The Temple employs a regular support staff of 50 people, including our Western personnel and team of Shipibo healers, and is responsible for providing work for many people from the three local villages, Tres Unidos, San Pedro, and San Pablo de Cuyana. All our staff are carefully selected to meet the professional, ethical, and compassionate standards that define the working culture at the Temple.
Our Western staff, regardless of position, are united by extensive personal experience with ayahuasca healing and a deep commitment to self-awakening. They regard providing a safe container for our guest’s experience of ayahuasca and plant medicines as a privilege and treat their very important work accordingly. In turn, the Temple offers ongoing personal and professional development opportunities so that our staff continue to evolve alongside the Temple.
The Temple is also the main employer and source of income and livelihood in our local area. This reflects our commitment to participate in a mutually beneficial and socially responsible relationship with local communities. We employ as many suitably qualified locals as possible and ensure that, as the Temple grows, staff are given the opportunity to develop and broaden their range of professional skills. This includes offering new opportunities elsewhere at the Temple when existing projects are completed or sometimes terminated. We always do our utmost to create stable employment and income for our employees.
Though not an exhaustive list, this snapshot of our of employees shows a diverse group of experienced and talented individuals deeply committed making the Temple’s vision a reality.
Management and Advisors
When he first came to the Amazon, Matthew discovered the beauty and wisdom of the indigenous people yet clearly saw how the impact of consumerism was destroying their traditions.
Following his first visit to the Amazon in January 2007, Matthew’s vision was to develop a pioneering Amazonian healing center with a key focus on respecting indigenous healing traditions in a reciprocal relationship with the Amazonian people and their environment. Since the inception of the Temple in February 2007, Matthew has passionately developed the Temple to become a flagship model of social and environmental responsibility in the Amazon.
Before founding the Temple, Matthew was a successful businessman although he was deeply dissatisfied with his life. 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, Matthew not only saw how consumerism was destroying the traditions of indigenous people, but also their well-being, their environment and their connection to ancestral ways of living in harmony with the rainforest.
Since 2007, Matthew has immersed himself in learning about the traditional medicine of the Amazon and recognizes its significant potential as a healthcare system that can successfully address many modern issues, especially mental and emotional health problems. He has undergone a deep personal healing journey since arriving in the Amazon, has apprenticed with three healers and is deeply committed to ensuring that the ancient medical traditions of the Amazon are honored and respected.
He also believes passionately in giving back to the people and the land and has founded two Peruvian non-profit organizations – Alianza Arkana (January 2011) and The Chaikuni Institute (January 2013) – implementing outreach programs in environmental justice, human rights, permaculture/regenerative development and intercultural education.
Matthew works full-time developing every aspect of the Temple, although he no longer personally facilitates workshops at the Temple. He has put in place a hardworking, experienced, friendly and highly dedicated team to hold workshops and operate the Temple. He deals with our infrastructure development as we evolve into both a permaculture and a medical research center.
He is particularly keen for the Temple to host a variety of medical research studies to demonstrate the efficacy of plant-spirit medicines and legitimize traditional healing practices within academic, scientific and medical communities in the West. Matthew is building relationships with pioneering medical professionals and research scientists and exploring ways to interface traditional medicine with clinical therapy, specifically to support integration of ayahuasca treatment during and after retreats. His lifetime goal is for the Temple to bridge ancient shamanic medicine with the best of both progressive psychotherapy and Eastern spiritual practices, becoming a university hospital for a new paradigm in healing and consciousness.
It was Klara who, in September 2008, had the insight to begin to work with female healers at the Temple. The maestras are now an intrinsic part of the Temple experience.
Matthew’s wife 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. In September 2008, Klara had the insight to begin to work with female healers at the Temple. This idea then manifested through synchronicity when Matthew was introduced to the Shipibo maestras in January 2009. Klara brings a great deal of loving, compassionate, feminine energy to the Temple. Her relationship with Matthew, and the strong support she provides him, is an essential factor in the ever-unfolding development of the Temple and our mission.
