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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the origins of SpiritQuest?
    SpiritQuest was founded by Don Howard Lawler, an ardent practitioner of ancient sacred plant Shamanism of the Americas for over 50 years. SpiritQuest Sanctuary is among the longest-running, safest, and most advanced Shamanic healing and instructional centers in Peru. In 1995, Don Howard established the Ayahuasca SpiritQuest Healing & Higher Consciousness program in the Peruvian Amazon. At that time, SpiritQuest was one of only 3 organized opportunities of its kind in the Peruvian Amazon. In the Western world in 1995, Ayahuasca only had a small amount of interest in esoteric circles and was largely unknown. Don Howard focused his work on the North American/Mexican Peyote tradition, Teonanacatl (sacred mushrooms) in Oaxaca, Mexico, the ancient Andean art of the Huachuma mesada, and Ayahuasca Curanderismo (Shamanic healing) in the Peruvian Amazon. He was a Maestro Huachumero in the original Chavín tradition and studied traditional Ayahuasca Curanderismo in the Peruvian Amazon for over 30 years. Don Howard transitioned from his body and ascended on October 13, 2019. Don Howard's spirit is very much alive at SpiritQuest Sanctuary, and our team is utterly devoted to continuing his life's work. Don Howard observed that, "Once you really see the beauty in the world, you'll never let it leave you." Well, Maestro, the SpiritQuest team and our esteemed graduates really see the beauty in you and your life's mission of service to humanity and Mother Earth, and we'll never let it leave us.
  • What does a SpiritQuest retreat entail?
    SpiritQuest retreats are professionally facilitated intensive courses in traditional Peruvian sacred plant Shamanism intended to heal and enhance your personal life experience and help define your contribution to the emerging collective consciousness. We have conducted these Shamanic healing and instructional programs in Peru since 1995. At that time, SpiritQuest was one of only 3 organized opportunities of its kind in the Peruvian Amazon. A SpiritQuest retreat involves seclusion from mundane influences which are often distracting to your concentration, and instead, we emphasize your intentions for this work. We accordingly require that you remain at the Sanctuary or the duration of our work except for our planned activities. The Sanctuary provides a warm, friendly, and supportive natural environment in which you will feel comfortable to “let your hair down” and be yourself. Relative seclusion is integral when you are seeking cleansing, clarity, and deep healing, and to open a channel of communication with the spirits of the plants. Our work is wholly dedicated in service to holistic healing and higher consciousness. We practice authentic Peruvian sacred plant Shamanism. We don’t do "tours" and we are not engaged in "psychedelic tourism", a pejorative concept in conflict with the purpose and principles of authentic Curanderismo (Shamanic healing). Serious work with the sacred plants is not a casual recreational pursuit. It is not a "drug" experience. It is difficult and challenging holistic work requiring serious preparation and intention leading to dramatic positive benefits in one's life. Our work is not about "experience" alone; it is about results. If you are a tourist merely looking for a novel vacation experience, a drug trip, or "adventure" tourism, please look somewhere else. That’s not what we do. We practice genuine, traditional, archaic Shamanism through the timeless lens of Amazonian-Andean cosmology. We employ ancient sacred plant technology originating thousands of years ago, dedicated to the highest principles of Shamanism, which are holistic healing and the evolution of consciousness. It is not about "power", rather, it is about healing, clarity, strength, transformation, unification, and service. If that resonates with you and your intentions, then perhaps we are a good match.
  • How are SpiritQuest retreats organized and run, and how is Shamanism emphasized at SpiritQuest retreats?"
