Area & Culture

Get To Know Your Surrounding

Suisui Center, home of Ayahuasca Insights, is placed on the banks of the beautiful Cashibococha lagoon, 20 kms from Pucallpa, Peru. As close neighbour of the Shipibo Community “Santa Teresita”, authenticity is to be experienced. 

AREA

Pucallpa with around 300,000 inhabitants is the capital city of the Ucayali Region located to the central east of Peru. It has several daily commercial flights with Lima and other cities of the Peruvian Amazon. The connection with Lima lasts one hour by plane and 16 hours by bus. From the airport, it takes approximately 35 minutes to reach the lagoon.

The Cashibococha Lagoon has a variable extension according to rainy or dry season with an average of 600 acres (243 hectars). In its banks, there are many floating plants, and underneath, abundant fish that serve as shelter, food, rest and reproduction for numerous birds. This lagoon is part of a complex of rivers and lagoons located on both sides of the Ucayali river, main tributary of the Amazon river. Cashibococha lagoon is one of these bodies of water that is connected by a canal with the larger Yarinacocha lagoon. The latter in turn joins with the Ucayali river, whose waters flow into the Amazon River.

CULTURE

The Shipibo-Conibos hold Cashibococha and the entire region of Pucallpa in the Ucayali river basin as their native land. With more than 35,000 inhabitants, the Shipibo communities are located on the shores of the Ucayali River. Its tributaries that have been of vital importance to the inhabitants as these rivers and lakes are a source of food and connectivity, rivers are like roads in the Jungle. The Shipibos belong to the Pano linguistic family with cultural antecedents from the years 300 of our era.

Today the Shipibo communities are one of the most representative ethnic groups in Peru for the richness of their worldview, their colorful and geometric handicrafts, their symbolism and their traditional medicine linked to medicinal plants and master plants. Subsistence activities such as hunting with spear, arrow, blowgun and fishing still practiced by the Shipibos in these hydrographic accounts are complementary to cassava, banana and maize agriculture. However these communities are currently influenced by the dominant mestizo culture, which through modern media disseminates Western patterns of life and consumption, especially among young people. This way, the language and cultural heritage of this important Amazonian ethnic group is threatened.

Ayahuasca brew has existed as the spiritual entity of nature in many ethnic groups in the Amazon, in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru and among religious groups in Brazil. In the Peruvian Amazon, ayahuasca is a central part of the perception and wisdom of the Shipibo, Aguaruna, Witoto, Ashaninka, Kokama. The altered states of consciousness mediated by ayahuasca have influenced the art, medicine, language and worldview of these representative ethnic groups for centuries. Hence, in 2008, the Government of Peru finally recognized the ayahuasca plant as Cultural Heritage of the Nation. The use of Ayahuasca in Peru is officially legal.