Despite often being “behind the scenes”, Klara is an integral part of the Temple and gently guides day-to-day decisions. Klara has been dieting master plants over the last thirteen years and is committed to her own personal healing process as well as learning to work with the plants. Her kind and soft approach to everything and everyone in her life is a key energy that is the perfect complement to Matthew’s passion and vision. Together, they form a loving partnership that stewards the work at the Temple.
Klara is also a trained physical therapist with a focus on Shiatsu and traditional Chinese medicine as well as a professional dancer and an artist. Some of her pieces that were created whilst undergoing plant dietas can be seen at the Temple. More of Klara’s work can be viewed on her website: https://klarasoukalova.com
Jose oversees and manages all aspects of the day-to-day accounts and administrative duties in our Iquitos office and is an invaluable and much loved part of our team.
Jose was born in Iquitos, and studied at the Adventist College of the Amazon where he gained a degree in International Business Studies and Tourism. He started his career in imports, but later, after becoming concerned about the development of tourism and the protection of natural resources in the region, he worked at the regional foreign trade and tourism offices of Loreto. In August 2011, he joined the Temple team as a bookkeeper in Iquitos before becoming Administrative Director and then Managing Director.
Levi Estela Rodriguez
As Operations Director, Levi is crucial to the smooth running of the Temple.
Levi was born in the northern Peruvian city of Cajamarca and has lived in the local village of Tres Unidos for the past 20 years. He has been working with the Temple since 2000, starting as a security guard. His reliability, efficiency, and all-round amiable nature are an immense asset to our work at the Temple.
Levi also holds the position of “gente municipal” and is one of the local authorities in the village. His position at both the Temple and Tres Unidos fosters mutually supportive relations between the village and the Temple. Levi is a father of three children and a farmer. In his free time he grows yuka, maize, pineapples and plantain. He is seldom seen without a huge smile on his face, and the support and guidance he provides to all of our staff is indispensable.
Debbie is a core and essential member of our team and a pillar of the Temple community. Her positive impact on our retreats, guests, staff, and surrounding communities over the past 10 years is deep and beyond description.
After completing an donors degree with a double major in Psychology and Drama, Debbie worked in a number of fields, including education in HIV/AIDs and life-skills, investigative broadcast journalism, management of fundraising teams for international development organizations, international tour production for indigenous musical groups, and documentary filmmaking.
Her wide-ranging skill set serves her well in her work at the Temple, where she serves as a senior facilitator as well as a coordinator ensuring smooth operations of our retreats. Passionate about healing and learning, Debbie has immersed herself in a journey with medicinal plants, apprenticing through dietas in both the Shipibo tradition and a mestizo tabaquero tradition in the Amazon, and has also been initiated in the Bwiti tradition of Gabon working with iboga.
Allen views life as a school, and everyone he meets and every situation he encounters as the lesson. He has come to see that ayahuasca and other master plants are here to serve as teachers to facilitate (and sometimes accelerate) our learning in the school of life.
Allen’s journey with plants began in 2014 when he visited the Temple as a retreat participant. The depth of healing and awareness that emerged from those initial ceremonies would dramatically alter the course of his life. He was deeply touched and inspired by the work of the Shipibo healers coupled with the wisdom of ayahuasca. This inspiration led him on a path of deep personal work and learning with many master plants and skilled curanderos through ceremonies, dietas, and initiations in the Amazon, the Andes, and in the heart of Africa.
In his role as Bookings & Communications Director, he handles the application screening process, is the main point of contact for guests before and after their retreat, and manages Temple communications. From his own experience, he knows the significance of taking the leap to the heart of the Amazon to engage with plant medicine. He loves being present to ensure everyone who embarks on their journey to the Temple feels prepared and supported.
When he is at the Temple, he also serves as a retreat facilitator, a role he has held since 2015. Facilitating at the Temple is the most gratifying and inspiring work in which he has ever had the honor of participating. Witnessing the healing and transformation of others as they go through their journey with ayahuasca and the Shipibo healers is an inspirational healing and learning experience unlike any other.
Much of Allen’s learning now comes from his daughter and wife, both of whom came into his life by the grace of plant medicines. The three of them live happily in Peru.
With experience living and studying in the West and learning from Peruvian, Colombian, Brazilian, and Ecuadorian Indigenous healers, Claude discovered that his mission is to be a “bridgekeeper” – one who can bring the possibility of a true encounter between distant worlds.
