Parign Hak-Grandma´s Home

About us

Unique and small retreat hosting initiative of indigenous Harakbut community people on the edge of Manu National Park.

Tags: ayahuasca female-led manu national park native people peruvian rainforest retreats traditional medicine

  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

  • Kat L.   June 25, 2018

      A Culturally-Immersive, Safe and Incredibly Beautiful Retreat

    As a single woman traveling alone in Peru, this was the perfect place! I was directed to Jessica by Dennis McKenna, when I met him at a lecture in Hawaii. I asked him if he could refer me to a trustworthy ayahuasquera (I wanted to work with a woman). I also wanted to experience ayahuasca in Amazon, as it’s where the medicine originates, and is basically the heart of nature itself. Jessica’s originally from Germany but speaks perfect English, which was important to me since I’m not fluent in Spanish (or German) She’s got a very different approach to plant medicine than many of the retreat centers I’ve seen. She’s not “New Age” or “Ultra Spiritual” which seems so common in the West. She’s very down-to-earth, direct, and practical when it comes to the medicine. I felt so safe at Parign Hak, that I was able to do some of my deepest “shadow work” there. Between Jessica and Vicky (the Harakbut owner of the center) there is a powerful maternal presence. This resonates with the spirit of Ayahuasca and creates a nurturing and loving environment, perfect for intense healing work. The center also has a strong focus on cultural exchange, and I learned so much about the local people by being there. This is not a luxury retreat, so if you require pampering and modern Western accommodations, look elsewhere. But if you’re willing to “rough it” a little in the jungle, in exchange for top-notch work with Ayahuasca, and a life-changing exposure to a rich indigenous culture, definitely consider Parign Hak! I will be back!

  • Daniel N.   June 04, 2018

      Transformational & Traditional

    Along with the surge in Ayahuasca tourism that South America has seen over the past decade has come a lot of western glitter, pomp and circumstance, cultural hybridization, and both financial and sexual opportunism. To avoid as much of this influence as possible, I sought something simple and humble, rooted in indigenous ceremonial practice. Once I began to seriously search for centers, I found that not only did such a place exist, but that it was also lead by women and endorsed by Dennis McKenna. That place is Parign Hak, or "Grandma's Home," in the native Harakbut language. The combination of these factors gave me the confidence and courage to take a leap of faith I had been contemplating for the last ten years of my life. Over the course of her 24 years in Peru, the organization's co-founder, Jessica, has taken great care to cultivate mutually beneficial and culturally respectful relationships with a number of indigenous community members and their leaders. This opens up a rare and beautiful pathway to participate in an uncorrupted and increasingly rare form of Amazonian medicine. Those who come to Parign Hak bringing trust, commitment, discipline and respect are treated to an experience which consists of so much more than just imbibing. Participants are introduced to the art, dance, language, food, mythology and biodiversity of a people who have over millennia been the pulmonologists, so to speak, of the lungs of the planet. In this area of Peru, that includes the Harakbut and Matsiguenka peoples. Their own history and struggle, from the spiritual to the geopolitical, are also given a most important platform. In this way, the container and context in which Ayahuasca medicine is practiced is given as much emphasis and attention as the brew itself, and I found this to be of great personal value. Indeed, each proved to be an integral part of a larger whole. Jessica's skill as an ayahuasquera is not something I can speak to with great authority, because my experience with shamans and shamanism is slim to none. I *have* seen dozens of "regular" doctors of all different types. If we can consider them all, shamans and doctors, to live under the single banner of healthcare practitioners, then Jessica ranks near, if not at, the very top of the list of any human being in whose care I've ever been placed or placed myself. She helped usher in and guide me through the single most powerful and transformative psychedelic experience of my life. Her care and insight continued in the days and ceremonies following that night, and in the weeks and months following my return to my home country. The mirror which Parign Hak helped to raise and hold in front of me in ceremony, and window it opened before me into the world this medicine occupies, has provided me with an increase in perspective which is beyond the scope of this review. Contrary to some of the rather fantastic accounts online and in the popular press, this is really only the beginning. Now comes what may actually be the hardest part of the process; the "homework" of integrating these newly gained insights into my daily life. I'm confident in my ability to move forward with what this extraordinary place has given me, has helped me to give myself, and I am eager to return someday soon.

