Meet The Shamans at Your Beautiful Gaia Sagrada Retreat!
Ayahuasquero, Ayahuascero, Ayuahuasca Shaman
Mauricio has been on the path of ancient wisdom for more than 30 years, providing shamanic ceremonies and music concerts throughout Latin America, the Middle East, Japan, China and Europe. He currently resides in the city of Quito, Ecuador.
He is a descendant of the Diaguita ethnic group from northern Chile and was taught the knowledge of plants and their secrets by his grandfather, mainly with the banisteriopsis caapi, the Grandmother Ayahuasca. He has spent the last 30 years sharing his knowledge with taitas and yachaj (shamans), mainly from Ecuador and Colombia.
Mauricio has featured in documentaries about South American Shamanism and is also a very talented musician, composing both Andean and Shamanic music and playing shamanic music at international concerts and events. He also makes beautiful wind and string instruments.
Click here to see and hear Mauricio sing:
We love and respect Mauricio and are so grateful that, as an elder, he is still sharing his knowledge, wisdom, music and medicine with the world. You will be truly blessed with a master shaman!
Veronica’s motivation is serving others in their existential search in relationship with nature and personal balance. She holds our Sweat Lodge ceremony and creates a beautiful, transformative and authentic experience. She is a spiritual energizer who carries the sacred pipe (Chanupa), blessed by the elders of the Sacred Fire of Itzhachilatlan.
To sit in a Sweat Lodge ceremony with Veronica is a delightful experience. Her medicine is strong, but her heart is gentle and sweet! We all love Veronica’s masterful presence and her kindness through everyone’s process.
Veronica is an amazing Medicine Woman, Sun Dancer, Star Dancer, and has completed her vision quests. She is also an Andean Agricultural student of the University of Hatun Yachak Wasi and a biorhythm trainer.
Ayahuasquero, Ayahuascero, Ayahuasca Shaman
Namur descends from a family of shamans from the Shuar tribe, a native culture of the Ecuadorian Amazon. He experienced and connected for the first time with the medicine of Natem (Ayahuasca) when he was only 5 years old. The shamans of his community have shared with him their knowledge, wisdom, songs and prayers throughout his life and he has participated in and learnt from many ancient rituals.
An elder Shuar shaman passed down to Namur the Uwishin practices. He has also received the instructions and teachings of the ancestral practices of other native cultures.
Namur is a vision quester, a Sun Dancer and a Star Dancer. As time goes by, many cultural practices and traditions of indigenous people are slowly disappearing. For Namur, the opportunity to share medicine, Shuar songs and music is a way to keep alive his culture and share it with the world.
His mission is to be of service to the family and facilitate the inner experience with the medicine to whoever feels ready to embark on a powerful journey with the purpose of healing.
We just adore Namur! He is a kind, compassionate and incredibly strong but gentle presence in every ceremony he holds. He looks young for his years, but carries the wisdom of an elder! We think perhaps he has been a shaman in many lives! His ceremonies are amazing and whew! What strong medicine. Get ready!
Ayahuasca Shaman Assistant, Singer of Sacred Medicine Songs
Since her very first encounter with the plant medicines, Marlene felt the desire to deeply explore the realm of the sacred plants and share her gratitude towards them with songs and prayers.
Marlene is Italian born, but has lived in the jungle of Ecuador for the last few years. With this experience, she has had the opportunity to profoundly explore her relationship with the medicine of Ayahuasca. She is a vision quester and supports Namur during his ceremonies with translations and singing medicine songs.
“I will always be eternally grateful to Gaia Sagrada, all the shamans and people I have met here and to the sacred plants for giving me the opportunity and inspiration to walk this path of life, realizing the sacredness of all that we are and all that is around us.
It has been an honor for me to have the chance to grow and heal, supporting the family.”
Wait until you hear Marlene sing! People talk about the energy she carries long after a ceremony with her. Wait until you feel her heart! She is a beautiful presence in every ceremony, assisting Namur in a skilled and experienced way, a shaman in her own style.