Claude was born and raised in Lima, geographically close but very far away from the Indigenous traditions of the Peruvian jungle. While studying anthropology in Europe, he visited Iquitos in 2004 and found the perfect setting for his research fieldwork. He became deeply engaged in how local ayahuasquero traditions were being appropriated by westerners and how local healers were interacting with their foreign guests and understanding this new kind of encounter. After graduating, he became an assistant to an Ecuadorian curandero who was a pioneer in bringing medicine to the Old Continent, and trained with him for a few years.
Returning to South America in 2012, Claude has dedicated most of his time to traveling and learning from different Indigenous wisdom keepers; including the Arhuaco mamos, the Muisca, and the Tubu Humurimassã in Colombia, the Yawanawa in Brazil, and especially the Shipibo in Peru. He has been working very closely with Maestra Ynes Sanchez and her family since early 2013 and has been collaborating with the Temple since June, 2015.
Claude’s understanding of Indigenous worldviews and the Shipibo medical system allows him to bring a deeper sense to our guests’ experiences and he is an important piece in the constantly evolving and growing alliance between the Temple and the Shipibo and other Indigenous peoples. He has a firm conviction that alliance between ancestral wisdom and the modern world will bring forth a new paradigm of hope for humanity, and the Temple offers a great platform for him to weave more bridges. Claude’s calling is “People are United!”
Juliana’s first spiritual experience was a journey with ayahuasca in the Santo Daime tradition in Brazil. During this experience, a whole new world opened up to her – the world of the plants and their sophisticated healing powers.
A few years later, she started traveling and learning about other ancient traditions, at dharma centers and ashrams including Tushita Dharma Center in India, Kopan Monastery in Nepal, and Spirit Rock in California, and obtained a degree in Transpersonal Psychology from the University of Light in Brazil. She has also been deepening her knowledge of the plants through dieting master plants with the Lopez Sanchez family (Maestras Ynes, Laura, and Lila, and Maestro José), in the Shipibo tradition.
For the past 20 years, Juliana’s true passion has been the study and integration of the eastern practices of Yoga and mindfulness into work with sacred plant medicines and different modern psychological approaches, with a focus on renegotiating our traumas and rewriting our own life narratives.
She has supported hundreds of people before, during, and after their medicine journeys, and through her own experience with the medicine, has gained a clear understanding of the importance of the integration process. To be able to support people in a more holistic way, she also trained in the Compassionate Inquiry approach with Gabor Maté and Somatic Experiencing with Peter Levine. For the past six years she has been working at the Temple as a Retreat and Integration Facilitator.
Her goal is to empower people to feel safe in their bodies and to integrate trauma and all different parts of our human experience so people can have clarity on their path and purpose in life.
Facilitators and Teachers
Públio Valle da Silva
During a trip to Peru many years ago, Públio discovered Shipibo ayahuasca curanderismo and the experience reoriented the direction of his life. He has now come full circle, and facilitates Temple guests before, during, and after retreats.
Públio was born in Brazil and has dedicated his life to meditation, yoga, and ayahuasca for over 15 years. He earned a degree in Yoga Therapy at Swami Vivekananda University in Bangalore, India, where he also worked at a Yoga Hospital. He trained in meditation in several traditions while in India, completed an Indian Psychology Course in Pondicherry, and studied meditation at Pa Auk Monastery in Burma. He worked as a volunteer for two years at the Alice Project School, an institution that teaches dharma and meditation inspired by Tibetan wisdom to children.
Since his first encounter with ayahuasca in Peru with the Shipibo in 2004, he has also worked with the medicine with different traditional groups in Brazil, including Santo Daime. He has been working at the Temple since 2014 as a facilitator, yoga and meditation teacher, Integration Therapist, and more recently, as General Manager, and is currently training in Compassionate Inquiry with Gabor Maté. Having experienced the deep and rich processes that ayahuasca ignites within, Públio has a sincere commitment to share the teachings of the jungle and of ancient traditions, and to promote health and well-being in all dimensions of human life.