  • Molly B   May 25, 2018

      Absolutely Amazing

    I can not recommend Parign Hak enough. It was such a once in a lifetime experience. Jessica was such a tremendous guide and I don't think I would have gone on the retreat if it wasn't for her. She was so passionate about what she does and it reflects in her personality. She is very trustworthy and caring and really helps you through your experience. I learned so much about the native communities and the area that we were staying and was able to build some connections with some of the locals. There is truly not another trip I have found that is like it. If you want a real authentic experience that also digs deep in the culture of the area/ people than this is your best choice. I have been in Peru for 10 months and this has been one of my major highlights. You won't regret going on this trip. It was such a phenomenal experience.

  • Mou Vcr   May 21, 2018

      A M A Z I N G

    It was a life change experience. We were treated as a family member within the community, the food is amazing (fishes were the best) and the nature is astonishing. The ceremonies were unbelievable, now i understand why Dennis McKenna suggests this retreat in Perú. I feel much more confident and clear about my life. I feel self-empowered again. In my oponion the work that the master does is oriented to responsability, love and respectful. Absolutly reliable... I am going to come back soon... greatful and humble

  • K O   February 23, 2018

      A RARE & POWERFUL EXPERIENCE -- drop everything and say Yes

    If Aya has in some shape or form entered your awareness, if the idea of doing Ceremony has come up for you, if you find yourself on this website... I would humbly suggest to you, from the bottom of my heart, that you dive in heart-first and just say Yes to having this transformative experience in your life. Just that. Just say Yes and bracket (for the moment) the logistics and the fears and the 'buts' and 'what ifs'. This is precisely what I did once I felt the call to join Ceremony and all else worked itself out. Because if you heed the call, the path will unfold itself for you. I truly believe this and have experienced this over and over again in my life. Saying Yes to visiting with Aya at Parign Hak was one of the best things I have every allowed to happen to me. Despite the perceived obstacles, the oh-so-real imagined fears. I am so grateful that Parign Hak exists in this world and that this is where I was able to have my first experience with Ayahuasca. Not all centers offering Ceremony are equal -- I highly recommend you listen to your heart and allow your intuition to guide you as you make your decisions. Suss out the intentions and the feeling you get from the organizers and practitioners. Do your research based on this and not based on how attractive a website or description is. What these beautiful human beings have created at Parign Hak is nothing short of miraculous. Tucked away from all capitalist models and tourism-driven spiritual retreats, Parign Hak is truly a hidden gem offering rare, powerful experiences. It is run professionally but is anything but corporate -- it is extremely personal and entirely rooted in the heart. What you will experience here is a human experience -- you will join the Harakbut in their wisdom, in their traditions, in their living ceremonial practices. You will join them as they gather with you in Grandma's Home -- not separate, together. Together living interconnected alongside all the living beings of the Amazon and immersing yourself in the heartful wholeness of life there on the land. They will share with you their knowledge of Plant Wisdom, of working with the Earth, of their cultural traditions, of their relationship to the spirit realm. You will be immersed in Amazonian life. What better way to unplug from any limited, partial, narrow life and plug into the expansive Living Organism that is all Creation. This was my experience: plugging in to a much greater and all-encompassing matrix of life. All limitation shed itself as irrelevant. The beautiful people at Parign Hak, with Jessica taking great care in the collaborative process, have created a micro-socioeconomic development project driven by the indigenous community's will to survive and thrive. You are not just joining an Ayahuasca Retreat -- you are helping support the self-determination and survival of a rich cultural heritage and wisdom system. You are supporting a program designed to help a people, who have been labeled as extinct, to survive. You are joining them in healing and thriving together. Forget tourism, forget self-help -- this is Transpersonal Transcultural Transformation. Together! Why spend your money on a simple self-help 'retreat' when you can contribute to the transformation and survival of a community as it evolves and takes on the encroaching forces that are destroying life in the Amazon. My experience at Parign Hak was the most transformative experience of my life! It was safe, pure-hearted, deep, cleansing, and, above all, designed with expert care and devotion for the transformation and well-being of all. I am so thankful to the two powerful women at the forefront, Jessica and Vicky, and to every single one of my new friends there for how much they give -- it was personal for them, and you can feel their investment in you. I invite you to invest in them back - invest in this beautiful program they have self-initiated for you - and you will reap innumerable rewards that keep giving. I am still unfolding and learning from my experience long after visiting Parign Hak! Drop everything that stands in your way and say Yes. You will be forever changed. With All Love