Founder/San Pedro Shaman, Huachumera
Christine Breese is the founder of Gaia Sagrada in Ecuador and University of Metaphysical Sciences in California, USA. She is a huachumera who works with San Pedro, blessed by the elders to carry the medicine after her Sun Dances and vision quests. Everyone loves her very strong medicine and enlightening ceremonies.
She has walked the shamanic path for 35 years, as well as studied and applied many other spiritual paths, combining them all to create her own unique brand of shamanism and spirituality. She started with the Navajo (Dene) in Arizona when she was only 19 years old. She then worked closely with Native American medicine people in many places in the United States.
For the past 10 years she has been with South American shamans of every tradition and is now 55 years old (yes, she looks young for her age). She has been working with many different medicines.
Christine feels it is important to offer people an opportunity to meet the master within, which plant medicines make possible in a way that no other method can offer. Shamanic plant medicine ceremonies offer soul travel through the universe within even if a person has never meditated before. If you would like to meet Christine, http://www.youtube.com/ChristineBreese
Firekeeper, Singer of Sacred Medicine Songs
Born and raised in La Amazonia (Ecuador), Santiago’s earliest memories are of the medicine, the ancestors, and his first limpia (shamanic cleansing) when he was 7 years old from his mom (Alicia). His Mother was his first and most important teacher. She taught him how to perform limpias with the Sacred Plants such as: Tobacco, Santa Maria, Aji and many others. Another Master from his village was Don Juanito, who works with medicinal plants providing limpias of all kinds and even healing bones.
His first encounter with Natem (Ayahuasca) medicine was with a grandfather of his childhood friend, who comes from a powerful Shuar family and has worked with Natem for generations.
In 2015 he connected with plant medicines in a more profound way. He journeyed around South America where he met different Masters from Peru and Bolivia. He also traveled around Argentina, Chile and Colombia delivering to the people the medicine of music. After returning to Ecuador he started his formal training in service to the Sacred Medicines of Ayahuasca, San Pedro and Temazcal (Sweat lodge). For the last few years he has been supporting different Masters, Medicine Women, Taitas and Curanderos to light the Sacred Fires, hold ceremonies and provide limpias.
Santiago is at many of our ceremonies as a firekeeper and assistant to the shamans. He is also a beautiful hearted musician and a dog-assisted therapist! His spiritual development has been shaped strongly through music, which he says is one of the best medicines for him.
Translator, Singer of Sacred Medicine Songs
Jenny was born in the city of Riobamba, near the biggest volcano in Ecuador called Chimborazo. Her family are descendants of the indigenous Puruhá (meaning “sacred place” in the Quechua language) peoples and still live on their ancestral land in the Chimborazo Province.
Jenny was introduced to the medicine path through her great-grandfather who was a Curandero (shamanic healer) from the Quisapincha tradition. Growing up watching her family healing with plants, she recalls the teachings of the inspirational women in her family.
In 2014 she moved to Azogues, Ecuador to study Early Childhood Education and discovered the medicine path, where she began reconnecting with her body and the sacred feminine through singing and yoga.
Her path began with Grandfather San Pedro and a Sweat Lodge and she immediately wanted to learn more about this ancestral knowledge. Continuing to explore this sacred path she began serving in Ayahuasca ceremonies, where she found the inspiration to complete her vision quest, learning from the Taitas, Curanderos, Mamas and Medicine Women in different indigenous communities.
After finishing her degree and receiving her certification to teach yoga, she is continuing to pursue her passion to start a nature-based school to reconnect youth to the land and natural beauty of the mother nature.
As she continues down this sacred path, she is honored to support the medicine family with translations and songs in our ceremonies. She is excited to find new ways to bring love, joy and support to those on the path to re-connect with the great spirit present in all things.
Gaia Kitchen Manager
We all love Carol so much! She is funny, wise, kind, sweet, and has the coolest southern accent you ever heard. She makes the kitchen hum, which is the heart of any retreat cente and she makes food taste better than you can imagine it could taste. Many believe the ayahuasca diet has to be bland and boring, but she has found every possible way to make it delicious and creative. You will find that the ayahuasca diet can be quite tasty after all with the right spices and seasonings.
