Bring Everything You Need With You
If you need to, bring an extra suitcase with everything you need in it, like all your natural toothpaste, shampoo, soap, contact lens solution, whatever else you need for your personal care. If you are going to stay for three months, for instance, bring what you think you are going to need in that amount of time. Most of the products you will want, especially if you use natural products, are not available in Ecuador.
Don’t forget to bring any medicines that you need as well. You can let your doctor know you will be in South America for however long you plan to stay. Stock up ahead before you come. Many medications are not available in South America, so bring what you need.
Even if you plan for a 3 months stay, try to get 6 months of your medications in case there is another lock down. Try to get ahead as far as you can. It’s just good thinking!
Meals & Food
You will LOVE our amazing recipes! We serve healthy, delicious and filling vegetarian food (vegan and gluten free options are also available). Meals are served buffet style so there are no limits. We also have a community kitchen where snacks and tea are always available.
During retreats, all three meals per day are prepared for you. Just show up and join the Gaia Sagrada family to eat! Meal times are a wonderful time to come together!
During the breaks between retreats you are welcome to use the kitchen to make your own meals, or band together with others to cook a meal for the community. There is always plenty of food!
Gaia Sagrada is a vegetarian center. If you want to bring canned meat products for your own use, this is ok, but we do not provide facilities to cook meat at Gaia Sagrada.
Breaks Between Retreats
In between retreats we take a 5 day break to give our hardworking staff and volunteers a well-earned rest! During this time, many of our staff and volunteers will leave the center and activities like yoga and meditation become more sparse. Guests will have access to the main kitchen to make meals for themselves or for the community.
We also encourage guests to organise yoga and meditation sessions, workshops and other activities for the community during the breaks. This is your chance to share your skills and help others!
Four times per year we take a 2-3 week break between retreats. There will still be things to do together, but this is when most of the staff and volunteers leave the center. It is the quietest time at Gaia Sagrada and a great opportunity to really get a lot done in your personal time without many distractions!
See our Retreat Dates page to find out when our long breaks are in between retreats.
If retreats are cancelled for any reason (like pandemics!) and for any length of time, we will continue to provide yoga and meditation classes, workshops and activities.
Sorry, we cannot facilitate pets here. We have always had problems whenever we tried to let anyone bring a pet. It doesn’t work.
Gaia Sagrada has dogs who love to connect with the people. If you need some doggie darshan (darshan: blessing from a master) you will get plenty of love from Gaia’s doggie friends! Don’t be surprised if you get blessed by the paw on your arm or the small ones want to cuddle on your lapo. They love to do that. Dog lovers won’t be lacking connection with the dog beings!
No Kids Under 18 Years Old
It is not legal for anyone under 18 years old to be around medicine ceremonies. We cannot facilitate children at Gaia Sagrada. We have to follow all laws in order to be able to have a medicine retreat center in Ecuador. It is also not legal for children, even foreigner children, to not be in school. Home schooling is not allowed in Ecuador.
Adequate Funding Needed For Several Months
Make sure you have adequate funding to stay at Gaia Sagrada for a while. Don’t come with your last dime. You cannot stay at Gaia Sagrada if you cannot pay for your stay. Everyone needs to carry their financial weight. Gaia Sagrada can provide the space for a retreat from the world, but doesn’t have the savings to carry anyone through it. No exceptions.
This is ideally for a person who:
- has savings
- makes a living on the internet
- has a monthly income of some sort
No Medical Personnel At Gaia
There are no medical personal at Gaia Sagrada or medical facilities other than basic first aid equipment (bandaids, antiseptic solutions etc). If you need medical assistance, a state of the art modern hospital is 35 minutes away by car. We can arrange for you to be taken to the hospital by taxi, but you are responsible for your own medical bills.
It is important to consider how you would pay for any medical bills if you were to require treatment during your time in Ecuador. It may be possible to purchase travel insurance with medical cover (be sure to check what is covered during the pandemic). Before travelling to Ecuador you should ensure you have enough money or adequate cover for any medical costs that may arise during your stay.
Activities & Workshops
We encourage everyone in our community to get involved and teach something you know to our guests, volunteers and staff in a workshop or class. If you simply feel like leading an activity such as a hike, drumming circle or free dance, all ideas are welcome!
You can count the hours it takes to teach a workshop or lead an activity as part of your 12 karma yoga hours per week.
If you have nothing to teach or lead, that’s fine too. It’s not required. Just enjoy what is being offered and support the others with your love!
If You Get Sick While At Gaia Sagrada
There are hundreds of different colds and flus that go around each year and it is possible that you could become sick during your stay at Gaia Sagrada. Because of the sensitivity around viruses at this time, anyone who becomes sick or shows symptoms of having a cold or flu during their stay at Gaia Sagrada must self isolate until they are recovered.
If you have paid for a shared room or dormitory accommodation and need to isolate due to falling sick, you will have to pay the balance for an upgrade to a private room and bath for length of time that you are required to be in isolation. This is for the health and well-being of our community given the global situation.
Bring Your Vitamins
We recommend bringing vitamins and supplements to keep yourself healthy! Vit C, Vit, D, Vit E and Elderberry are good supplements to bring for keeping your immune system healthy, along with ensuring you spent time in the sunshine and get a lot of exercise. Whatever you think your immune system needs, bring it!
Addictions and Antidepressants
Not A Rehabilitation Center
Gaia Sagrada is not a rehabilitation center and cannot facilitate those in need of healing from addictions. We do not have the personnel, counselors or facilities for rehabilitation or any other withdrawal attempts.
You must be free of addictions, including illegal drugs (yes, that includes marijuana), alcohol, anti-depressants, opioids or addictions to any other pharmaceuticals, for at least 6 months before coming to Gaia Sagrada.
If you need to have these substances every day, then Gaia Sagrada is not the right fit for you.
A Place For Spiritual Growth
Here we get “high” on life, love, spiritual growth, and connecting with others. This is a chance explore your real consciousness and find out who you really are. Addictions mask who you really are.
Medical Contraindications with Plant Medicine
Certain medications are dangerous when combined with plant medicine, such as anti-depressants and anti-psychotics. If you need to take anti-psychotic medication or have schizophrenia, Gaia Sagrada is not the right place for you to be. Plant medicines are known to worsen the symptoms of schizophrenia and psychosis.
See our Medical Guidelines page for more information.
Your regular health medicines are allowed for things like heart, blood, thyroid, insulin, etc. If you are not sure, ask us before you come.