Warriors' Hearts Beat As One

Interested in receiving an email update every couple of weeks that highlights our work and what's new at SpiritQuest?

SpiritQuest Shamanic Sanctuary


The Premier Traditional Ayahuasca And Huachuma Healing Center Near Iquitos, Peru Since 1995.

¡Para El Bien De Todos!

© 2019 Choque Chinchay Journeys E.I.R.L.

Our Indigenous Neighbors

We hold in high esteem the people of the Peruvian Amazon, their rich and varied cultures, and their profoundly-rooted spiritual beliefs. SpiritQuest participants constantly marvel at how our indigenous neighbors cheerfully embrace life with such gratitude and open hearts. At SpiritQuest, we know they have much to teach us if we are willing to listen. We therefore require the same respectful attitude from our fellow travelers.

The Shipibo

The Shipibo tribe consists of around 35,000 people living in over 300 villages in the Pucallpa region of Peru. Their communities are mostly situated along the Ucayali River and nearby lakes. The Shipibo people speak a native language of the Panoan family. Most now speak Spanish as well.

Despite 300 years of sporadic contact with European and mestizo “civilization” and a massive conversion to Christianity in the 1950s and '60s, the Shipibo people maintain a strong tribal identity and retain many of their ancient Shamanic traditions and beliefs.

The Shipibo people are primarily hunters and fishermen. Their main tools are machetes and spears. A small number of Shipibo people live in Iquitos where they make and sell their sublime art and craft.

Shipibo artisans are well-known for their intricate designs on their pottery and colorful fabrics depicting their Ayahuasca-based cosmology. During Ayahuasca retreats, SpiritQuest offers a unique opportunity for our participants to see and purchase examples of extraordinary colorful Ayahuasca embroidery and other fine arts and craft handmade by Shipibo artisans.  This is always an extraordinary and highly unique shopping opportunity for Ayahuasca memorabilia.

The Bora

The Kukama

The Bora

The Kukama

The Bora are a widely-distributed indigenous tribe who live mainly in the western Amazon basin near Iquitos, Peru. Our Bora neighbors settled in the Iquitos region at the turn of the 20th century from an area near the border between Peru and Colombia. The rubber trade was utterly devastating to the Bora and our Bora neighbors fled seeking a more peaceful life. Bora is the official language of our Bora neighbors, although most speak Spanish as well.

 

It is estimated that there are approximately 2,000 - 3,000 Bora people still living semi-traditionally in Peru and in southern Colombia. The Bora have very distinctive clothing which they make by mashing the bark of a palm into a fiber.

The Kukama are an indigenous tribe who live in the western Amazon basin near Iquitos, Peru. Together with a linguistically related group called the Kukamiria, it is estimated that 15,000 - 20,000 Kukama people live in northeastern Peru and neighboring parts of the Amazon in Brazil and Colombia. Kukama is the official language of our Kukama neighbors, although most speak Spanish as well.

 

The Kukama have lived in the Amazonian rainforest for centuries and centuries. They thrived in the rainforest for hundreds of years before Spanish conquistadors arrived in Peru in the 16th century. 

The Bora are a widely-distributed indigenous tribe who live mainly in the western Amazon basin near Iquitos, Peru. Our Bora neighbors settled in the Iquitos region at the turn of the 20th century from an area near the border between Peru and Colombia. The rubber trade was utterly devastating to the Bora and our Bora neighbors fled seeking a more peaceful life. Bora is the official language of our Bora neighbors, although most speak Spanish as well.

 

It is estimated that there are approximately 2,000 - 3,000 Bora people still living semi-traditionally in Peru and in southern Colombia. The Bora have very distinctive clothing which they make by mashing the bark of a palm into a fiber.

The Kukama are an indigenous tribe who live in the western Amazon basin near Iquitos, Peru. Together with a linguistically related group called the Kukamiria, it is estimated that 15,000 - 20,000 Kukama people live in northeastern Peru and neighboring parts of the Amazon in Brazil and Colombia. Kukama is the official language of our Kukama neighbors, although most speak Spanish as well.

 

The Kukama have lived in the Amazonian rainforest for centuries and centuries. They thrived in the rainforest for hundreds of years before Spanish conquistadors arrived in Peru in the 16th century. 

Both the Bora and the Kukama live a simple lifestyle supported by fishing, small-scale agriculture, and light hunting. They are skilled craftworkers. The men make nice wood carvings of animal figures, decorative blowguns, and bows and arrows. The women make a variety of necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry fashioned from natural materials such as seeds, fibers, and animal parts salvaged from their food.

Girls often have their first child at 14 or 15 years of age. Community for both the Bora and the Kukama functions as a large extended family, with each member accepting a role of responsibility to the welfare of the tribal group. 

 

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.

 

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. 

"We’re all Maestros, and we’re all apprentices. We all have something to teach each other, and we all have something to learn from each other."
- Don Howard