Ute was always very curious about life, the universe, humanity, and especially about the unseen, which western society has not really integrated into their reality. As a young teenager, she began to explore other states of consciousness and was fascinated by what she discovered.
In her early 20’s, Ute studied different areas of education and social work in Germany. She worked in psychiatric hospitals, in a school for mentally disabled children, and in therapeutic homes for young adults discharged from psychiatric hospital stays. She has always loved to support others in difficult life situations.
Ute then traveled the world for a few years until she arrived in Peru in January, 2015, where she slowed down and her sense of deeper findings in her developed. Since then, she lives mainly in Peru to study with higher Plant Wisdom. She has been dedicated to study in long term master plant diets with a well known Shipibo lineage since 2016. She has developed her own way of working with others where she connects guidance from higher plant wisdom with different western psychological approaches.
She is a certified Transformational Recovery & Integration Coach and did a one year Compassionate Inquiry training with Gabor Maté. She has also studied Teachings & Inquiry of the Diamond Approach, IPNB with Dr. Dan Siegel, and IFS with Dr. Richard Schwarz. For her, spirituality and psychology are two sides to the same coin, and she loves to explore the linkages inbetween.
In 2015, Ute worked for three months as a resident at the Temple of the Way of Light, which was an integral part in the beginning of her medicine path learning in the Shipibo tradition. She is very happy and grateful to hold space, guide, and share her experience with others through her work now with the Temple.
Zuzana trained originally in massage and craniosacral therapy in Czech Republic. Whilst learning massage, she developed what was to become a life-long exploration of energy work.
In 2008, she was introduced to plant medicine in Europe, which led her to travel to Peru and train with one of the most well-known and respected tabaqueros in Peru.
Since then she has completed an apprenticeship in Amazonian plants and has worked independently as well as co-managed an ayahuasca retreat in the Amazon jungle where she facilitated and guided people during ayahuasca retreats.
She looks forward to meeting you and guiding you in your journey at the Temple.
Amba’s journey of healing began when she met a Mexican healer at the age of 21. This impactful encounter felt like coming home. After graduating with a Master’s in Psychology, Neurophysiology and Psychopathology in Switzerland and training in Spiritual Psychotherapy with a healer from South Africa, she returned to Mexico to live with the healer and began to learn from her about the interconnectedness of all life on planet earth! .
Amba then moved to Spain where she drank ayahuasca for the first time in 2001. She worked with the medicine there for 5 years, trained in hypnosis, talk therapy and body work. Her personal healing experiences, trainings and healing work awakened an interest in understanding western thinking processes. She returned to university and studied Ethics (Masters), with a deep curiosity to understand why western thought seemed to be based on separateness, instead of a recognition of life’s interconnectedness.
After giving lectures and leading workshops that explored these questions for many years, she heard the call to return to plant medicine in 2019. It was time to go deeper and head to the Amazon. She came to the Temple as a guest, completed two consecutive retreats, and knew by the end of the month that traditional plant spirit healing was her core path in life. Amba moved to Peru in October 2021 and since then has been working at the Temple as a retreat facilitator and continuing her personal healing journey dieting master plants with a Shipibo Maestro.
Jason has always had a curiosity for life which has led him across the world and drawn him to many practices over the years, such as Yoga, Taiji, Qigong, Vipassana, Aikido, Muay, and Jiujitsu.
Born in Sri Lanka to American parents and having travelled extensively since a young age, Jason became drawn to learning about the ways of the world. He began his martial arts training at a young age when he began studying Judo and Tae Kwon Do. After moving to New York City, a deep longing began to arise for many of the primordial questions that humans have, such as who we are, where we come from, and what is the purpose of life?
This began a journey of sorts looking for answers. He began practicing Yoga around this time and shortly after began studying Qigong and Taiji. He also began studying Aikido as well. New York offered an amazing base to be able to have so many teachers to be able to choose from. With Yoga he studied at as many places as he could try to learn different styles, forms, and philosophies. With a deep curiosity he began reading any classical and contemporary texts he could find on religion and spirituality.
A few years later he felt compelled to leave and packed a small bag not knowing exactly where he would end up or for how long. His travels led him for about two years throughout Asia, much of time searching for answers and learning esoteric teachings. He spent many an hour in temples learning meditative techniques. He spent time in Wudang learning the classical thirteen movement form of Taiji.