    SpiritQuest retreats are well organized and wisely facilitated to foster harmony and compassion in the group dynamic while preserving space for personal privacy and integration as needed. Your personal safety and well-being is our highest priority. We have safety and emergency protocols in place and our operation is in full compliance with all Peruvian licensing and safety requirements. Several members of our staff are medically certified in emergency first aid and CPR. We do everything possible to assure that you are safe and protected at all times. SpiritQuest Ayahuasca ceremonies are conducted by several Maestros and assisted by a number of ceremonial aides. This provides a superb healer/patient ratio for whatever special attention may be needed. Authentic Shamanic healing is highly personal and we make every effort to see that everyone receives all the personal attention needed in or out of ceremony. Our group size typically ranges from 12 to 25 people, occasionally more or less. Standard lodging is double occupancy but single rooms may be available depending on group size. Our unique multidisciplinary transcultural foundation provides a superb bridge between modern western and traditional Shamanic culture and worldview. We combine Shamanic traditionalism with contemporary professionalism to create an unparalleled opportunity for this work. Our retreat ambiance is spiritual in focus but not religious, relaxed and non-dogmatic, yet appropriately focused to nurture thoughtful intention, concentration, and integration. We cultivate a positive, mature group dynamic respectful of free will and all paths of higher consciousness. Our work is intended for seekers of healing, truth, and new beginnings in their lives. We are therefore appropriately selective in whom we accept to our work. Participation is screened by written questionnaire for intention, attitude, safety factors, and compatibility with our style of work. Not everyone is cut out for plant medicine work for various reasons, so we aim to select people with compatible personal qualities and intentions. Our vetting procedures also help to assure a smooth blend of kindred spirits willing to engage this work in a warm, cooperative, and mutually supportive manner. You may arrive a stranger, but you’ll likely leave with a new spiritual home and lifelong friends. We are deeply focused in our practice of traditional Shamanism and would expect you to bring a respectful attitude and an open mind and heart if accepted. Sincere and positive intention, willingness to trust, patience, perseverance, emotional maturity, and a strong work ethic - make no mistake about it, work with Ayahuasca and/or Huachuma is most assuredly work! - are essential. Serious work with the spirit plant medicines is holistic therapy which is challenging in many respects. It is not an easy path at times, and real work is required to get the most from it. That said, the benefits can be profoundly healing, transformative, and enduring, bringing new dimensions and a fresh start to your life. It’s all about striving for reciprocity, the ancient Andean principle of Ayni, and finding balance between what is received and what is given.
  • What kind(s) of personal intention(s) should I cultivate and bring to my work with Ayahuasca and/or Huachuma?
    Serious healing and consciousness work with Ayahuasca and/or Huachuma begins with the formulation and cultivation of a sincere personal intention. Ideally your intention should be far-reaching rather than merely experience-centered. Think of your intention as a mission statement for your life. At SpiritQuest, you bring your best to this work: your integrity, your commitment, a bit of courage, a dash of faith, and most importantly, love and compassion for yourself and others. Universal love is the foundation of core Shamanic principles and practice at its highest levels. If you do this, you'll realize deep holistic cleansing, healing, transformation, and empowerment.
  • What expectations should I have about my Ayahuasca experience?
    Don't dwell on preconceived expectations of what your Ayahuasca experience will be like. Ayahuasca experiences rarely conform to "expectation" and even less to your demands. Ayahuasca works very precisely in a variety of ways specific to individual need and personal makeup. Ayahuasca is not a drug in the conventional sense, and thus does not produce the same fixed predictable effects in everyone who takes it. The nature of the ceremonial experience is highly variable, from very mild to overwhelming, and everything in between. In a cycle of work, you are likely to have a wide spectrum of experiences. The optimal approach is to not to read much about other people's Ayahuasca experiences before undertaking your own. Of course, almost everyone does this, but it can create unrealistic expectations or instill anxiety or fear which may impede your progress with the medicine. Accordingly, disregard everything you’ve read about experiences of other people with Ayahuasca, and come as an empty chalice, open and accepting of whatever the medicine has to offer you in reflection of what you are bringing to it. Many people require 2 or more ceremonies to attain the purification and stillness of mind necessary to realize the fullest blessings of the medicine, so please be patient! You must learn to work with Ayahuasca, and it doesn’t come naturally to most people. No one has dramatic visionary experiences every time they take Ayahuasca, so kindly discard that expectation. Ayahuasca is an extremely holistic plant medicine which is taken for healing and to bring positive benefits and results. The medicine only occasionally has interesting side effects during the ceremonies, and quite frankly, they are not the point. The medicine works in many other ways as well, and there is valuable healing and instruction in every ceremony if you bring grace and patience with your good intentions. Every experience with Ayahuasca is uniquely and deeply personal. Your experiences will not be "like" those of anyone else, though there may be shared aspects. The greatest similarity will be in the results that unfold rather than the ceremonial experiences. Ayahuasca will give you precisely what you need, but not necessarily what you may think you want. It is very important to be patient, compassionate, and gracious in that process. Try to keep your focus on the results you desire from this work. Listen and follow our guidance, then as your mind becomes still, listen to the plants and to your heart. Through the channel of your heart consciousness you will receive the healing and guidance you seek.
