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Ayahuasca Curandero Initiation Courses

Authentic Study of the Shipibo Healing Tradition

ayahuasca initiation courseThe Ayahuasca Foundation recognizes that more and more people are responding to this call, and we have designed an ayahuasca training program to facilitate their journeys on the healing path. Located in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, these ayahuasca initiation courses seek to preserve and spread the wisdom of the indigenous cultures of South America. Plant Spirit Healing is the oldest form of medicine on earth and we as a civilization are blessed that it has been developed and maintained for millenia, but its lineage is now in danger of being lost forever due to the spread of modern culture. This ancient wisdom must not perish. There are individuals like you who are ready to learn the philosophy and healing techniques of the curanderos, and now you have the opportunity to continue the heritage of Plant Medicine. By taking part in a course, you are taking part in the healing of humankind, as well as the healing of the Earth.

Ayahuasca Initiation courses are an opportunity to experience an authentic training in the Shipibo tradition of curanderismo, centered around the use of ayahuasca in ayahuasca ceremonies. This course is a condensed version of an ancestral initiation, teaching the basic principles that form the heart of the ayahuasca tradition in Peru. The course takes place at the Inkan Kena school for plant medicine, a space designed specifically for the initiation courses and ayahuasca apprenticeships. If you feel called to learn the ancient healing traditions of ayahuasca and plant medicine, this course is a wonderful place to begin. Even if you are already on the path to become a healer, both the initiation course and the advanced initiation course offer a chance to fully immerse yourself in the Shipibo culture and the world of plant spirit healing.

Shipibo Maestro don Enrique

Healer, Teacher, Course Leader

Shipibo ayahuasca initiation course shamanic training Peru“Don Enrique… adjectives don’t describe him. He is by far one of the most passionate, amazing people I have ever met in my life. He is a true teacher. I guess all I can do is just smile and that should say enough about how much of a powerful person he is. He will guide you, he will help you through the toughest times. He knows exactly what you need. Just trust him. He’s there for you.”
– David

“Don Enrique is not from this world. He is amazing. He is so powerful, so caring, and loving. You can tell he really wants to help people. He really wants to spread his healing energy to every single one in the group and he gives a lot of himself.”
– Nick

“Don Enrique is an incredible man. His smile is infectious. He has this genuine caring for each of us, and he gives us the time. His heart is in it and he loves us and it’s a beautiful thing to see.”
– Allison

“Enrique puts a lot of energy into what he does. He works very hard in the ceremonies and outside the ceremonies. He spends a lot of time helping us prepare with the icaros and spends a lot of time talking about plant medicine and some about the culture of ayahuasca and the shipibo people. He put a lot of time and energy into it and I really appreciate it.”
– Gary

“Don Enrique is the most generous person I have ever encountered. He has made many sacrifices in his life in order to heal people, who is knowledgeable and so wonderful at what he does, and who has helped me tremendously. I had a lot of insight and I think that I will be living my life in a much simpler way. I think I have learned to let go of many useless things and many useless habits and attitudes and I think my life will be simpler and lighter and nicer. “
– Anne Marie

“Don Enrique is a master healer. He is a beautiful human with a huge heart. He’s a true teacher. He wants to share his power, his vision, he just wants to put it on us and let us heal the world. I feel completely safe drinking with him and honored to be working with him. His work is just so potent to the core, enabling. He’s a beautiful, beautiful person and a master curandero.”
– Kieron

What Is Taught On the Courses

Philosophy, Understanding, Methodology, and Practice



A great deal of attention is devoted to learning the healing songs of the tradition, called icaros. Students receive an mp3 player with over a dozen icaros and the lyrics and translations. These icaros are powerful healing teals and form the backbone of the ceremonies and the tradition as a whole, for they are a key method for communicating with the spirits.


All of the icaros are in the Shipibo language, so there is emphasis on the language to understand its basic mechanics. Knowing phrases related to various aspects of work done with the icaros provides the ability to modify icaros for more specific purposes.


Students learn how to make ayahuasca by observing and taking part in the process. Beyond understanding the physical process, students can experience how powerful the connection between the curanderos and spirits becomes when one works directly with the plants, most especially when making your own ayahuasca.


Mapacho, the jungle tobacco, is an important tool in the tradition. Students learn to soplay, a technique that involves blow smoke, for various reasons. Learning to soplay is a vital aspect of the Shipibo healing tradition.