His curiosity eventually led him to the Amazon where he began to work with plants and learn the traditional ways of healing. His experience combines many different modalities of working with a variety plant medicines and teachers. The medicinal plants of the Amazon, and the way in which the indigenous peoples work with them, has had a transformational effect on his life. He honors the symbiotic relationship with plants holding deep gratitude not only for the food and life sustaining gifts that they provide humanity, but also recognizing their sentience, intelligence, and teachings that offer us a profound opening to a world that most people in modern society could never imagine!
He approaches his work at the Temple as he approaches his work with plants – with respect, humility, and a genuine desire to learn, so that doors can be opened in life and to healing on all levels. Jason is deeply grateful to all of his teachers and to everyone that has helped him in this journey to where he is, and to wherever it may lead.
Jessica’s interest in body-mind-spirit relationship and the path of wellness began at a young age, first influenced by her mother, also a longtime yoga teacher and Vipassana practitioner.
She has been a dedicated student of Yoga and dance from early childhood. A personal health crisis led her to begin a personal, in-depth study of natural and herbal remedies, detoxification methods, preventative medicine, plant-spirit medicines, food as medicine and movement arts as related to health and well being.
She began teaching Yoga in 2007 and has completed two 200hr Teacher Trainings, certified to teach Hatha and Vinyasa flow yoga. In addition to her yoga training, Jessica has completed several therapeutic training certifications, including Pranic Healing, “Alignamento Energetico” (a method developed in Brazil fusing transpersonal psychology, quantum healing and energy healing), Ayurvedic massage, and Yoga of the Voice (sound/voice healing methods). She has studied Ayurveda extensively, apprenticing with Komala Lyra – director and founder of Ayurveda Mandala, as well as assisting as a Pancha Karma assistant (the Ayurvedic practice of detoxification and rejuvenation).
Jessica is a dancer and passionate believer in the healing capacity of expressive and therapeutic dance. She has devoted years to practicing and studying various modalities: 5 Rhythms, Bio Danza, Ecstatic dance, 5 Elements dance and Butoh. She teaches guided expressive dance classes and often incorporates a sense of the dancer’s fluidity and embodiment into her yoga classes.
Jessica holds a deep respect for the healing ways and ancient ceremonial practices of indigenous peoples across the Americas. She has been working with Ayahuasca for 8 years in various traditions from Brazil, Colombia and Peru. She has had the privilege spending time with indigenous leaders and medicine people from across the continent, assisting in the organization/production of multi-national indigenous-led cultural, spiritual and climate change focused gatherings and ceremonies in the USA, Brazil, Panama and Mexico, as well as acting as a translator and interpreter between representatives of various nations from North, Central and South America.
Her interest and passion for understanding the physical and energetic dynamics of life in a body on Planet Earth only grows and deepens the more she learns and it is her greatest joy to share what she has learned. Jessica has taught yoga, movement and dance classes as well as offering diverse healing sessions in many centers and healing retreats across Canada, the U.S.A, Peru and Brazil. She has been working at the Temple of the Way of Light since 2015.
Deanna has been working with plant medicine for over the last decade for personal healing and discovery, and has worked with the Temple of the Way of Light since 2013. Her goal is to empower people to cultivate a deep connection to self and to help others integrate trauma and align to their path going forward.
Deanna has also worked with The Integration Circle, Numinus Wellness, designing training for their therapists, and has run her own private practice focused on plant medicine integration and preparation since 2017. She has collaborated with psychedelic leaders such as Double-Blind Magazine and Psychedelics Today.
Deanna has supported hundreds of people with many aspects of plant medicine and psychedelic experiences; including applicant assessment, program design, preparation, retreat facilitation, group processing, and integration support, and has run several psychedelic harm reduction focused consultation groups for healthcare professionals. She has trained with and is inspired by Indigenous healers, Dr. Gabor Maté, Compassionate Inquiry, Somatic Experiencing, and is currently pursuing a master’s in Counseling Psychology. Curiosity and compassion are two of the main tools that she brings to this work.
