Shamanic Permaculture Work Study Service

About This Event

Contribute your heart and hands and immerse in service together with us as we continue to lay the foundations for Paititi’s majestic sanctuary. This Work Study Service session will run for one month however participants are welcome extend their stay for a longer period.

As a work study service participant at the Paititi Institute you will be coming to be a part of our community and will be involved in the day to day functioning including preparing community meals, participating in community meetings (both relating and strategy), master planning, hands on project work, personal transformation work and more. Paititi is a labor of love and grows through the contribution of its residents, short and long term. Here, our work is our prayer and as a community we practice presence, compassion, selfless service and hard work for the benefit of all beings. We work together to cultivate the highest view – a perspective where the individual happiness and welfare of all are considered with the wish that all beings will be free from suffering.

The Work

Our time will focus on deep observation, master planning, and pioneering infrastructure. We will be meditating, making offerings, cooking, planting, hiking, exploring, drawing, mapping, visioning, designing, building, transforming and healing landscapes inside and out.

As a community we work to harmonize with the natural cycles of the day, the land and the seasons. Most days we will wake at sunrise and will head to bed in the early evening. We make an effort to share in daily practice and daily check in meetings. The kitchen is always a busy place and the service group will rotate through kitchen service.

We will focus on a number of community projects during this time – many of which will be planned together with the service group in our weekly strategy meetings. Some key elements we expect to focus on include planting vegetable gardens and trees, working on water flow designs for the property and implementing portions of the designs, emergency training and planning, natural building projects (working with stone and adobe), remodeling/refinishing existing structures and overall master planning design process. Participants will have the opportunity to immerse into the natural cycles while learning to collaborate with a community though uniting in shared heart and vision.

As an essential and core part of this process we will be exploring deeply what it means to be stewards of nature, and starting with this enchanted  land where for thousands of years the ancestors of humanity cultivated the same intention.

Be prepared to have your comfort zone challenged. Work can be hard, sweaty, dirty but also deeply fulfilling, grounding, fun and a great way to gain knowledge and a deeper connection to the inherent true nature in all of us.

To learn more about our phylosophy of Shamanic Permaculture please read a recent blog article we published on the subject >>

Please note that this session will not include Ayahuasca or Huachuma Initiations. During this session we will be working with the Sacred plant medicine of Coca as well as the profound medicine of the mountains.

Participation Requirements:

Minimum participation is one month. Participants may not have the opportunity to leave the center during this time except in the case of an emergency and should arrange their personal affairs so that it will not be necessary to leave. Each participant will have one personal day a week.Participants should be healthy and in good physical shape. During this program you will be on your feet all day and will do a lot of walking in the mountains. At this time, while the road is still being built, there is a 2+ hour hike into the property. In addition, many tasks on the property itself involve steep ascents and descents.There are many unknown elements as we embrace this early phase of establishing roots. We will be working with simple and young infrastructure. Those who join should be willing and able to embrace this with a positive, solutions-oriented attitude. Participants should be comfortable living in a tent, taking cold showers, living with minimal solar electricity, solving unexpected challenges, and hiking steep terrain.Work study service participants must be minimum 21 years old. Younger participants may be accepted with letters of recommendation. Contact us to discuss.Previous completion in a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) is a plus but not required. (Please note this is not a PDC).All work study service participants must be physically and mentally healthy and stable. If you have a chronic and or debilitating health condition this program is not appropriate for you at this time. Instead we are happy to work with you as a patient where we can offer the proper support in your healing process. Read more about working with us as a patient >>All participants are required to have personal travel insurance with emergency evacuation coverage. More details can be found in the info and prep document.


$600.00 – Shamanic Permaculture Work Study Service

A non-refundable deposit of 30% is due in full at the time of registration in order to hold your space. If we are not able to accept you into the program, the deposit will be refunded. Some scholarships are available for local Peruvians and others from developing countries with financial challenges

Extended Stay

It is an option to extend your stay. If you are interested in extending your stay past the end date of this program it is not nessasary to apply again. Please note how long you wish to stay in your applicaiton.

