Food & Water
Our focus with food is to provide what your body and spirit require to get the most out of your retreat.
During the dieta period, we stick to traditional meals as much as possible. Typical ingredients include green plantains, yucca, fariña (dried yucca), eggs, fish and oats with occasional chicken. The diet is bland but nourishing, providing the essential sustenance needed for work with the medicine, which can be very taxing on an energetic level. Eggs are all organic, as is the chicken, and we only serve Bocachico fish - deemed suitable due to its plant only diet.
Vegetarians and vegans can be catered for, usually with rice, lentils and carrots, but we have found that for those drinking ayahuasca it can help them to eat grounding foods such as heavy proteins. In which case, the addition of eggs can be beneficial if a guest are feeling spacey and not in their bodies.
In the high jungle, it is quite common for someone to just eat carbs during their dieta, for instance, rice, green plantains and fariña. Over the week the dieter goes into a mild fasting process which can help open them up to the plants they are working with. However, for people who come for an 8 or 10 day retreat, and who are also doing ayahuasca ceremonies, this kind of food restriction is too severe, and the adjustment to life back home too sudden. For meals before and after the dieta we focus on light and cleansing vegetarian food, with pulses, salads and some fruit.
We grow as much of our food as possible, and depending on the time of year can have papayas, bananas, starfruit, yucca, green plantains, avocados and other local jungle fruits. In 2015 we built a greenhouse, ‘Casa Verde’ and began experimenting with different seeds. Due to El Niño’s freak rains, the first season was something of a washout, and the following years too much humidity and ravenous insects defy our efforts but we are determined to find suitable vegetables to grow organically in the challenging environment…
We have, however, started keeping chickens, mainly for their eggs. These have amazing large yellow yolks due to the maize eaten by the hens, and most guests find them very tasty.
We are blessed to have fresh water that comes directly from a small waterfall higher up the mountain. The local community 20 years ago put in a basic network of pipes and a water capture point, which we have subsequently added to and renovated.
The waterfall itself is reached after a stiff 40 minute hike that winds its way through the high forest, until one climbs over some large rocks and discovers a small clearing and pool. At the head of the pool is a vertical wall of volcanic rock, with the Choclino mountain stream cascading gently over the crest.
From the water intake point, the water flows along a series of pipes, to both the community tanks and our tanks. We have a 7.500 litre storage capacity, enough to last for up to two weeks. Although we have tested the water and found it to be completely safe, as an added precaution, we have fitted good quality Italian nano silver technology filters to all main taps in our buildings.
The water network requires ongoing maintenance due to trees falling over, leaves blocking the intake point and so on. But, this is a small price to pay for having such wonderful water to drink, cook with and, wash in.