In the Shipibo community, Sankenwesna is a name which means “messenger of medicine through traditional Shipibo symbols.”
Maestra Estela (Sankenwesna) is the owner of Aya Madre, a new 100% female and native owned Ayahuasca and Plant Medicine retreat center deep in the heart of the Iquitos jungle. Maestra Estela comes from a Shipibo community called Santa Rose of Denmark, located about 8 hours from Pucallpa by boat. She was born in 1975 and was raised by her grandparents, both shamans and healers. As a child she was introduced to medicinal plants and has her first encounter with ayahuasca at the age of 14.
When she turned 20, her grandfather transferred the power of medicine to her before he died, initiating her as a shaman. She continued learning with her grandmother, who transmitted her light and wisdom. At the age of 35, she began to cure foreigners with physical and psychological trauma, working in various well-known healing centers in the region of Iquitos.
Maestra Estela currently has more than 20 years of experience in the field of shamanism. In her process of learning, she dieted 14 months with the medicinal plant camalonga, 2 years with Toe Floripondio and two more years with pinon, in addition to a 6 month intensive “diet of light” (kind of like a Shipibo version of a silent meditation retreat). She is recognized in her community as the master of light.
Maestra Estela is the mother of 4 children. Her 13-year-old daughter Ronibensho (Amerita) and her 9-year-old son Reinihue (Ray), are also studying master plants under the tutelage of their mother and grandparents. Both sing their own icaros. Her cousin Clementina, a shaman in her own right, also works at the center and sings icaros during the ceremony.
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Christopher Casuccio February 14, 2018
Amazing and totally unique experience. Deeply healing. I spent a month working with Estela, and now I am actually helping her with her website and intake process. She is a true curandera in the old-fashioned sense. I stayed with her and her family for a month in her amazing and beautiful center. It is rustic and simple and certainly not a luxury center. What I loved about working with Estela as my shaman is that she didn't just have me take Ayahuasca over and over again. After a few ceremonies, we both realized it wasn't healing me, and she laid out a treatment plan for the next month. This included a whole host of plant remedies, massages, steam baths, etc. She sat with me time and time again to explain what she saw in my body, what she thinks I need, how the healing works, etc. I felt so loved and cared for, and the plants have really helped me work through some much-needed psychological problems. Estela seems to understand the issues us "Northerners" have, which are both mental, energetic and physical all at the same time. What a powerful, loving and healing soul. I can't recommend enough working with Estela. Go to Aya Madre!!