiction gremlin on your back. See if you are strong enough to shake it off!
- Be respectful to people’s needs for privacy. Ask before you take pictures, ask the person or people in the picture if they are ok with it if you want to post a picture too. Some people like to keep their lives private, and it is important that is honored. Do not post anything online about others without the person’s permission who is in the picture.
- No overt displays of sexuality (couples) or “hound dogging” (trying to get a guest or work exchange participant sexually involved with you). Many people come here to heal sexual issues, and this is required to be a safe place. This includes no nudity in the hot tubs or anywhere else on the grounds. If you like someone, be friends while you are here at Gaia Sagrada and get to know each other, and if a romance blossoms, pursue it when you have both finished your commitments at Gaia Sagrada and you are ready to leave. 2-3 months of volunteering goes by fast! You can wait. That is a good amount of time to get to know each other first anyway.
- Honor the rules at Gaia Sagrada. They are for the good of everyone. Please do not argue with a rule or schedules, particularly during retreats. If you have an issue with something, please bring it up quietly with management and we will see what we can do if there is something that needs to change. We do things a certain way here, and if you have a problem with how we do things, we may not be able to work together. In our experience, we have found systems that work and we need everyone to abide by the rules.
- Show up for shifts on time, and do your work with a smile. It’s important that you are enjoying your work here. We try to make it as fun as possible! Please don’t ask for special treatment or do your work in an unhappy way. 32 hours is a fair trade for what you are getting here, this is a real opportunity, and no other medicine retreat center offers this incredible deal. Please be honest with the hours you have agreed to and do honest work.
- Remember you are a representative of Gaia Sagrada while you are here on our Angel Dream Team, both on and off the property. Please act in a way a member of the Angel Dream Team should. Be sensitive to guests needs. Be a helping heart and hand, or someone they can talk to while they are here if the need comes up. Volunteering here is not just about putting in hours washing dishes! It is about being there for people in a loving way. Always treat guests with kindness and be helpful to them, an inspiration. Conduct yourself in a professional manner.
- No talking about what happens in ceremonies in an inappropriate way. Be respectful of other people’s processes. What happens in ceremony stays in ceremony. No telling stories about people’s experiences at the retreat or otherwise violating people’s trust. If the person is present and feels like talking about it, even joking about it, that is only that person’s prerogative.
- Resolve Conflict: No “red dogging” which means no talking behind other people’s backs, including talking bad about guests, other volunteers, staff, shamans or even management. If you have an issue, go directly to the person you are having the issue with and work it out, or go to management. Do not talk about it with everyone else first, particularly guests. The guests did not come here to hear high school dramas!
- No displays of violent movies, sexual videos, or otherwise controversial material. We have a movie room and it is to be used to view inspirational, educational, or funny material. Never play inappropriate material at Gaia Sagrada.
- Stay clean physically (shower regularly), emotionally (no dramas), and mentally (be intelligent). Don’t take on other people’s stuff and don’t display your own “stuff” for all to see. Handle yourself gracefully. We are all here to heal, but let’s not make it harder than it has to be!
Gaia Sagrada Family!
There are miles of country roads in the mountains to walk or run, amazing views, and peace and quiet in the real countryside of Ecuador amidst indigenous communities in the mountains. Come and experience the magical Andes of Ecuador, with a friendly Ecuadorian community all around us who you will meet as you walk the roads, and participate in transformational, life changing, shamanic ceremony retreats!
We are not in this for a profit. Gaia Sagrada is about bringing like-minded people together to share a reality, even if they just come for visits. We already have “Gaia Sagrada family” who keep coming back because Gaia Sagrada is part of their travels whenever they pass through. It is a truly magical place, that’s for sure!