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Who We Are

Don Howard Lawler

Founder & Maestro Emeritus of Shamanic Programs at SpiritQuest Sanctuary

October 3, 1947 - October 13, 2019 (Ascended)


Don Howard was the founder and Maestro Emeritus of Listening to the Plants at SpiritQuest Shamanic Sanctuary. SpiritQuest offers innovative healing and spiritual retreats exploring the deepest roots of traditional Peruvian Shamanism, focusing on holistic healing, personal growth, spiritual transformation, and realization of ancient Shamanic spiritual truth.

Don Rober Acho Jarama

Maestro Banco Ayahuasquero

Don Rober is a genuine Lamista Banco Ayahuasquero. Don Rober’s mastery of the art of Ayahuasca Curanderismo (Shamanic healing) is extraordinary, spanning over 60 years of healing practice in the Lamista tradition of the upper Amazon. Don Rober was initiated in Ayahuasca at 7 years old, began apprenticing with the medicine at age 11, and has continually refined his mastery and knowledge of the art of Ayahuasca Curanderismo for over 60 years. Don Rober’s intuitive gifts and perceptual insight is complemented by his authentic, humble and unassuming manner. He is a natural Maestro (Master, teacher) and native taught, and possesses knowledge that has been passed down through generations of Amazon jungle healers. Don Rober possesses an extraordinary knowledge of the Amazon’s healing plants and how to use them safely and properly. Don Rober and his family have been working at SpiritQuest for over 19 years.

Doña Eliana Acho

Doña Eliana has thrived in the world of Amazonian Curanderismo all of her life. A native of Lamas in the upper Amazon, Doña Eliana has been enormously instrumental in assisting Don Rober in his healing work for over 50 years. When Doña Eliana sings the icaros during Ayahuasca ceremonies, time and time again people characterize her voice as being absolutely angelic. Doña Eliana is a loving, warm, and compassionate Curandera specializing in Ayahuasca, Camalonga, Chiric Sanango, and the heartwarming and serotonergic plant medicine Bobinsana. Doña Eliana helps administer the flower baths with supreme love and care as well as a beautiful icaro the morning after every Ayahuasca ceremony.

Don Carlos Acho

Don Carlos comes from a truly sublime lineage of Banco Ayahuascero Shamans and Amazonian Curanderismo of healing and higher consciousness at the most elevated of levels. Don Carlos is the son of Don Rober and Doña Eliana and has lived, breathed, learned, and worked with many teacher-healer plants of the Amazon his entire life. Don Carlos is the fourth generation in his family lineage of Banco Ayahuascero Shamans and Curanderos. He is masterful in the preparation of Ayahuasca and intricately knows dozens and dozens of Amazonian teacher-healer plants and how they can catalyze holistic healing and enhanced consciousness for SpiritQuest participants. Don Carlos, along with his parents, form a remarkable triumvirate both during the Ayahuasca ceremonies and outside of the Ayahuasca ceremonies in which the whole of the Acho family greatly exceeds the sum of its parts. 

Selva Reyna Lawler Villacorta

Maestra of the Mesada Norteña for Huachuma, Retreat Facilitator, & Owner of SpiritQuest Shamanic Sanctuary


Selva is Don Howard’s daughter and supremely gifted prodigy. Selva was born in Iquitos and has grown up in Shamanic culture reflecting her Amazonian ancestry. Selva was christened with Ayahuasca in a ceremony when she was 3 months old. She has expressed an early appreciation and interest in plants, insects, and jungle life. 

Selva has been her father’s ardent apprentice in Shamanism since childhood and been present and participating in ceremonies since an early age, Selva is blessed with special gifts in the art of the Huachuma mesada. Selva is the facilitator and owner of SpiritQuest and the Maestra and Spiritual Guide of the mesada norteña for the Huachuma retreats. Her skill as a Maestra and spiritual guide of the mesada norteña during the Huachuma retreats is impeccable.


Selva provides guidance, instruction, and personal attention for all your Shamanic work at SpiritQuest. Besides her Shamanic work, you will find Selva  helping you communicate with staff and facilitating anything you might need during your stay. She is bilingual. She translates during your visits to indigenous tribes and always joins in the dances. Selva is a lovely and genuine listener. She’s always available to listen and pass along the wisdom handed down by Don Howard.


Tercero Ramon Villacorta Vasquez


Sanctuary General Manager


Ramon hails from a tiny village in the Amazonian rainforest. Ramon is the General Manager at SpiritQuest and handles and coordinates everything on-site at the Sanctuary. Ramon is extremely dedicated to ensuring that SpiritQuest's participants have a very comfortable and enjoyable experience and that everyone has everything that they need to maximize their time at the Sanctuary. Ramon makes daily supply runs to procure food and supplies for the Sanctuary and otherwise manages the upkeep of the Sanctuary's entire 350 acres. Additionally, Ramon oversees the entire operations of the staff at SpiritQuest, including the operators of our boats, our cooks and food services staff, our landscapers and gardeners, and our guest comforts and cleaning staff.

Reyna Isabel Villacorta Vasquez de Lawler


SpiritQuest Owner & Director of Guest Services

Reyna was born in the small jungle village of Bretania, on the edge of the great Pacara-Samiria rainforest reserve. Reyna was raised in the old jungle culture and learned about medicinal plants from early childhood. Reyna owns SpiritQuest and assists with food services and guest comforts at SpiritQuest and helps coordinate our staff and retreats. She is quietly present in the Huachuma mesadas and Ayahuasca ceremonies. Reyna and Don Howard are wife and husband and have two children, Howard and Selva Reyna.

Sanchi Reta Lawler M.M.S.


Advisor & Facilitator of Transpersonal

Shamanic Studies


Sanchi Reta is a professional teacher and practitioner of transpersonal psychotherapy as well as Founder and Guiding Teacher of the Boulder Morningstar Zen Center. She has worked for many years with Mystics and Shamans in the Amazon and Peruvian Andes as well as studying extensively in C'han Buddhism and Mystic Christianity for the past 45 years. As well as considering Don Howard a primary teacher, Sanchi Reta has assisted her "brother-Brother" (Don Howard) in the evolution of the SpiritQuest programs from the beginning tones of its manifestation. Sanchi Reta continues to offer support and insight for the continuance of SpiritQuest's bright light unto our World and Cosmos.

"At SpiritQuest, the Whole is greater than the sum of its parts."
- Don Howard
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