  • What do people mean when they talk about "purging" during Ayahuasca?"
    Purging happens in many ways. It may occur physically through vomiting, mentally and emotionally through confrontation and catharsis, and spiritually through deep personal realization and purging of your "demons." Physical purging is usually strongest at the beginning of the cycle. It may be deep and gut-wrenching, or gentle and pleasant, or it may not occur at all. Don't worry about it, don’t judge it, and don’t fear it; rather, just go with it and let the medicine cleanse, heal, and teach in the manner best suited to your needs and nature. No one controls that; only Ayahuasca decides. So let go of everything you don't need anymore, lighten your load, and prepare to move forward in your life with strength and vigor. It's easier than you think, and once cleansed you'll have reset a new baseline of normalcy in your life. The extent and nature of the purge reflect the personal cleansing or catharsis you are experiencing. It is a holistic cleansing of body, mind, and spirit. As you are cleansed, the purging often gradually subsides in intensity. Understanding the nature of the purge to be a cleansing process and not sickness is helpful in moving through it gracefully and with as little resistance as possible.
  • What people constitute the Shamanic faculty at the Sanctuary?
    The Shamanic faculty at the Sanctuary have a cumulative knowledge, skill, experience, and integrity in traditional Peruvian sacred plant Shamanism that is advanced and exceptional. Our mission and service stems from deep Shamanic knowledge and skill attained over many decades combined with compassion, authenticity, and integrity. You can read more about each one of us here.
  • What is a typical group size for your retreats?
    Our group size typically ranges from 12 to 25 people, occasionally more or less. Standard lodging is double occupancy but single rooms may be available depending on the size of the group.
  • How long are your retreats?
    Our Ayahuasca retreats are 8 days/nights with 6 ceremonies, with 4 deeply cleansing and healing Ayahuasca ceremonies, a heart-opening Bobinsana dream ceremony, and a Mapacho sacred tobacco ceremony in which participants set their intentions. We offer our Huachuma mesadas (ceremonies) following the 8 days/nights of our Ayahuasca retreats. Our Huachuma mesadas are 7 days/nights with 3 mesadas. Huachuma is a superb complement to Ayahuasca and increases the integration of Ayahuasca. For that reason, the majority of people come to SpiritQuest to work with both Ayahuasca and Huachuma, and those retreats are 15 days/nights in total. We sometimes conduct guided Shamanic plant dietas of 7 days/nights with Bobinsana, Camalonga, Ajo Sacha, Guyusa, Chiric Sanango, Motelo Sanango, or other teacher healer plants under the guidance of Don Rober. A cycle of work with Ayahuasca or Ayahuasca/Huachuma is required before a guided plant dieta to open your senses and heart consciousness to enable communion with the spirit of the dieted plant. The dieta is a silent retreat requiring strict isolation from social contact and conversation except during the daily icaro session with Don Rober. If undertaken with diligence and discipline, you may engage the spirit of the plant to learn the nature and applications of its medicine. For more information about guided Shamanic plant dietas, please click here.
  • What is included and what is not included in the cost of registration?