Moved by a yearning to understand the mysteries of existence, Aline started to travel on her own at a young age. At the turn of the millennium, she was introduced to yoga and ayahuasca, which was a big revelation in her journey. In 2019, she came to the Temple of the Way of Light to teach yoga and discovered the beautiful way ayahuasca and yoga complement each other.
A former circus acrobat, Aline trained, traveled, performed, and taught circus arts for 15 years in South America, Canada, and Europe. She later traveled to India where she deepened her quest for truth. In her seven years in India, her yoga practice evolved to a higher octave. Living in ashrams and monasteries in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, she immersed herself in meditation retreats, trained in various yoga styles, studied yogic philosophy and Buddhism, and finally completed her certification as a yoga teacher. She also studied tai chi, qi gong, ayurveda, pranic healing, and Indian classical and folk music and dance.
Teaching yoga for the Temple has been incredibly rewarding for Aline as she loves being in service to the healing process of others, finding the perfect ground to plant the wisdom of yoga in the fertile soil of the medicine space.
Kitchen and Laundry
Teresa Lopez Cahuaza
Teresa was born in Iquitos and is a proud “Loretana.” Although she has no children of her own, she feels she is mother to all those who come through the Temple.
Teresa was one of the Temple’s first cooks and began working with the Temple six years ago. She had moved to Lima, where she was working as a cook and child-carer, when Juanito, a family member and the local Peruvian who originally sold us the land to build the Temple, called her. Teresa’s mother actually owned the piece of land where our third center now stands, so she was very happy to be coming home!
Since then, Teresa has provided delicious meals for our guests from all over the world, and her delightful smile and flavorsome meals have satisfied many. When she is not in the Temple kitchens, Teresa enjoys spending time with friends and family. For her, cooking is an artful pleasure, and she gets enormous gratification from seeing the satisfied smiles of the guests.
Nattie Ahuanari Macahuachi
Nattie is a mother of four children from San Pedro who has worked with the Temple since 2013. Before joining the Temple, she provided lunches and dinners for local villagers at her own home-restaurant. She came to sell some of her meals in Tres Unidos one day when she was spotted by Irma. Nattie was asked to work for a trial period with the Temple and has not left since.
She loves her work, meeting people from different parts of the world, and is grateful for the support it provides towards her children’s education. Outside of her work in the kitchen, Nattie is a fabulous football player and member of the formidable Tres Unidos women’s football team.
Clemencia Silvano Barbaran
Clemencia is from San Francisco de Yarinacocha, a predominantly Shipibo settlement on the outskirts of the city of Pucallpa, in the Ucayali region of the Peruvian Amazon.
Clemencia is an accomplished artisan, specializing in the famous traditional Shipibo arts of weaving and embroidering. She is also highly skilled in the selection and application of natural dyes, as well as the crafting of jewelry. Clemencia´s selections are highly regarded in local markets, and will be available for our guests to buy directly from her at the Temple.
Clemencia has a very important job at the Temple; cooking and preparing meals for our healers and making sure that they remain strong, nourished, and healthy throughout the retreats while they are working.
Kati Cahuaza Falcon
Kati is originally from Yanashi River, further down the Amazon River. She now lives in San Pedro with her husband and seven children. She has been with the Temple since 2013, starting as a member of the Cargero team that was invited to help with the “chakra”permaculture project, and later joined the laundry staff.
Before her time with the Temple, Kati was a “Carbonera” with her husband, cutting down trees to make charcoal to sell in the village. She says she much prefers her work at the Temple. Outside of her job, Kari is “the goalie supreme” for the San Pedro women’s football team.
Security, Construction, and Maintenance
Soini Perez Ipushima
Soini is originally from Aucayo, Rio Amazonas and has worked with the Temple since 2009. After learning his trade as an assistant on many construction sites in Iquitos, his life changed during a chance visit to San Pedro for a football match, when he met his future wife. They married, had a child, and settled into village life in San Pedro!
Soini initially started working with us as a Cargero, but his construction skills were soon recognized and he was brought in to work within the Temple grounds. His range of skills have grown incredibly through his work here, and Soini is now head of the Temple’s amazing construction team. Outside of his Temple work, he loves to play football and is a huge supporter of the Peruvian football team. Viva Peru!
