Our temple staff and group leaders
Following through with a clear message he received from Ayahuasca in 2007, Matthew's vision was to provide an authentic healing center where the focus was not financial gain but genuine healing, ceremonies with compassion and where the healers & staff all truly care for the guests.
Before setting up the Temple, Matthew was a successful businessman although was deeply dissatisfied with his life and unhappy with the "program" that he was living within. He had been searching for many years for a more fulfilling purpose after questioning the competitive and ego driven business world that surrounded him. When he first came to the Amazon, he discovered the beauty and wisdom of the indigenous people yet clearly saw the impact of the ensuing consumer/capitalist society that was destroying their traditions, way of life and connection to their shamanic roots.
Matthew's wife and workshop co-facilitator. Klara became involved with the Temple in July 2008 when she came to apprentice with one of our previous curanderos. She is deeply dedicated to working with ayahuasca, the master plants and the healers at the Temple and is a wonderful example of the benefits that can be found when trusting the healing process. She is a great help to others on their healing journey and can compassionately guide people through the more difficult points of the healing experience, due to having been through many tough times herself.
Temple Manager and Workshop Facilitator
Sascha joined us in the spring of 2011 after following a deep calling from the medicine to be of service and to share all the gifts and lessons he has received from the sacred ceremonies and plant diets he has experienced over the last 7 years.
Having hosted Ceremonies in Canada over the last few years he is now looking forward to working for the maestras and maestros at the Temple to facilitate the workshops and deepen his own relationship with the sacred vine.
Originally from Vienna Austria, he has spent most of the last 20 years in Canada and Guatemala and speaks fluently English, Spanish and German.
Sascha is a wonderfully kind, caring and integrated person who has much experience with ayahuasca. He has a Phd in the 'University of Life' - having worked very hard on his personal development with the medicine for many years, he is a perfect guide to others. He walks his talk ;-)
Andrea first came to the Temple in 2010 as a guest where she, Matthew and Klara had a clear sign that she would eventually come back to facilitate workshops. After patiently waiting for over 2 years, Andrea finally joined us in March 2012.
Andrea brings many years experience to her role at the Temple and has facilatated hundreds of ayahuasca ceremonies introducing and supporting many people on their healing journeys. She is trained in hypnosis therapy, energetic healing and ayurvedic massage and has a background working for 10 years in deep transformational shamanic work with African, Brazilian and Peruvian traditional healers.
Andrea brings considerable experience, strength, sincerity, and overwhelming kindness to her role - she was very worth waiting two years for to come and join us at the Temple!
Amanda is a visual artist, writer and consultant. The gift of her own health challenges have brought her to the Temple family and to exploring the plants' profound healing potential. Through bookings and inquiries, she appreciates the opportunity to support and connect with guests as they prepare for their own workshop experiences.
She is also passionate about community and organizational development, supporting non-profits and social innovators to articulate visions and creating strategic plans. Her work in this field is deeply rooted in integral theory, an integrated map of reality that describes and promotes the 'evolutionary impulse' driving the changes in culture, nature and cosmos. Her work in media has been focused on 'scattering cultural seeds', by showing how communities from around the world are tapping into their creativity and resources to regenerate their local environments and cultures. She is a strong advocate of alternative economics, 'green design', ecological accounting, permaculture, 'whole systems' theory, and indigenous wisdom.
Amanda lives with her partner, Gabriel, on Bowen Island, BC. She loves meditation, gardening, wildcrafting, and handicrafts. With her small business, Andromeda Creations, she sells her handicrafts, and offers workshops on creating 'upcycled' items using salvaged or otherwise eco-friendly materials.
Work Exchange and Permaculture Coordinator
Janeth was born in Quito but has been out of Ecuador for the past 6 years, living in New York and traveling around South America and Europe for one year. She has a background in business and marketing but her passion is social work and plants. She worked/volunteered for human rights and emigrants rights organizations and for botanical gardens in NY. She got her Permaculture Design Certificate at Hancock Permaculture Center in New York and came to the Peruvian Amazon to get hands-on experience. Now she in charge of Coordinating Work-Exchange Participants, which is a job she loves and has opened her hearth to a new level of personal development. Janeth and her partner Michal work together at the Temple, developing new Permaculture projects and organizing learning, sharing and applying the knowledge acquired with the Work-exchange participants.
Local Workers Coordinator
Michal is from Cracow, Poland although has spent many years traveling. He arrived Peru in 2010 where he met Janeth in Iquitos and then, together with her experience, he started learning and immersing himself in organic farming and permaculture, which has become Michal's life focus. Besides developing permaculture projects and supporting Janeth with organizing the work-exhange guest duties, his main job at the Temple is local workers coordinator. Fluent in Spanish and a natural people person, he manages the local staff with a team of 8 ensuring all runs smoothly around the Temple grounds. His background in pedagogics and psychology had helped him to become a a great coordinator. Aside from his passion for the environment, Michal has a great love for music, especially drums and rhythm. In all his travels, he has never been separated from his Darbuka (drum).