    What is included Comfortable and secure licensed lodging at SpiritQuest Sanctuary in the Peruvian Amazon, all-you-can-eat organic dieta meals, group airport transportation, Shamanic orientation and instruction, guided sacred plant ceremonies, flower baths following Ayahuasca ceremonies, personalized healing and consultation, and enriching integrative activities with nature and indigenous people of the Amazon. What is not included: Airfare, personal purchases, (optional) tips/gratuities.
  • How do I apply to join one of your retreats?
    Please email us at and we'll look forward with great interest in starting a dialogue with you from there. If you are ultimately interested in joining us, please let us know which retreat(s) you would like to attend, and we will send you an application questionnaire. Please request the application questionnaire only if you will both apply for and attend if accepted. If you would like to join us in a SpiritQuest Shamanic healing and higher consciousness retreat, please send a personal introduction and statement of intention to Ms. Selva Lawler using the form here, or by writing directly to and requesting our application questionnaire from Selva. We use a detailed written screening questionnaire to help us get acquainted and assure your safety and suitability for our work. Please receive your acceptance and complete registration before making any travel reservations.
  • Why do I need to have a passport that is valid 6 months after entry into Peru?
    On January 1, 2019, the Government of Peru started enforcing an existing law that requires all foreign travelers to have a passport valid for a minimum of 6 months past the time of entry into Peru. Peruvian authorities will deny entry into Peru for travelers not meeting this requirement. In short, please verify that your passport will be valid for at least 6 months from your planned date of entry into Peru. For more information, please read this notice or this notice or google "Peru 6 month passport".
  • How do I get to the Sanctuary?
    The Eden-like SpiritQuest Sanctuary is located along the Momon River, which is a tributary of the mighty Amazon River. Once you arrive in Iquitos, our team will meet you at the airport and we will take a 40-minute chartered bus to a local port, and then a 20-minute boat ride from the port to the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is an exceptionally safe, comfortable, and supportive natural setting in which to undertake this profoundly healing and transformative work with truly experienced and ethical Maestros and Curanderos of the highest order. The Sanctuary’s ceremonial and residential complex is surrounded by 350 acres of beautiful, privately-stewarded, old-growth Amazon rainforest with rich plant and wildlife diversity. A system of maintained trails interconnect through the forest, providing wonderful opportunities to commune with nature in its many dimensions. SpiritQuest Sanctuary is among the longest-running, safest, and most advanced Shamanic healing and instructional centers in Peru. In 1995, Don Howard established the Ayahuasca SpiritQuest Healing & Higher Consciousness program in the Peruvian Amazon. At that time, SpiritQuest was one of only 3 organized opportunities of its kind in the Peruvian Amazon. In the Western world in 1995, Ayahuasca only had a small amount of interest in esoteric circles and was largely unknown. SpiritQuest Sanctuary is the perfect setting in which to undertake the profound healing and cultivation of consciousness inherent in serious Shamanic work with the sacred plants of Peruvian antiquity. To get to the Sanctuary, you first fly to Lima, Peru. If you are accepted, we will provide you with the flight information for the designated flight from Lima to arrive in Iquitos, Peru on the starting date of the retreat with the rest of your group and not beforehand. This is to assure a fresh clean start for everyone without distractive influences in the city. We personally meet the arriving group at the Iquitos airport and accompany you in thereafter journeying to the Sanctuary.
  • What is the weather like at the Sanctuary?
    The Amazon climate is tropical, warm, humid, and extremely constant year-round. As you can see in the monthly weather averages graphs below, the highs range from 87-90°F (30-32°C) and the lows range from 69-74°F (21-23°C) throughout the year. The weather ranges from sunny to partly cloudy or overcast. We get rain fairly frequently - it is called a rainforest for a reason 😁 - usually in the form of short duration showers. Our residential quarters, dining area, and ceremonial temple are all screened, well-ventilated, and roofed and covered from the sun.
  • What sort of clothing and gear should I bring with me?