During the second month of service the contribution is $20 a day.During the third month of service the contribution is $15 a day.After 3 months potential scholarship sponsorship (non-paying roles) may be available
upon review. Currently there is a limited amount of scholarships available. In some cases scholarship may be possible sooner than 3 months.

Read the Info Package for Additional Details Before Registering >>


  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

  • Julia Pancoe   May 29, 2019

      Invaluable help along my path

    I have attended a number of retreats with Paititi Institute over the years. I have found the community to be very supportive and the leadership to be truly abiding by the principles of growth and living in alignment with nature that they so beautifully share at the retreats. For me these retreats revolutionized the way I am able to relate to and communicate with other people - with much more openness and greater depth. They also reminded me that I am a part of the natural world, not separate. Because there is a lot of sharing and integrating experience as a group at Paititi retreats there is a strong sense of tribe and of supporting one another. From personal experience I can vouch that the practices at the retreats are bringing deep insights and evolving human consciousness! Also the land in Peru where the longer retreats are held is remote stunningly beautiful!

  • Lorenz Christian Sell   October 20, 2018

      Deep heartfelt transformation

    I have attended a number of retreats with Paititi, led by Roman and Cynthia, both the US and in Peru. Their dedication to the work and the transformation of consciousness is evident in every moment of the experience. What I look for in the teachers that I most resonate with is humility, deep integrity, and genuine devotion. I have this experience with Roman and Cynthia every time I am in their presence. Their retreats always leave me feeling a little more whole and connected to my heart in a beautiful way. I highly recommend attending one of their retreats if you have a chance to do so.

  • Jaya Kya   August 15, 2018

      True Nature Blessings!

    It has been a year and a half since I had the honor and privilege to participate in Paititi’s Embody True Nature Retreat, an experience that I still hold as the greatest initiation of my life. The gift of a month steeped in the beauty of nature, the majesty and lushness of mountains meeting jungle, drinking and bathing in waters that spring from the land, removed from media and technology and my habitual life was an opportunity that rejuvenated all of my systems. One aspect of my experience that I value so much is how the facilitators genuinely show up for there own healing journey. Through witnessing the facilitators own vulnerability and sincere willingness to do there inner work I felt permission and deep support to do the same. The authenticity and vulnerability of all involved created a safe atmosphere in which we could all let go of our masks and be seen in necessary rawness of true healing. One of the gifts of this experience is a deep learning in how to live in community, how to honor self and other through all the waves and weather of life. Looking back on my retreat experience now I feel only gratitude, this does not indicate that my journey was only sweet, lovely or romantic. Diving head first into my own healing brought forth many edges that felt extremely uncomfortable, raw and at moments unbearable. The gift behind these challenging moments was the realization of my own strength. My time on that mountainside was very full spectrum. From the deep purifications, the sore tired body that was asked to show up each day for more soul stretching activity to the magic of sharing song and a bond in the purposeful endeavor of exploring the essence of ourselves. I can easily say it was the hardest and most rewarding month of my life. Anyone who is thinking of participating in this retreat I would ask you to honestly check in and ask yourself: Are you ready to turn and face the places that in you that are no longer serving your highest purpose, are willing to revisit past wounds and traumas that hinder your authentic expression, are you willing to die to all the ideas and constructs that have held around your identity, are you willing to step nakedly into the mystery of a new life, if these prompts are aligned with your aspirations the container of Embody True Nature is brilliantly designed to support you to the degree you are willing to do this painfully beautiful work.