Online Communications Manager
Reagan came to the Temple in September 2011 on a trip to the Amazon, through purely coincidental (but propitious!) avenues. Since then, she has been helping develop the online communications strategy for Alianza Arkana, the sister NGO to the Temple, and she is also working on Temple communications, helping with bookings and inquiries, and now expanding her focus to outreach on the Temple’s work, indigenous healing, and permaculture.She is passionate about human rights and the environment, and comes with experience in online communications in a New York human rights organization.
She has traveled widely, including work and studies in Paris, work on a development project in northern Vietnam, and other NGO experiences. Above all, she cherishes her family and friends. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Reagan is currently living in Lima, where her online skills are unhampered by Iquitos’s Internet! She speaks English, French, and Spanish.
Book-Keeper / Temple Administration Manager
Jose was born in Iquitos in 1985. He studied at the Adventist College of the Amazon then subsequently gained a degree in International Business Studies and Tourism. He started working in imports then later concerned about the development of tourism and protection of natural resources in the region, he worked at the regional foreign trade and tourism offices of Loreto. In August 2011, he interviewed for a role at the Temple and has since then been working with us as our book keeper in Iquitos.
Jose deals with all aspects of day to day accounts, collection of payments and administrative duties in Iquitos and is an invaluable and much loved part of our growing team.
Daily Operations Coordinator
Jairo initially came to work at the Temple as a day laborer although he was hurt on the job when a stack of wood fell on him. He was taken under the care of the Maestras and they nursed him back to health in a week. During that time his wife and child came to stay with him - this also gave us the opportunity to see how wonderful a man he is, and upon his recovery he was offered a full-time position with us. Six months later after continuing to impress us with his level of commitment and attention to detail, he received a well-earned promotion as our daily operations coordinator.
Jairo is deeply dedicated to the Temple and our work. He also often joins us in staff ceremonies working with ayahuasca personally. He is an extremely kind and caring person who has a reputation for always trying to help others. Many people who stay with us remark on how helpful he had been throughout their time at the Temple and he becomes a fond memory for many who get to know him whilst they are at the Temple.
Jairo has two children and comes from the local village of San Pedro. He is a key member of our community and a good friend to us all. We are very fortunate to have Jairo working with us.
Guest Relations Coordinator
Kristina is from Charleston in the US. Her biggest passion has been working with animals over the last 15 years. She developed a very successful dog daycare business that she created out of love and which brought much joy into her live. However, she felt the urge to enter into a new challenge that would feed her soul at a deeper level. After selling her business in 2011, she attended a 12 day retreat at the Temple in hopes of finding this new direction. Little she know that this was to be the beginning of an entirely new chapter for her!
Major changes in her life all aligned to her trip to the Amazon where she has now moved and is committed to providing the very best possible on-site service to our guests to ensure that on a practical level around the Temple, all runs smoothly and that guests are well looked after and as comfortable as can be throughout the healing workshops.
Her passions are animals, yoga, helping others, reading, (her favorite book is Anastasia, The Ringing Cedars series) and self discovery.
Erlinda is one of our four local cooks. Considered amongst the team as the lead cook, she is a powerhouse in the kitchen and a very valued member of our community. Erlinda works extremely hard is very committed to her job.
She thoroughly enjoys working at the Temple and not being in the noise and pollution of the City where she is from.
Nelson comes from the local village of Cuyana and is one of the first local staff to meet and greet guests when our groups are on the way to the Temple. As our main boat driver, Nelson's role is transporting guests and supplies to the Temple so is based outside of the Temple grounds.
Nelson has a very gentle and friendly character and is a wonderful "first impression" for everyone arriving at the port on their way to the Temple. He is a family man married with 3 children and enjoys the security and permanence of working with us at the Temple. Before working at the Temple, Nelson was a 'collectivo' boat driver (the boats that ferry locals to and from their river communities to Iquitos). After buying his boat and occasionally hiring him to bring in groups for us, we decided that he would be a great asset to the Temple community and he gladly accepted the role - he then sold us his boat too!
Edgar comes from one of our local villages, San Pedro and has been working at the Temple since April 2009. He is a very hard worker who helps us out with practically anything around the Temple from general maintenance, construction, bringing in supplies, occasional boat driver, and dealing with the waste management system. Edgar enjoys his job at the Temple and is a well respected member of our community.