- Iquitos, Peru
Guillermo Arévalo Valera is a Shipibo curandero of the Peruvian Amazon. His Shipibo name is KestenbetsaGuillermo Arévalo is the founder of Baris Betsa and a Shipibo healer. He has dedicated his life to healing and the transmission of knowledge. He has written books, opened two previous healing centers and currently teaches around the world. Back home Guillermo is dedicated to assisting his Shipibo community and helped create the first Shipibo government.
Arévalo Valera says that he taught himself to be a curandero. He started to explore curanderismo at age 22, began the regimen of restrictive plant dietas at 24, and began practicing curanderismo at 26.
In 1982 he cofounded a Shipibo organization called Aplicación de Medicina Tradicional (AMETRA), which promoted the study and application of the traditional medicine practiced by the peoples of the Ucayali River. The organisation was active in the city of Pucallpa until 2000.
Arévalo Valera moved from Pucallpa to Iquitos, and founded a healing center nearby. The center, called Espíritu de Anaconda (Spanish: "Anaconda Spirit"), has become one of the largest in the area. With over 35 years experience in the field of Amazonian shamanism, Guillermo Arévalo is recognized worldwide as a master curandero or healer. Among his people, the Shipibo-Conibo, he is known and revered by his medicine name, Ketsenbetsa, which means ‘echo of the universe.’
“Ayahuasca makes you learn,” says Guillermo.