    You can utilize a third-party laundry service while at the Sanctuary, and if you wish to utilize it that may reduce the number of clothes you bring down. FYI, it will take roughly 36-48 hours for dirty clothes to come back clean, as the third-party laundry service company is in the city of Iquitos and it takes a day or two for them to turn it around. Bring white or light colored clothing to wear in the Ayahuasca ceremonies. Black or red clothing should not be worn in Ayahuasca ceremonies. Jungle evenings can be moderately cool so it may be a good idea to bring layers or a long-sleeved shirt and long pants for the ceremonies. Our Sanctuary residential quarters, dining maloca, and ceremonial temple are screened and well-ventilated. Mosquito nets are provided upon request for added protection. We recommend that you bring these items: lightweight sturdy water-resistant walking shoes for outings. Some people bring boots, which are not necessary but can be nice as some of our outings involve walking on some muddy terrain. sandals for casual time at the Sanctuary several pairs of shorts and one pair of long pants 5-6 short sleeve shirts/t-shirts and 1 light long sleeve shirt 5-10 changes of socks and underwear sleeping and traveling clothes lightweight rain poncho or light windbreaker jacket sunglasses swimming attire hat/cap backpack or smaller pack canteen or water bottle (purified water is available at all times, and all food and drink at the Sanctuary is prepared with purified bottled water for your safety) Ziploc bags to protect belongings from moisture and water digital camera or smartphone to take pictures small flashlight earphones personal journal and a writing instrument sunscreen insect repellent sleep mask or eye mask earplugs (optional). Our nocturnal ambiance is tranquil and peaceful, but some nights inspire a jungle symphony of nature sounds. Earplugs may be a good idea to prevent certain disturbances if you are a light sleeper.
  • What kind of lodging accommodations do you offer?
    Our lodging accommodations, dining, and ceremonial facilities are of high-quality Amazonian architectural style. Our residential quarters, dining area, and ceremonial temple are all screened, well-ventilated, and roofed and covered from the sun. Comfortable guest residential quarters conveniently surround the central ceremonial temple. Guest bedrooms offer spacious and secure personal quarters, and your bedroom will be cleaned by our staff every day. Each bedroom has a private, clean, and tiled bathroom, and shower facilities are located just a few feet from your room. 220v solar electricity is available in every room 24 hours a day. Wi-Fi internet access is offered for those who need it. Standard lodging is double occupancy but single rooms may be available depending on group size.
  • What kind of communications and electrical service are available at the Sanctuary?
    Wi-Fi internet access is available for essential communications. We encourage you to minimize your time online. Isolation from mundane distractions like social media during the retreat will greatly enhance your clarity, concentration, and connection with the plant medicines and the vibrant natural healing natural energy of Amazonian nature and culture. The vast majority of our participants who minimize or eliminate their time online are incredibly happy that they did so! Landline telephone is not available, but cell service is available. It may be a good idea to consult with your mobile provider and considering purchasing a small amount of international data. Sanctuary electrical service is 220v. All personal quarters have electrical fans. Please note that our power grid does not support high wattage devices such as hair dryers, hot plates, etc., so kindly refrain from bringing those devices.
  • What sort of indigenous tribes will I get to meet during my stay at the Sanctuary?
    We will visit our indigenous Bora and Kukama neighbors during your stay at the Sanctuary. Their malocas are the cultural and trading centers of the communities and are important to them both economically and as a means to preserve their culture. The traditional tribal people make and sell their art and craft and welcome visitors to share in different aspects of their culture, including singing, dancing, and merriment. You will find these heartwarming transcultural encounters to be enlightening and rewarding on many levels. You may want to bring some trade items to exchange for their craftwork during these visits. Good trade items are t-shirts and shorts in small adult sizes, children's clothing, fishing line and hooks, small flashlights, hats/caps, pencils, etc. Second-hand summer wear clothing from Goodwill or Salvation Army stores - or better yet, your own closet - are welcome. T-shirts and shorts are most often requested. Cash is needed too, so you’ll want to have some Peruvian currency in small denominations for craft purchases. Our indigenous Shipibo friends will also visit to display their fine painted and embroidered cloth tapestries inspired by Ayahuasca visions depicting an Amazonian cultural cosmology. This will be an extraordinary shopping opportunity for Ayahuasca memorabilia. We enjoy a long and warm relationship with our indigenous neighbors and frequently assist them financially with community projects through our community outreach program. If you'd like to help out, ask us about current needs and projects. SpiritQuest Sanctuary is a hub of material grassroots support for indigenous communities in our area.