  • Shawna Wentz   February 08, 2018

      No place like Grandma’s Home

    Ayahuasca is the gateway to awake, remember, and access other parts of the soul in order to purge, cleanse, learn and heal. During an Ayahuasca ceremony, one has the opportunity to heal traumas, addictions, rewire thought patterns, transform beliefs, and recover ones power and sovereignty, by opening the heart, mind and body into higher and deeper frequencies of consciousness. I chose Parign Hak, “Grandmother’s Home,” as the source for my retreat, because I trusted in the authentic and therapeutic ways of the native Harakbut community members. All members “take pride in the fact that the ceremonies are small, female led and offer a safe space for serious transformational work. Parign Hak is committed to being “environmentally sustainable, culturally respectful and reaffirming, as well as mutually beneficial for both locals and retreat participants alike. The center is also available as a resource to community members.” Parign Hak is truly a very unique retreat center. It resides in the Southeastern Peruvian Amazon, in Manu National Park. Not only is the location of the retreat center remote and raw, it is also one of the most amazing cultural exchange experiences I have yet to be a part of. Literally, I unplugged from the modern world and plugged into all that really matters-the Matrix. I easily found the gracefulness to navigate between the depth of the seriousness of the healing work and the playfulness of being completely connected to the people and the exotic natural world around us. I shared tears of laughter with this beautiful community, while also tapping into the cosmos all within the same day. Harakbut people have a vast knowledge and connection to the plant and animal worlds. Parign Hak is immersed in nature, embraced by the powerful vibrations of the Peruvian Amazonian jungle and it has one of the most bio diverse ecosystems found in the Amazon. I felt safe and exposed in the eco-sustainable friendly environment that was provided. The people of Parign Hak unzipped the sacred hearth of their retreat space, and their hearts and invited us to jump right in. I felt vulnerable, secure and ready to dive deep into healing work that I came to do. We hiked through the jungle, swam and floated in the river, collected seeds to make jewelry, caught fish with our bare hands, learned how to shoot bow and arrows, were serenaded by traditional songs and storytelling by the fire, and fell in love with the ancient heart rhythms of Manu and its people. When I arrived, my heart was overflowing. I felt HOME. My purpose of being at Parign Hak was to encourage the remembrance of my soul’s inner knowing and to reestablish a deeper relationship with myself and the sacredness of being interconnected to everything. When I departed, all of my senses were activated and I could feel the pulse of all life, spirit and matter running through my entire being. I felt HOME and didn’t want to leave.

  • Jodie Jensen   January 06, 2018

      Healing, Transformative, and Magical

    My life has been forever changed since visiting Parign Hak and I am so very grateful to this entire team of amazing, genuine, and caring people for helping me feel safe, supported and loved through this extremely transformative part of my life journey. They make you feel like family as soon as you meet them. The compassion and love that flows from these beautiful souls in this magical rainforest is absolutely healing and life-changing. It is really hard to put this experience into words. As I read through these other reviews I am resonating very much with their spot-on descriptions of this trip - the jungle excursions, hot springs, the deeply rooted-in-tradition Ayahuasca ceremonies conducted by Jessica, the love and compassion emanating from the Harakmbut people, the thoughtful preparation of food fresh off of the land & their willingness to comply with dietary restrictions, the team’s respect and support for your growth process, etc… If you have a strong desire to heal yourself in mind, body, and spirit, which simultaneously helps to heal the world, a visit to Parign Hak is a darn good place to start!