Agua Florida

Another essential tool for curanderos is agua florida, a perfume made from flower essences. Students learn to soplay with this perfume, which involves spraying the liquid with the mouth. They also learn a technique called ‘chupando’ which involves sucking through the liquid while it is in the mouth. These are important techniques.


Plant dietas are what make curanderos. It is through dietas that curanderos build relationships with plant spirits, strengthening connections and communication. Ultimately, the plant spirits are the teachers, and the method by which the teachings are enhanced is through plant dietas. Students do at least two plant dietas during each course.



Ayahuasca ceremonies form the heart of the Shipibo tradition. Through the ceremonies, curanderos gain access to a more profound form of communication with the spirits, and important healing work is done during these ceremonies. Students practice icaros and techniques, and discover their own navigation tools and understanding during the ceremonies. Students lead their own ceremonies as well.


In order to lead an ayahuasca ceremony, a student must understand how to open a ceremony properly. This process provides access for the curandero and participants to enter the spiritual dimension and for the spirits to enter into the ceremony to do work. It is an essential part of leading ayahuasca ceremonies.


Another important understanding is how to raise and lower the mareacion, the effects of ayahuasca, in order to achieve the optimal healing environment level for the most effective work to be done. Bringing on the effects, leveling them off, and lowering the effects are all important tools.


A great deal of healing work is accomplished in ayahuasca ceremonies. Much of this healing is motivated and directed by the curandero, using connections built by the plant dietas and through communication provided by the icaros. Understanding this process is obviously very important.


Ceremony participants can have a wide variety of reactions to the healing process, and sometimes, they need help. Students learn how to help people who are overwhelmed by the experience, who are in pain, who are suffering for various reasons, in order to return them to a state where the most effective healing can be achieved.


Just as opening a ceremony is important, so is closing the ceremony. The opening to the spiritual dimensions needs to be closed to ensure the protection of ceremony participants once they leave the safety of the ceremony space and curandero’s guidance. Closing a ceremony is also an essential part of the process.


Plant Baths

Plant baths are one of the main principles of the healing tradition. Students learn how to prepare and administer these baths, and gain the understanding of how they work through direct experience and practice.

Vapor Baths

An incredible healing technique, vapor baths are another principle component to the healing tradition. Students learn to prepare and administer vapor baths, and experience first hand the powerful effect of this important treatment method.


Purgatives form an essential part of the healing tradition. One of the principle components of the tradition, students learn to prepare and administer several purgative treatments, and experience their effects for themselves as well.


Another treatment method is the use of inhalants that are ingested nasally. This important method is used in various treatments. Like most treatment methods taught during the course, students learn first hand what the effects are in order to fully understand the treatment process.


The most classic of the treatment methods, a wide variety of plant remedies are used in the healing process. Students learn to prepare and administer some of the remedies, but there are too many to learn experimentally, so the focus is usually on remedies that are needed by students themselves or family members.


A topical treatment used for a variety of conditions, poultices are also an important part of the healing process, when needed. Students observe and assist in the preparation and administration of poultices.

INKAN KENA School for Plant Medicine

The Ayahuasca Foundation designed their school, Inkan Kena, specifically for the Ayahuasca Initiation Courses. Built and owned by don Enrique, the school is the perfect place to study the healing tradition of curanderismo in the Amazon Rainforest. Getting there from Iquitos takes about two and a half hours, which includes a 45 minute hike deep into the jungle. The school is surrounded by medicinal plants, which don Enrique continues to plant, so that fewer trips are needed out of the area to acquire medicinal plants to make ayahuasca or prepare plant baths, vapor baths, or medicinal remedies. The main area of the school was built around a very sacred tree within the shipibo tradition, and students on the Curandero Initiation Course now diet with that plant, a luminescent tree, of which there are two on the property.

Select a Course for More Information

Ayahuasca Foundation Initiation Course Group

Six Week Ayahuasca Initiation Course: $4,250

Up to 18 Ayahuasca ceremonies
Authentic training in curanderismo
Plant dietas, lectures, workshops

Ayahuasca Foundation Advanced Initiation Course Group

Ten Week Advanced Initiation Course: $6,450

Up to 30 Ayahuasca ceremonies
Truly deep training in curanderismo
Plant dietas, lectures, workshops