  • Brandon Johnson   June 05, 2018

      A Journey Back to My Heart, My Home

    I can’t say enough positive things about my experience with Paititi. What I received, gained, learned and remembered while I was there on their land was beyond what I could have imagined going into it. This was my first time in Peru and doing any sort of retreat. What initially called me to Peru came from the medicine work that I had done in the US over the two years prior to my trip to Paititi. I had been to Paititi’s Primordial Breathwork in the spring of 2016 when they were on their US tour, looked at their website afterwards, and bookmarked it—this was my only connection with them prior. I will do my best to paint a clear picture of the 6 months I spent with Paititi in 2017, but first I will give a little background. From the beginning of my ceremony work, prior to Paititi, my intention was to come to terms with my life experiences and to come out of depression and find meaning in my life (whether or not I could express that in words or not at that time is another story). Even though I felt that I was making progress in these matters, I had a deep calling to go to Peru and really dedicate my life to the tradition with the idea that I wanted to apprentice and eventually be a shaman (mind you now I have a very different perspective which I will address later). I sat with multiple different groups in my home state searching for guidance—a teacher—because there was a feeling inside that something was missing with the group leaders I had interacted with thus far. This led me to finally decide that I must go to Peru to satisfy this inner knowing and yearning for a deeper, more authentic teaching. So began my search. I knew that I wanted to spend a significant time in Peru in order to follow the calling I felt that I mentioned earlier. I searched the web and considered many centers, retreats and places to go and reached out to people I knew that had been to Peru, but nothing felt right and I was frustrated and unsure. It was at this time that I rediscovered Paititi’s website and immediately felt relief and a knowing that this was where I was meant to be. Following this decision it seemed that life itself rolled out the red carpet for me, making it all fairly simple to embark on my journey, which further made me feel I made the right decision. I planned my trip beginning in May of 2017 with their Shamanic Permaculture Work Study Service, followed by the Embodying True Nature Consciousness Transformation Retreat as a participant, and then ending with the Shamanic Permaculture Design Certificate Course in November. I wanted to be able to have a very clear experiential view of what Paititi stands for and teaches because I felt very strong calling to their apprenticeship. If I was going to make that commitment to my own personal growth and entrust it in someone else as well, I wanted to know without a doubt that I was in the right place. Looking back I can say that the hike into the land could be considered the beginning of when my work with Paititi started, but at the time I had no idea at all. Deep seated issues began to surface in the shape of anger and frustration—feelings that I felt and did my best to avoid in the past. I was 315 pounds and was having a very difficult time but never once thought to quit. I was the last one in my group to arrive to the Paititi Base Camp but I made it! In the following weeks during the Permaculture Works Study Service I found myself exhausted and frequently frustrated. Frustrated in myself for being so out of shape and heavy. Frustrated for as many reasons as I could come up with. I don’t think I expected to feel this. Looking back I must have had some delusion that everything would be rainbows and lollipops even though on a deeper level I was committed to facing my own demons. Perfect. Here I was in Peru, living out what was once a dream in my mind and here I was angry, confused, constantly tired! How amazing to be face to face with these things. What I slowly began realizing is that the container Roman and Cynthia have established, that is supported by the land itself and the core team, of healing, facing oneself, and resting with what is is so strong and pure that while I was there building terraces, raised beds, learning to make bread and kimchi, I was unknowingly engaged in the work that Paititi is committed to providing. In my first 3 months on the land I spent a large majority of it getting to know Paititi and their practices through two of their apprentices, Elton and Anthony. It was during this time that I had an amazing opportunity to really find out more about the apprenticeship and to see how it was working in their lives. It was through them and our late night talks chewing coca that I had my first peek into the bigger picture of what Paititi is here to offer the world. It was during this time that I realized first and foremost the apprenticeship isn’t about becoming a shaman or medicine man, but learning how to be human. Only by facing my own challenges and the darkest parts of myself could I ever begin to truly help others. Even though I thought I had read the contents of the website throughly multiple times, it wasn’t until I actually experienced it myself and talked to others who were also engaged in the process that I understood some deeper truths about myself. It’s really hard still for me to put into words, but a clarity about my life began to come about that helped me understand my life in a whole new way. I could begin to see the events and circumstances I have encountered through my life as purifications and blessings. Next came the Embodying True Nature Retreat. What I can say is that Paititi’s core team holds a very incredible space. They are authentic beings also walking the path they are showing—they are leading the way. Not once while there did I ever get the feeling that they felt they were better than anyone else because they were core team, apprentices, or leaders. To me it felt that we were all equals, humans helping one another and each one of us dealing with the same energies each in our own unique situations. With the shared heart of humanity, I could see how to we all are in this together. I felt very comfortable supported within their container. I felt safe and secure to allow myself the space to observe what was moving within and through me and to see how these universal energies are constantly arising and passing away. I felt a deep peace within myself I had been searching for my whole life. To allow the feelings and emotions I had been pushing away and repressing for decades was something I don’t think I had even considered being possible until at least the Embodying True Nature Retreat began, but here I was amongst the most beautiful scenery being held and supported in a way I never knew was possible while facing some of the most challenging times of my life. To actually face my demons, to face myself, to begin to take responsibility for my life was prior only a concept that was now becoming experiential. With the practices and foundations I was learning from Paititi, I could see that this peace, this space, this stillness always existed and I was more and more able to connect with it. Lastly came the Shamanic Permaculture Design Certification Course. Staying on the land gave me the opportunity to continue to integrate while on their breathtaking land. Ending with the permaculture course allowed me to further see how the inner and outer landscapes are one in the same. While tending outwardly to the gardens and learning the principles of permaculture, I could see directly how they applied to my inner garden. While planting, watering and nurturing seeds outside myself, I reflected how my inner seeds were also being cared for. Andrew Jones, the incredible facilitator for this course, introduced the Native American Eight Shields Model and I was one of the deeper healing representatives of the northwest. This gave me the opportunity to share these insights of continued and deeper healing of my own journey with the group and to connect the dots of all the lessons and challenges of my life. All in all, if someone is looking for a place to connect with himself, nature, and the shared heart of humanity and all life then I cannot recommend Paititi enough. The facilitation of medicine ceremonies is top notch. The care and concern and encouragement to face one’s self is built in through all of their practices and teachings. Combining the Amazonian, Andean and Tibetan traditions, I feel that Paititi clearly shows the essence of deep connection through time and space of all things. I feel that Paititi demonstrates a true understanding of the indigenous wisdom and provides an authentic, loving container in which I could go deep within to find my spark, my inspiration, my home. On this magical, inspiring land I befriended myself and in doing so made life-long friends outwardly as well. Thank you Paititi!