  • Silvia Remkins   November 29, 2017

      The Road Home

    Everyone has a story – the story of their journey through life. Contained within that story are many chapters and roads travelled. If you want to enrich and deepen your life story, a trip to Grandmother’s Home (Parign-Hak) in the Peruvian rainforest is worth your time. The time spent communing with the vast array of plant life in the Amazon jungle is magical, and tea time with Grandmother Ayahuasca is a deeply cleansing, healing, and learning experience. Jessica, the ayahuascera who facilitates the Grandmother’s ceremonies, is a many-storied lady. She was called by Grandmother (a wonderful tale in itself) and serves her calling with integrity, compassion, encyclopaedic knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Amazon rainforest, and keen insight into Grandmother’s teachings. The voice that comes out of her when she chants the icaros during ceremony is otherworldly. Jessica’s friend and teammate, Victoria, along with her partner Alberto, are in charge of the smooth running of Grandmother’s home. Along with their extended family, Victoria and Alberto provide wholesome, ethically sourced meals right out of the rainforest and its rivers. The whole family is warm and welcoming, providing love and support during their visitors’ stay, especially during ceremony. They are beautiful, enlightened souls, and it’s impossible not to be moved by the level of commitment to their guests. They, too, have their stories, and I felt honoured and privileged that they shared some of them with me. I am a writer who ventured into the Amazon rainforest with Jessica to meet beautiful people in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and it was in the name of learning from Grandmother herself. After some serious, transformative healing, I came home with myriad metaphors and symbols to enliven and embolden the rest of my life. My brief but extraordinary stay at Parign-Hak marked the beginning of the rest of, and best of, my life.

  • Mark Cutts   November 02, 2017

      Amazing Experience!

    This was a full week of adventure, rejuvenation and realization! Owned by a local (and amazing!) family, Parign Hak is a loving space that nevertheless allows for personal reflection and rest. Jessica is a well respected and hugely experienced Ayahuascera, who is approachable and authentic. She works tirelessly to make sure everyone feels safe, secure and well looked after, while at the same time pushing you to expand your understanding and "do the work"!. Learning about local plants and their usage enabled us to connect more deeply during ceremony, and with Jessica as our guide we were able to gain insight into the local (Harakbut) people's traditions and knowledge. If you are looking for the "real deal", a space to truly transform and grow, there isn't anywhere that comes close.

  • Davor Vukovic   October 29, 2017

      Highly recommended

    After completing my second retreat with Jessica in Parign Hak (in 2015 and 2017) I can only give the highest recommendation to Jessica as curandera, the hosting family and the place. Jessica's approach is very studious. Before accepting me as a "client" based on our email correspondence, she talked thoroughly with me twice and I had to fill out a questionnaire what gave her a clear picture of "my case". Before going to retreat I've been sent the detailed itinerary with all useful practical details and all needed information about the medicine. During seven days in the retreat she was always available and willing to talk about the process I was going through, to share her vast knowledge of medicine, of the Harakbmut (people native to the area) history, customs, about surrounding nature... Her ceremonies are a powerful yet gentle experience. Trained in Shipibo tradition she adheres to it. Her icaros are pure magic and entire approach very warm and encouraging. Her experience as Manu National park guide is a great addition to her healing skills. The nature around Parign Hak is amazing and trips into the jungle and up and down the pristine Alto Madre de Dios river makes the retreat a really special and transformative experience. Vicky, Alberto and all other members of hosting family at Parign Hak made me feel at home and completely safe. Having experienced ayahuasca ceremonies with ten different ayahuesceros I can, without any hesitation, wholeheartedly recommend Jessica and retreats at Parign Hak.

  • Antonia Feiks   May 23, 2017

      Connecting and healing with Mother Earth and Grandmother Ayahuasca in the Amazon River Basin

