As many of you might already know Gumercindo and I have decided to leave The Way Inn near Huaraz and return to our original jungle camp near Jenaro Herrera (about 4.5 hours outside Iquitos). In fact I returned to the jungle permanently back in November of 2012 and Gumercindo will be at the La Familia Medicina jungle camp full time after May 26, 2013.
I have received many questions as to “what happened”, so I decided to write this to remove any questions or rumors regarding our relationship with our friends up in the mountains near Huaraz.
First I want to say that La Familia Medicina (Gumercindo, the Galindo family, and myself) are still on good terms with Ayahuasca Satsangha (Alex, Moose, Ryan, Mike etc…). In fact we are still under the “umbrella” of Ayahuasca Satsangha- we still have a presence on their website and they still handle our e-mail enquiries and bookings/reservations.
The time up in the mountains was a great learning experience for both Gume and myself. We had fun, froze our buns off, enjoyed the great food that The Way Inn has to offer and enjoyed living in a “Sound of Music” postcard for a period of time.
Here is a quick run down of the chain of events…….
Back in November of 2012 I went from the mountain camp down to the jungle camp to work out some operational issues that needed some attention. Upon my departure from the mountain camp I fully intended to return. However, after spending a few days in the jungle camp I realized that I needed to stay. It hit me like a ton of bricks how much I loved the Galindo family…and how much they loved me. How could I leave Mami, Papi, Marcio, Roberto, Sarita and especially little Antonio (the cutest 3 year old in the world)???
I also recognized that if I wanted to progress on the medicine path with ayahuasca, the trees and the plants- I need to be in the jungle with them. Dietas are easier in the jungle (altitude makes dieting in the mountains tough) and the trees and plants are right there. Then there were smaller things like not needing to wear anything besides bermuda shorts all day vs. boots, pants, sweater, down jacket etc… It was also nice to be in a Peruvian environment vs. a largely Gringo environment.
For Gumercindo and his immediate family it simply came down to missing his extended family and culture. Unfortunately Gume’s immediate family really had a tough time in the mountains. The mountains are cold, even for those of us from the northern hemisphere. The cold is an even larger issue for someone from the jungle where temperatures rarely dip below 60 degrees F (I have no idea what that is in C). Then there is a huge cultural difference between the mountains and jungle. The mountain culture seems to be somewhat more reserved whereas the jungle culture is very outgoing, joking and even flirty in comparison. Gume’s family just did not fit in. It was particularly hard on the kids as they apparently were not treated well in school. These difficulties weighed heavily on Gume and they were highlighted when he came to the jungle to visit his extended family. I could see how much happier Gumercindo was in the jungle hanging out with his family, drinking aya with friends and family, eating his farina with fish and heading out post ceremony to go night spear fishing. It was just a matter of time before Gume would want to return to his home and now that time to return home has come.
Going forward La Familia Medicina will continue to work with Ayahuasca Satsangha. We remain good friends.
La Familia Medicina is committed to the donation based retreat model and will continue with it. We have made several improvements to the jungle camp: food quality, nicer bedding and linens, and larger/nicer room options with ensuite toilets.
In the very near future (once the annual flood waters recede) we will be installing a solar system which will allow for running water and limited electricity (refrigeration!! and music after ceremony). We will also be building private bungalows with private toilet and showers. Last but not least we will be growing our own veggies!!
Both Gume and I are very excited about the future of La Familia Medicina and look forward to having our extended medicine family come visit us in the jungle!