  • What sort of dietary preparation is required before, during, and after partaking of Ayahuasca? What sort of food do you serve during Ayahuasca retreats?"
    Dietary preparation is required before, during, and after partaking of Ayahuasca. The traditional vegetalista dieta (diet) cleanses and clears the senses and heighten your sensitivity to the more subtle consciousness of the spirit plant medicines. The purpose of the dieta is to purify the whole organic and energetic system and open the senses to the energy and spirit of nature. Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian diets are all easily and deliciously accommodated. Vegetable staples include a variety of vegetables and fruits, some of which are unique to the Amazon region, and we also regularly serve yuca, chonta, plantains, lentils, beans, quinoa, and rice. Grilled fish and eggs are the main protein staples served daily during the retreat. Fresh fruit, fruit drinks, and teas are available between meals. Observing the traditional vegetalista dieta, please abstain from salt, refined sugar, alcoholic beverages (especially beer and wine), red meat, fats and most oils, hot spices, and sexual activity from at least 3 days before to 2 days after the final Ayahuasca ceremony. Pork should be abstained for 2 weeks before and after Ayahuasca. This will avoid potential interactions and blockages, and help you to retain the clear state of consciousness in which you will emerge from this work. If you use Cannabis, we recommend that you abstain for at least 1 week before and at least 1 week after working with Ayahuasca in order to maintain a proper reset. Recent use of Cannabis can diminish one’s energetic connection with Ayahuasca. Temporary sexual abstinence is an important aspect of the traditional vegetalista dieta. This can be seen as an offering to the spirit of Ayahuasca which conserves essential energy and helps to guide your mental and spiritual focus in more esoteric realms. Many people find their libido enhanced following work with the sacred plants. Please DO NOT bring food to the Sanctuary. We will have plenty of food and drink available throughout your stay. For more information about the Ayahuasca dieta, please click here.
  • What drug and medication precautions should I be cognizant of prior to working with Ayahuasca?
    The staff and traditional healers at SpiritQuest Sanctuary are experienced in the safe administration of Ayahuasca in its traditional ceremonial context and are richly experienced in facilitating the complex experiential integration around the ceremonial experiences. Your safety, welfare, holistic healing, and positive transformation are our highest priorities. Certain drugs and medications are known to cause dangerous side effects when taken in conjunction with Ayahuasca. Use of these substances should be discontinued and sufficient clearance time should be allowed before the consumption of Ayahuasca. If in doubt, consult your physician. If you are taking prescription medication (including antibiotics), are subject to high blood pressure, have a heart condition, or are under treatment for any health condition, consult your physician about the use of temporary monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI). Medical consultation is especially important if you are taking Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Zoloft, or other antidepressants affecting serotonin levels, i.e. selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These medications generally require a period of up to 6 weeks to completely clear the system and must be reduced gradually. Some may clear the system in a shorter period of time. We recommend you consult your physician about the risks of taking a MAOI in conjunction with your medication. Based on growing anecdotal reports and current scientific research, Ayahuasca seems to provide quick and lasting relief from many forms of depression. In many cases, individuals do not feel they need to return to pharmaceutical antidepressants after intensive short-term treatment with Ayahuasca. Non-prescription medications such as antihistamines, dietary aids, amphetamines and derivatives, and some natural herbal medicines, i.e. those containing ephedrine, high levels of caffeine or other stimulants, or fermented alcoholic beverages may also cause adverse reactions. We recommend that you temporarily discontinue all such medications, drugs, and herbs prior to and following work with Ayahuasca. We do everything possible to assure that your Shamanic work at the Sanctuary is safe and fulfilling. Accordingly, we request full confidential disclosure of known medical conditions and all medications/drugs/herbs in current use as a condition of registration. This is a necessary measure to help assure your safety and welfare. Those with a record of psychiatric instability, psychosis, diagnosed mental disorder, or chronic high blood pressure should NOT partake of Ayahuasca.