    My experience in Parign Hak was wonderful, a week of deep cleansing, healing and learning for body, mind and soul. Parign Hak is a very beautiful, original and pure natural place in the middle of the amazonian jungle, led by an open-hearted Harakbut family. I felt very welcomed and shepered by Vicky, her husband Alberto and their sons. The place is healing by itself and I felt a very strong connection to the vibrant jungle and Pachamama (mother earth) from the very first second we arrived there. Our multi tasking tour guide, facilitator and Ayahuascera Jessica Bertram has an incredible amount of knowledge about the history and tradition of the indigenous amazonian tribes, jungle plants and animals, plant medicine, teacher plants and the shamanic Shipibo tradition and was very very happy to share with us as much as wanted to know ;-) – I learned a lot about the jungle, the natives and about myself. The week was a perfect and very balanced mixture of going deep within myself during the intimate and lovingly led Ayahuasca ceremonies, meeting grandmother Ayahuasca, listening, surrendering, healing, learning, understanding, taking rest and integrating the experiences in group and personal talks. I felt very secure and safe during the ceremonies and the one-on-one work that Jessica is offering each individual participant is very magical and healing. Additional to the transformational personal spiritual work I got to know the Amazon basin in beautiful excursions to the jungle, to natural hot springs and to the river bed. This retreat is a perfect combination of mystical spiritual journeys and very down-to-earth jungle adventures. I am very grateful for this very beautiful and deeply transformational experience and can highly recommend Jessica and her team. Muchas gracias Parign Hak <3!

  • Joanna Hernandez   January 05, 2017

      Grandma's House

    My visit to Grandmas House was incredible. Jessica, Viki and Alberto were amazing hosts. I felt like part of the family immediately. The ceremonies were true to tradition and as Viki says 100% guaranteed. The bonding I experienced with the family was unforgettable and heart warming. As a vegan I was pleased with the quality of fruit and the respect to my food choices. The accommodations were comfortable. I will return I am certain.

  • Audrey Ann Shepherd   December 27, 2016

      A Perfect Spiritual Journey in the Amazon

    I had an amazing spiritual and adventurous journey with Jessica at Parign Hak in the Amazon basin! I was looking for a non-commercial ayahuasca experience and this was perfect. I spent a week in the jungle with Jessica, several of the Harakmbut people, and only 2 other western guests. We were treated with love and kindness, and invited into the community as if we were family. The locals fished and cooked healthful meals, as well as, led us up the river for a day of exploring. I thought the mix of ceremonies and tours was perfect—I loved the trip to the hot springs and the nature hikes where Jessica explained the benefits and medicinal properties of so many of the plants we encountered. This trip truly allowed me to get off the beaten path, an experience not easy to attain in the globalized world; as well as, a have transformational spiritual shake up. I highly recommend this authentic and educational trip with Jessica, if you are interested in expanding your knowledge of yourself, the jungle, and Amazonian cultures. It could not have been better and I hope to have the opportunity to return one day.

  • Barrett Orteg   December 17, 2016

      Cleansing, Healing and Learning!!!

    In my experience there are two pieces to this trip, both of which were vital to the experience. The first is that of being in the rain forest and experiencing the culture, food and relational values of the Harakumbut people (Our hosts). This in and of itself is an experience worth the cost of the trip. They performed the day to day operations of cooking, cleaning, communicating, caring for, and integrating Ayahuasca experiences with a such a particular love and grace. The family values and distinction between them and that of our “western culture” provides an opportunity for profound growth and reality shift. The second part of the experience involves all that goes into the Ayahuasca experience. Ayahuasca is not something to be taken lightly. It will give you what you need and not necessarily what you want. That being said, Jessica is meticulous about every step of the process. (Preparation prior to the trip, Preparation prior to the ceremony, Physical, emotional and spiritual care after each ceremony, Integration of learning that took place during the ceremony, Integration of learning after the trip is finished). This experience is so deep and profound and should not be done without careful considerations and by someone highly experienced. This person should also have just as much care as experience. Jessica hits the mark on all of these items. In summation, if you are interested in Indigenous cultures and want to experience that first hand, and or if you are looking for an authentic, safe and profound Ayahuasca experience, this is the place to go.