  • Susana   May 29, 2018


    We had the pleasure of being in retreat with Roman, Cynthia and Emily, their open arms, family building and love is big. Sitting in circle, meeting great people, the wisdom and practice of listening to others and learning from all. Guided into discovering oneself and all of this accompanied by lovely music. It is absolutley worth it, they provide a space of growth, learning and joy. We are greatful to be a part of this, and hope to come back soon. Thank you Susana and Gabriel

  • Katherine Bennett   May 23, 2018

      The most loving and compassionate community I have ever been!

    I spent six months at Paititi Institute, attending two shamanic permaculture work-study courses, one transformation track work-study service while supporting the Embody True Nature retreat participants, and assisting at the Intercultural Healing Exchange. My experience at Paititi changed my life in so many ways, and I would recommend this place to anyone looking to heal, realize their true nature, realize their potential, and/or experience how beautiful life can be when love and compassion are integrated and embodied within a community. Over the last six years, I have been traveling and spending time in various spiritual and/or permaculture communities, The most holistic (balanced and well-rounded) community I've encountered is Paititi Institute in the Sacred Valley of Peru. There, I felt that I had finally found a community whose vision I agree with so passionately that I wanted to be a part of it and support the healing and growth which happens there for the rest of my life. I consider Paititi my family and my tribe. If you are looking for permaculture, organic farming/gardening, shamanism, sacred plant medicine, yoga, qigong, off-grid living, Dzogchen, Tibetan Buddhism, conscious communication, etc., then this is your place! It is a remarkably beautiful family of like-minded people building a community on the side of a mountain. What more could you want?!

