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Chancas Amazon Rainforest Adventure Expeditions
 
 
Chancas Expeditions of Tarapoto, Peru offers you the adventure of a lifetime in the Amazon rainforest jungles of Peru. Whitewater rafting, river expeditions in the Amazon rainforest, jungle river trips with Ayahuasca ceremonies and guided tours with an English speaking guide to the mysterious region of Chachapoyas.

 

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Ayahuasca
Our Camping trips with Ayahuasca Experience are designed to introduce the participants to traditional Amazon medicinal practices. We offer three sessions of Ayahuasca during the six day river expedition.
 
The principal medicinal plant used by shamans (curanderos) in the Amazon is called yage, or yaje, in Colombia and Ayahuasca in Equador and Peru (Quechua "vine of the dead, vine of the souls," aya means in Quechua "spirit" or "soul" while huasca means "vine," "rope"). The mixture is prepared from segments of the ayahuasca vine Banisteriopsis caapi. Sections of vine are boiled with leaves from chacruna a small jungle bush (Psycotria viridis). This mixture has been used for thousands of years to enter the sacred supernatural world, to heal, divine, and worship. Traditional healing by curanderos using psychotropic plants remains today an accepted practice in indigenous and mestizo communities of the Peruvian Amazon. Psychotropic plants are known as "plant teachers" and contact with the spirits of the plants by ingesting them is considered "the path to knowledge". An apprentice curandero will undergo extended dieting combined with Ayahuasca ceremonies during which the visions experienced after consuming the mixture teach him his methodology.
 
The first written record of the practices associated with Ayahuasca was set down in the middle of the nineteenth century by Richard Spruce (Notes of a Botanist on the Amazon and Andes), who was one of the British biologists of the 19th century who made the journey into the Amazon. Spruce spent 2 years living and collecting in Tarapoto and become one of botany's greatest collectors. In 1851, while exploring the upper Rio Negro of the Brazilian Amazon, he observed the use of Ayahuasca. He came upon it twice in Peru in 1853. In his book he described its sources, its preparation and its effects upon himself.
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Ayahuasca is properly consumed in a ceremony under the guidance of a Shaman who uses tobacco smoke, prayer songs known as Icaros and the scent of agua florida to call the spirits to guide in healing. In traditional medicine of the Amazon purging (vomiting and temporary diarrhea may occur as the system is cleansed) is considered a beneficial aspect of the cleansing process and Ayahuasca is often referred to as the "purga" or purge. These effects are transient and experienced by many, but not all people sharing the Ayahuasca. The shaman guides and protects the participants from harmful energies and summons the healing spirits to aid each participant in their personal quest. The icaros are used in achieving the trance state enabling communion with the Spirit World and facilitating the healing. The experience may reveal remarkable visions, some beautiful, others frightening, often producing a life-changing experience. Not everyone receives visions the first time they participate in an Ayahuasca ceremony, more than one session is sometimes needed to realize this experience. Personal preparation with adherence to dietary requirements and a positive attitude are critical for the best results.

Participants in Ayahuasca ceremonies are reminded that consumption of some plant medicines may bear health risks or produce unpleasant side effects, and may require dietary preparation. If there is a possibility you might partake of Ayahuasca, consult your physician about consumption of a temporary monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), especially if you are taking prescription medication or are subject to hypertensive crisis, high blood pressure or other significant health problems. This is especially important if you are taking Prozac or other antidepressants affecting serotonin levels. You are solely responsible for all appropriate health precautions. Each individual is free to participate in whatever manner they choose and assume risks and liability.


For more information here are some suggestions for further reading.

Luna, Luis Eduardo. 1984. The Concept of Plants as Teachers Among Four Mestizo Shamans of Iquitos, Northeast Peru. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 11135-56.

Luna, Luis Eduardo, Pablo Amaringo (Conributor) 1991. Ayahuasca Visions: The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman North Atlantic Books.

John M. Perkins. The World Is As You Dream It : Shamanic Teachings from the Amazon and Andes Inner Traditions Intl. Ltd., 1994.

James L. Castner, Stephen L. Timme, James A. Duke. A Field Guide to Medicinal and Useful Plants of the Upper Amazon Feline Pr; 1998.

Richard Evans Schultes and Albert Hofmann. Plants of the Gods : Their Sacred, Healing and Hallucinogenic Powers Inner Traditions Intl. Ltd., 1992.

Cordova-Rice Lamb, F. Bruce Lamb, Manuel Cordova-Rios Wizard of the Upper Amazon : The Story of Manuel Cordova-Rios North Atlantic Books, 1986

Los Chancas Expeditions
Jirón Rioja 357, Tarapoto, Peru
Telephone: 51-94-52-2616
E-mail: chankas@terramail.com.pe
 
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