  • Frank   November 08, 2016

      Integral, respectful and compassionate

    I have worked with Jessica in her ceremonies on three occasions: August 2014, December 2015 and July 2016. The last series was at Parign Hak. Each occasion consisted of a series of three ceremonies. In my experience, Jessica has the utmost respect for ayahuasca as a healing and teaching medicine, and for the participant utilizing it. There was a pre-ceremony interview where she consulted with me on a one-on-one basis. She listened attentively and respected my boundaries as I described specific issues that I wanted the medicine to address. Jessica was caring and compassionate in her approach. Moreover, Jessica described the nature and context of the medicine and advised me on how to proceed during the ceremony. In ceremony, Jessica was always available for assistance. She sang plant icaros in the Shipibo tradition. With the guidance of mapacho tobacco, ayahuasca and her icaros, I had complete trust with Jessica and ayahuasca during the ceremony. After each ceremony, there was a closing circle with Jessica and all the participants, where each person shared his or her experience. This was very beneficial because there was a lot of learning that was shared by each participant. Jessica provided further consultation for the next ceremony and many suggestions for integration going forward. Shintuya is a small village on the Madre de Dios River. Victoria and Alberto warmly greeted our group upon arrival. We boarded “lancha” for a 10 minute journey to the ceremony site. The very capable Jose met us at the bank of the river. We were welcomed in the traditional Harakbut manner. Jessica’s team was very dedicated and loving during the entire retreat. I appreciated their experience with the medicine and the rainforest. They demonstrated so much knowledge during our walks into the forest. The site is surrounded by the rainforest, giving the entire retreat the natural environment of the ayahuasca medicine. Frank

  • Martin Hoy   May 14, 2016

      Safe,caring, traditional ayahuasca ceremonies in an amazing place!

    Jessica is a gifted ayahuascara. I have had a number of wonderful and insightful ceremonies with her and wholeheartedly recommend her. She clearly explains how ayahuasca works, in a way that is understandable to all. She is fluent in English, Spanish and German. You can be sure that you will be safe,well looked after and that there is plenty of follow up and time for questions and suggestions between ceremonies. If you wish, she even stays in touch with you by email to see how you are progressing afterwards! Jessica’s close ties with the Harakmbut people, which she has cultivated over the years, and her traditional training with the Shipibo people ensure that you have a genuine traditional Ayahuasca journey. The setting is in the heart of the rainforest, an untouched wilderness where I marvelled at the beauty every day. The Harakmbut people we met were so good to us and we enjoyed their warm hospitality, slept in thatched cabañas, and ate the delicious local food. A life-changing spiritual and cultural experience! I am lucky and grateful for it!

  • Tracy MacD   May 06, 2016

      100% Five Stars, Platinum and Gold. I Cannot say enough positive things about my experience with Jessica and her 'team'.

    I visited Jessica and her team in Peru last August. She came highly recommended to me by a very trusted friend. I had been living at a meditation centre for nearly 6 months and became acutely aware of a block in my heart chakra. I was very apprehensive to try plant medicine as the idea of a psychedelic experience deeply frightened me. However, after an additional 6 months of meditation and renunciation of all things material coupled with deep spiritual practice, I made little progress on my blocked heart. It seemed the trauma ran too deep. Eventually, I decided to reach out to Jessica to inquire about possibilities. From the moment I connected with her she was open, responsive, communicative, clear and forthright. I thoroughly appreciated her honesty and commitment to providing the most authentic and 'true to tradition' experience possible. Within 2 weeks of our first email exchange, I was in Peru in her loving and experienced hands. We travelled for 2 days to get to Shituya, a small town in the heart of the Amazon Jungle. It was a more-than-overwhelming experience (even though I have had my fair share of back country adventures by that time in my life), but this somehow seemed like a 'next level' trip. Despite my anxieties, I felt completely safe and taken care of in Jessica's hands. I spent a week with Jessica and her team and I would call the experience nothing less than profoundly life-changing on every possible level of existence. This team is overflowing with so much love and care, respect for tradition and commitment to healing that it's almost impossible to express through words. I have never felt more loved and cared for simply for being human. I was treated with so much compassion that that alone might have been enough to shatter my heart block. I continue to receive support, love and guidance from Jessica as needed despite the time that has passed, and I am able stay in touch intermittently with her team - who I adore - despite the fact that they live in such a remote community. Their commitment to their participants (who inevitably become a part of their extended family) is truly touching. The sense of respect, love and compassion that they collectively express is eye-opening to say the least. If you've ever considered trying Ayahuasca or delving deeper into your experiences with this life-changing medicine, Jessica and her team are simply the best available to facilitate a deeply transformative experience with no less love and compassion than a mother of the most divine kind.

Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

To be more present and engaged in the world, to be of benefit to others. Vincent

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We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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