She is a wonderful leader who everyone adores and she makes absolutely everything fun. Some people have a special talent for leading a team, and Carol has that talent. Everyone wants to do what she asks in the kitchen because they all love her so much!
When you meet Carol you will truly enjoy her company and companionship. She is a very wise woman and has helped many people find the better version of themselves. She helps us learn how to laugh at ourselves in the process and lighten up. Carol is one of the loveliest people you will ever meet!
Security, Deliveries, Assistant Manager
Bruce is from California and has been a supporting force for Gaia Sagrada since the beginning. He believes each person has an individual path, and the way for that person to find the path to Source is to go deep within. Only the individual can find Source, as no one can tell you how to find God. You yourself must go within and God is then revealed to you through your own consciousness.
When errands of all sorts need to be done, Bruce is there. We call him Señor Seguro (Mr. Security) because he is always making sure everything is safe and secure. He is always standing by as the straight man during ceremonies to make sure anything that comes up can be handled, anything people need can be gotten, and if someone needs help he’s the go-to guy!
If you want to meet a guy with a big heart, he’s the one. He keeps things light and has a terrific sense of humor. If you ever need anything, Bruce is here to help. Everyone loves Bruce!
Javier, 44 years old, lives in Cuenca Ecuador now but spent 18 years living in the United States. He speaks English perfectly and can always make a good connection with people from all over the world. He is a local guy so he can give you all the tips and information about Cuenca and help you with just about anything you need.
He is well known among the expat community in Cuenca as the “go to” driver and facilitator. He is responsible and can make sure you get from point A to point B safely. He loves his clients and becomes good friends with them. He is more than a driver, he is a friend to everyone he works with and to all of us here at Gaia Sagrada!
Javier has been with Gaia Sagrada since the beginning many, many years ago, and feels grateful to have teamed up with Christine and all the staff at Gaia Sagrada. He loves to hear the countless stories of transformation the participants at Gaia Sagrada tell him and he comes to our ceremonies sometimes. He has experienced the medicine many times, so he understands what people are feeling and go through as they participate in retreats at Gaia Sagrada. He has found it has helped him personally in different aspects of his life as well, just like everyone else who experiences the medicine.
Javier is usually the first face you will see when you come to Gaia Sagrada and the last face you will see when you leave. He goes above and beyond the call of duty! He loves to see people happy and satisfied. We all love him here at Gaia Sagrada! He is one of those people you cannot help but love immediately! So friendly and calm!
Victor, Angel and Benito, three brothers, maintain Gaia Sagrada and fix anything that comes up to be fixed. They are also the ones who run the building crew, who built Gaia Sagrada including all the rooms you sleep in, the kitchens where we make your food as well as all the patios, the sauna and the hot tubs where you can relax and enjoy.
Benigno, Jose, Cesar, and several others are the right hand guys of Victor and when things need to get done, they are the ones to call on. They live here in the Ecuadorian community around us and are our neighbors as well. Benigno rides his horse to work every day so you may see his horse grazing in the fields of Gaia Sagrada when he is here!
Victor has become like a brother to all of us here at Gaia Sagrada, such a wonderful, honest and highly skilled person! We feel lucky to have Victor as the head foreman of our maintenance and construction team. We couldn’t have done it without him! He and the construction and maintenance team absolutely love the medicine ceremonies too. Sometimes we have ceremonies just for them or occasionally one or two of them will join us in ceremonies. We love Victor and all of his team!
Volunteers: The Angel Dream Team!
We have at all times 15 staff and volunteers to help you with all your needs during your stay at Gaia Sagrada. They take care of you during ceremonies, between ceremonies, and support you with lots of love, laughter, and give you a shoulder to cry on if you need one! Our staff and volunteers are always available. We call them the Angel Dream Team, here to help you with your journey through our Ayahuasca retreat.
We have all kinds of beautiful and creative people who come through on our volunteer team, and they are all interesting and sweet in their own ways. Take some time to enjoy their company while they keep everything at Gaia Sagrada running smoothly. Feel free to get to know these wonderful souls and make some new life long friends.