The Kapitari Center was founded in 1980 by the shaman Luis Culquiton, widely known as Don Lucho.
Don Lucho comes from a long line of natural healers, but he discovered the healing qualities of plants himself, at a very early age. “It was like a calling. My body told me what food to choose. As a child, I ate very little meat, not much fat, but lots of vegetables and fruits. It just came naturally to me.”
Don Lucho drank ayahuasca for the first time at age 16. He soon discovered the power of the plants and felt a calling, which he describes as “the legacy of my ancestors.”
In 1980, at age 30, Don Lucho was an established, self-educated shaman. This is when the spirit of ayahuasca called on him to work with the plants, to help protect the incredible biodiversity of the Peruvian Amazon and indeed to save the world; “Up until that moment, I had not been very concerned about the forest. Then I said; ‘How can I save the world? I have no education, I don’t know anything.’ But I started to learn from the plants. I was told by the plant spirits what their qualities were, whether it was for food, as medicine, or even as fertilizer to add nutrients to the soil.”
Don Lucho developed a new way of agriculture, which is very similar to what has become known as ‘permaculture’ in the West. Traditionally, Amazon farmers would burn down a part of the forest and plant only one or two crops on their fields. But the soil quality is poor in the Amazon and they would soon have to abandon their fields, repeating the process of ‘slash and burn’, slowly destroying the rainforest.
By planting up to a hundred different plant species on the land, Don Lucho recreates the balance of the rainforest, which sustains its own existence. This way, the farmers’
fields remain fertile indefinitely, removing the need to ‘slash and burn’ and even returning wasteland to the rainforest, where it can be reintegrated.
One of the main sources of funding for the Kapitari projects is through our Ayahuasca retreats. Unlike many of the Ayahuasca retreat centers in Peru, Kapitari is not owned or controlled by westerners, but by Peruvians for the benefit of Peruvians.
Don Lucho’s main objective is to share his knowledge, expertise and experience with whomever can benefit from it. He promotes the exchange of seeds and saplings, which he grows at Kapitari and invites people from throughout the Amazon and the world to come learn and share through his ‘Field School’.
Group retreats at Kapitari
Since April 2013 we’ve been running affordable 7 day group retreats that have been phenomenally successful and well loved by almost all who have attended.
Our 7 day group retreats are a perfect introduction to Ayahuasca in a safe environment. Read more about group retreats.
We teach people within local communities about ecological values, enabling them to interact with the environment so that ecosystems are protected and it offers the possibility that our people are involved in their own development, giving them simple and basic education to help them in the management of agriculture and animal care.
We establish a direct link between people who want a closer experience of life in the middle of our forest and thus assess the importance of caring for our environment.
We are committed to social change and the urgent awareness to educate the population of Loreto, which is turning a deaf ear to the global call to care for our resources and heritage of all.
To promote the care of the Biodiversity of our Peruvian Amazon, educating the public through awareness, instilling cultural values of respect for our environment and special care with our habits of life that often degrade our ecosystems.
Being an institution managing a cultural movement to establish training guidelines that can promote effective environmental education, to allow the formation of environmental awareness in the future means the hope of a more harmonious.