Amazonian Healing Retreat
Transforming depression, anxiety and chronic illness with the Sapara people
10 Days 9 Nights
The Sapara people invite you to NAKU Clinic for a ten day retreat intended for those seeking to heal depression, anxiety and other chronic conditions to experience the transformative power of Amazonian plant medicine, to awaken in you a new sense of connection with yourself and the natural world, and to inspire a passion in you for saving the rainforest. Through immersion in this ancient and powerful indigenous medicinal tradition rooted in the recognition of the sacredness of all things, participants will reconnect to the animating essence of life, the force by which health may be restored.
What if we could cure chronic illness and help save the rainforest at the same time?
NAKU Clinic, located deep in the Ecuadorian Amazon, is a non-profit healing center founded by the Sapara people, dedicated to the research and practice of indigenous Amazonian medicine. The Sapara have lived in what is now the Ecuadorian Amazon for millennia. During that time, they have developed an inseparable relationship with the land, harnessing the power of medicinal plants to cure illness. Right now however, the destruction of the rainforest by resource exploitation has endangered the Sapara and their medicinal wisdom so that now only 500 Sapara remain. Though their population is dwindling, their territory is vast and a critical part of the Amazonian ecosystem. In response to the many threats they face, the Sapara established NAKU Clinic to preserve and share their vast knowledge of medicinal plants with the rest of the world before it is lost. The Sapara understand that both human illness and the mounting degradation of our environment are inextricably linked, sharing the same root cause. By healing with NAKU, you are joining the Sapara people in their efforts to protect pristine rainforest essential to the vitality of our planet, the front lines of the fight against climate change.
What if an ancient, indigenous medical system held the key?
The Sapara people are master healers whose healing approach is rooted in the belief that any illness is the result of emotional and spiritual imbalance; it is their intent to restore that balance and revitalize our connection to the healing power of the forest. Drawing on the living pharmacy of the Amazon, Sapara healers will develop personalized treatment plans for each participant.
Working in tandem with the Sapara healers, a team of on-site American retreat staff will help facilitate the retreat (including a Medical Doctor), who will support and monitor participants through their healing processes. Over the course of the nine-day healing experience, participants will plunge into the world of the Sapara, a world based on a recognition of the sacredness of all things – living, inanimate, and unseen. It is in this recognition that participants will find the tools for their healing. The healing journey includes:
- Personalized treatment and support
- Healing ceremonies and cleansings with medicinal plants
- Shamanic ceremony
- Transport from Quito to Shell (and back)
- Air transport into the community
- Lodging in the community
- On-site American support staff including Medical Doctor
Friday, July 14: Arrive in Quito airport and stay at a local Hotel. Welcome group/dinner for early arrivals
Saturday, July 15: Leave 5:30 am on bus to Shell from Hotel. 9:00 am flight from Shell into the rainforest. Welcome ceremony with the Sapara. Get situated in lodging. Initial meeting/orientation in Naku.
Sunday-Friday July 16-21: (Examples of daily activities): Morning “sit spot”; Morning circle with lead healer, Manari, to discuss dreams; Daily circle to discuss healing process, concerns, emotional check-in; Some optional physical activity (hike, swim, canoe trip down river, work with Sapara in agro-forestry projects); Individual meetings with healers; Cleansing (Limpias) on some days; Individual quiet time/journaling; Special activities; Ceremony.
Saturday 7/22: Closing circle, with cultural exchange. Opportunity to buy local crafts made by the communities.
Sunday 7/23: Leave in AM—flight to Shell, then a van from Shell to Quito. Either late flight out from Quito or spend the night, and leave on Monday.
Clothing and Footwear
Rain boots, can be bought in Ecuador.
Rain gear: rain jacket/poncho
Hat (for sun and insect protection)
Full length pants with pockets (mostly yoga type pants, sweatpants, other pants for resting and relaxing). Better if not cotton, or jeans.
Shirts (long-sleeved, lightweight shirts and short sleeved shirts
Socks (they can get wet so wool or synthetic socks are better than cotton; if you prefer cotton then bring plenty)
Casual clothes (e.g. jeans, tanks tops, cardigan)
Comfortable pants or shorts (to lounge in)
Towels and bedding are provided.
Sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher (you will not be out in the sun much, if at all. Sun exposure during treatment is not recommended).
Baby powder to help freshen up damp shoes and clothing as desired
Natural Insect repellent (we also will have plenty as well)
Passport and copies of passport
Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries and extra bulb.
Books: Very important to only bring reading material that is inspiring, motivating or educational. It is unadvised to bring any material that is dramatic, intense, or dark in any way whatsoever. Books on meditation, yoga, spiritual discovery, natural medicine etc. are best.
Journal: Journaling is highly recommended. Bring one or two journals that you enjoy writing it.
May your illness be a portal through which you encounter the healing power of nature and find a new wellspring of energy and purpose for your life. Join us on this once-in-a-lifetime healing journey!