  • Elton Lee Abela   June 27, 2015

      Choosing a School , Guide and a Pure Safe Space where i can Learn.....

    4 years ago i embarked on this Journey of Awareness,Transformation and Self Development.... Life Brought to me amongst many things, Meditation and Medicine and with this i left to South America. I've seen the calling for the Medicine and i answered, but it took me almost 4 years of Looking and experiencing all kinds of experiences and situations to finally choose a Guide / Teacher and a Place where i want to Develop and Discover more of Myself and the Medicine. I was Looking for something Pure and for a Place where the sentence ' for the benefit of others ' is Mentioned and Practiced. I must say that at Paititi i discovered this and More. The Place Itself is very safe, and there is no 'Chaos' around. I see the Place as the place where a Family can grow Healthy with Strong Solid Principles and Foundations especially with the Loving guidance of Roman and Cynthia. I've seen How these guys Guide and with how much precision, Love, Compassion and Discipline they prepare the Medicine and they share their Knowledge. Through my experience i have seen that there are many non experienced or Fake Healers but they are very good in Setting up a good show, tell beautiful stories, and not to say the least sing beautiful Songs but in here i went beyond the Good show and the Nice Music many 'Shamans' can Put. Here i learnt about many Healing Modalities and ways that compliment each other so we can go deeper and see more layers and also to not get lost in the world of Spirit but to be very Grounded and Precise about what is happening around us. The Richness this Place offers it can only be experienced, and although i am trying to share it, one must be there and see himself. I was amazed to see Roman and Cynthia guiding like that the ceremonies, and how they created a safe container where there is Discipline, Education, Freedom and a Shared Heart in the same time. I've also seen how the community is centered at their heart and how they are weaving the different Lineages together but also preserving the Knowledge and the ways of the Ancestors so we never forget the work of our Fathers, but to build on this solid foundation that these great civilizations left us, and to utilize the thousands of years of experience and study so we can evolve and leave a Legacy for our children. To conclude, one very important fact that i have noticed is, that Roman and Cynthia are walking the Path and not just created a Place so people can come . They are still learning and Healing with each one of us that they Heal and Guide. I am very Honored and Grateful for Life to have shown me this Place and met these Beautiful Beings and i would Recommend this Place from my Heart. They Share Tools and Practices that can be Lived and Practiced not just there but anywhere, and at any given Moment. They also keep the Relationship alive and any question i had after the retreat it was always answered with the same Dedication, Love, Commitment, and Precision that they showed us in that Place. Aho!

  • Chris Witt   June 23, 2015


    I cannot say enough about Roman and Cynthia. Endless teachings pour from them. They embody the seriousness, and the joyful and beautiful profundity of the spiritual path. I was deeply and lastingly affected by my time with them. They are living examples of what humanity can and should be! Love!

  • Sean Hall   June 23, 2015

      30 days

    There is nothing quite like living off the land. Nothing like being a part of a tribe. Nothing like letting go of your attachments to experience what it is like to reconnect with spirit. A 30 day immersion granted me the space and time I needed to bring out the best in me. The program at Paititi is amazing and provides every opportunity to become more mindful, completely present and heart centered. The support and love they put forth is very real. Paititi has reintroduced me to my true self and I am forever grateful.

  • Abigail Borg   June 22, 2015

      Releasing all that no longer serves and discovering the true self!

    It has been 6 months since my Embody True Nature retreat with Paititi and as my self discovery deepens so does my letting go, my freedom and my love for One. The process that lead to this shedding of unnecessary weight was only possible through the infinite wisdom offered by the channels of light manifested in Roman Hanis and Cynthia Robinson along with their team. I approached this journey thinking that it was a personal self discovery mission, but it turned out to be much more than that. My journey was a journey of oneness, a journey of shared heart and shared consciousness. Should I choose again, there is no questions... I am still in Paititi in spirit, and I always will be until I am there in physical form again!