Kisinger Villacrez Moreno
Kisinger is from San Pedro and has worked with the Temple since 2011. He started in maintenance and repairs. His caring and easygoing nature identified Kisinger as a Ceremony Assistant, and he now shifts between assisting guests to and from the toilets during ceremony and general maintenance.
Outside of his work at Temple, Kisinger is a keen fisherman and, a great lover of football, and is a dynamite player on the Temple football team.
Wilker Gutierrez Moreno
Wilker was born and lives in San Pedro with his partner, has two children and has worked at the Temple since 2009. He first started as the Temple’s “termite terminator,” charged with controlling our most challenging jungle creatures.
Wilker’s open, friendly, and caring nature saw him move to the important position of Ceremony Door Assistant, helping guests to and from the toilet during ceremonies. He also works in maintenance and repairs, supporting the everyday practical needs of guests. Outside of his work, Wilker loves to watch and play football, and is a keen fisherman.
Martine Roger Baneo Ahuanari
Martine is from Tres Unidos and has worked with the Temple since 2013. He formerly worked in a brick-making factory but was very unsatisfied with the working conditions and pay. He started with the Temple as a Cargero, and was then invited to work as part of the maintenance team, and soon after, Ceremony Assistant.
Martine has one little boy and has a keen interest in learning more about the plants and the medicine.
Hider Renjifo Shupingahua
Hider, a father of five, is originally from San Pedro and has been with the Temple since 2012. Before working at the Temple, he was a scout for employees for oil exploration companies. He didn’t like this work at all, as the companies promised many things to him and his people, including help with agricultural projects and education, but never fulfilled their promises. Hider moved into making charcoal, but was not satisfied with his work there either, and so finally found the Temple and has been with us since. He has a reputation as a good hunter, and is a valued member of the security team.
Magno Aparicio Roman
Magno is a father of three from Lobo Yaku, and has worked with the Temple since 2013. Before joining the Temple’s security team, he worked as a cattle-herder. Magno is also a farmer and grows plantain, bananas, and papaya and sells his wonderful produce to the Temple to be enjoyed by staff and guests.
Sixto Ramon Pinedo Reategue
Iquitos-born Sixto has 12 children and has worked with the Temple since 2011. He grew up with his parents in the Iquitos area and has a broad knowledge of the local plants from both healing and cultivation perspectives.
Sixto first came to the Temple asking for a loan to help pay for an operation for his grandchild who had badly broken a leg in a motor accident. In exchange for the loan, Sixto was offered work at the Temple, and has been happily employed with the Temple ever since. He is very grateful for his work, and for the support that the Temple offers to the neighboring village of Tres Unidos, which is now his home.
When Sixto is not working, he loves to work in his garden, producing edible and medicinal plants. He is also the local “Agente Municipal,” mayor of our local village.
Luis Antonio Macahuachi Torres
Luis is from San Pedro and has worked with the Temple since 2000. He originally made his living as a fisherman, but when the fish population declined and people had to go further afield in search of their catch, he preferred to stay closer to home and look for other work. This is when Luis joined the Temple team.
Luis is a versatile man, loves carpentry, and brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to his work in construction and maintenance. In his free time he is a farmer, specializing in growing palms for thatch roofs.
Diego Rengifo Isuiza
Diego is from San Pedro and has worked with the Temple since 2013. Before joining the Temple, he helped his parents harvest yucca, platano, maize, pineapple, and avocado, and worked in charcoal production.
Diego’s father taught him a lot about local construction techniques during work around the house and in the village. Soini brought Diego to work on his construction team, having recognized his skills in San Pedro. He is a great sportsman and loves football and volleyball.
Edwin Ahuanari Machuahuachi
Edwin is from San Pedro and has worked with the Temple since 2012. His previous experience includes working on various modern construction sites in Iquitos and selling agriculture and transport-related machinery.
After leaving Iquitos to look for work outside the city, Edwin met his wife and settled in San Pedro. He came looking for work at the Temple and started as a Cargero for a few days. Shortly afterwards, he was invited to join Soini’s growing construction team. Edwin is passionate about sports and loves spending time with his wife and four girls.