  • What sort of preventive health care should I address prior to traveling to the Sanctuary? Are malaria and yellow fever big issues in your area?
    We recommend that your tetanus vaccination be up to date. Yellow fever, hepatitis, cholera, and typhoid vaccinations are not required to visit the Peruvian Amazon. There is presently no yellow fever in our area. Malaria is not a high risk for short term visits to the Peruvian Amazon. However preventative measures are recommended, especially during the period from March-June when the river levels are higher. Many people have lived here all their lives and have never contracted Malaria even without any preventative measures. Nevertheless, precautions are recommended. The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends either Malarone or Mefloquine (Lariam). Malarone is taken daily while Lariam is taken only once weekly. Unpleasant side effects are noted but are not common. Neither Lariam nor Malarone are specifically contraindicated with Ayahuasca. In general, it is best not to take any medication on a ceremony day. Therefore, for those planning to consume Ayahuasca, Lariam is perhaps the better choice since it is taken only once weekly. Doxycycline is an antibiotic contraindicated with Ayahuasca. It is therefore NOT recommended as a Malaria preventative in this case. An herbal malaria preventative recommended by the World Health Organization is Artemisia annua. This plant contains the compound artemisinin which is toxic to the Plasmodium parasite which causes Malaria. As with all medicines, there can be side effects so use with caution. Pregnant women should not take Artemisia since it may induce abortion. This herb can be purchased online from a number of herbal medicine suppliers. B-complex vitamins commenced 3 days before arrival may reduce the frequency of insect bites. Use insect repellent when mosquito or insect activity is noted. Look for a repellent that contains one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of Lemon eucalyptus/PMD, or IR3535. Always follow the instructions on the label when you use the repellent. Alternative organic insect repellents containing citronella, clove oil, lemon oil, and peppermint oil are effective but must be reapplied more often than DEET. We recommend wearing loose, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors at dusk or after dark. For added protection, clothing may be sprayed with a repellent containing permethrin. Please don’t use permethrin on your skin!
  • What do I need to know about the Peruvian currency, exchanging money, and how much money should I consider bringing?"
    Upon arrival at the Lima airport, we recommend you exchange or withdrawal approximately USD $400-600 to Peruvian Soles (1,350 - 2,000 Soles). The currency exchange rate in Peru changes daily. The bank exchange rate is approximately 3.38 Peruvian Soles to 1 U.S. dollar ($1). U.S. dollars and other foreign currency must be in near perfect condition to be readily negotiable in Peru. Bills which are torn (even a small tear along the edge), chipped, worn out, heavily creased, or inked are usually not accepted. Because of the nuances in exchanging foreign currency in Peru, it’s a good idea to use your ATM card to withdraw cash from ATM machines as needed. ATM machines are available in airports, banks, and on the street in larger cities. This will assure that your currency is negotiable within Peru. Be sure to notify your bank card provider or credit card provider that you will be traveling in Peru to assure they do not block your card for security reasons.
  • What are some resources that highlight general information about traveling in Peru?
    Lima Airport CDC Health Information for Travel to Peru Recommended Vaccines and Immunizations for Travel to Peru
  • What resources do you recommend for learning more about SpiritQuest and our work?
    Under the Resouces tab of our website, and also below, you can find many excellent resources which further explore our work: Video Documentaries Testimonials Reflections from Alumni Don Howard Interviews
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