I have waited two weeks to let things sink in before writing. My son and I decided to do this together to help us with our own development but more importantly to improve our mutual relationship. I think the retreat worked very well on both fronts and this was in no small way due to the extraordinary energy, love and compassion of our guide and mentor Joanna. Ayahuasca is not for the faint of heart and there is the possibility of going to places that could be quite terrifying. What I think is unique about Etnika's is that the staff go out of their way to create a loving and safe environment. There is so much emphasis on love and heart and the shaman and his partner worked closely with Joanna to provide what I perceived to be an effective safety net so that the overall experience was enlightening and very positive. When I left I felt that a weight had been lifted and I was revitalized by our three-day retreat. My son was seeking relief from anxiety, hopelessness and bouts of depression and he felt transformed and empowered. Through the shared experiences we expressed our love for each other and addressed buried issues in our relationship so it was a strong bonding experience to boot. Now we are back at work some negative karma is creeping back but I think we both feel strong enough to withstand that. Etnika's is beautifully situated in a serene location. The staff are very friendly and the meals simple but nutritious and tasty. The housekeeper is a very nice person with always a ready smile and the price seems reasonable given the amount of attention we received. I have heard it said that you have to go to the Amazon to reap the full effects of Ayahuasca but I can't imagine anything stronger or more profound than the brew we ingested. If you are looking for a safe and lovingly supported experience I don't think you can do better than Etnika's.
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