  • Jess. S.   June 22, 2015

      Peel Back the Layers and Let the True You Emerge

    I went on an Embody True Nature Consciousness Transformation 32 day Retreat in 2013. I found the practices and rituals grounded in the deepest wisdom lineages and the people facilitating to be of pure heart and in service to personal and planetary transformation. The balance between inner and outer permaculture and Peruvian and Tibetan wisdom practices is unique and brings an experience of Oneness. The facilitators are genuine, skilled, dedicated and selfless and in total service to transformation and healing on personal and planetary levels. I experienced positive impacts on my health, my emotions, released lifetimes of trauma, gained an inner stability and a way of understanding of the world that is both sober and hopeful. This is the real deal. It is not a vacation. Your will likely transform in ways you had not anticipated. You will be given everything you need to truly meet yourself. Yet, be aware, it's not for the casual Ayahuasca tourist or someone who cannot adapt to rustic and primitive conditions. This is not a plush spa type of retreat. It's for those who are truly ready to do the work and meet themselves with honesty, openness, willingness and who are ready to release all the extra "stuff". Be prepared to leave several layers of ego behind. Also important to assess for yourself, are you prepared to make shifts in your life when you return, based upon your new understanding, because it can be a rough integration period if you are not. If this review has not scared you off, then this might be the place for you. If you are still reading or excited by what you've read, this may be just what you are seeking. I got so much from my experience that I plan on returning this summer to volunteer helping to build the new center.

  • Chris Rollins   June 21, 2015

      Profound Transformation and Growth

    No amount of words could do justice to the profound growth and transformation I experienced participating as a work-trade volunteer with one of Paititi's Embodying True Nature retreats. I've deepened into the practices I learned during it and consistently come back to them. I love the Amazonian breathwork practice and Qi Gong specifically. Roman and Cynthia synthesize an amazing blend of practices and wisdom from different traditions around the world into a highly effective medicine for the heart and soul. If you participate in one of their retreats you will come away from it greatly transformed and inspired to create the life your heart is dreaming about. Thank you Roman and Cynthia, aho :)

  • Maksim Repka   June 21, 2015

      Life transformational experience !!!

    There is no words to describe my gratitude to fearless love facilitator team !!! Thank you for your dedication to the Truth + Love + Peace + Joy !!!

  • Jacob Wagner   June 20, 2015

      First-Hand Experience of Paititi Institute

    My partner and I have participated in four different retreats with the Paititi Institute, once in Mexico, twice in Peru, and once in the United States. We have also spent seven months living at their current center in the Andes mountains, working with the magnificent land that they are stewarding. Both of us have experienced life-changing transformations as a result of our time with them. These transformations have initiated a profound process of healing and growth, which continues to this day. The founders have a deep-seated and truly authentic intention to contribute to the manifestation of a healthier planet and a happier humanity. I am eternally grateful for the hard-work and unwavering commitment that they bring to such a priceless vision. Not only has it influenced me personally, but it has also spread ripples of awareness through my life that will hopefully bring benefit to many others. My only warning is that one should be fully willing to face oneself and one's own conditioning in order to receive the maximum benefit from the practices that Paititi offers. These practices are not rooted in a dogma, and I believe that they have the potential to reveal insights into the true nature of reality and liberate individuals from cycles of suffering and confusion. These insights in turn help us to develop a sense of respect and reverence for Mother Earth and an understanding of our unity and co-dependence with nature.

Thank you!

We're glad you've joined our retreat community. See you around :)

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Why Retreat?

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

Reconnecting with myself after a very crazy few months with a new baby! Just having that feeling of being grounded again. But also having an opportunity to connect with new amazing people. Getting exposed and Inspired by new (to me) yoga instructors (and community). Being in the presence of real, authentic and raw emotion (the whole spectrum).. So many reasons! Alyson

Retreat Guru's Vision

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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