"I have in Don Sixto a friend, brother and a true maestro. As days turned to weeks, my learning and healing increased by the minute. This family, this land, and all that lives and breaths, dies and decays, all have become my teachers. The learning and healing experienced here was far above and beyond what I ever could have expected. I have become jungle and the jungle me. I am forever thankful and blessed for my time here."
Benjamin Wilson, USA
Native of Lagunas, on the Marañon river, Don Sixto Mejia Paredes is a 61 years old Maestro Palero (a shaman specialized in working with Amazonian master trees), an Ayahuasquero (a shamanic healer specialized in working with Ayahuasca), a Toesero (a shaman specialized in working with the - Brugmansia, e.g. Toé - plant), a Camalonguero (a curandero specialized in working with the seeds of the Camalonga tree), a Tabaquero (a shaman working with the tobacco plant), an exorcist and a Sananguero (an expert in the use of the Sanango class of plants and trees, including the Tabernaemontana sp., a great plant teacher).
Of Jebero descent, he is fully fledged shaman who has successfully treated and recorded the healing of over 1500 patients, up to date. Don Sixto sings his icaros in Quechua, Spanish, Jebero and Ticuna languages and prepares a strong Ayahuasca brew the traditional way, using only Cielo ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi) vine cuts and Chacruna (Psychotria viridis) leaves.
He is a very traditional shaman and those wishing to do the shamanic diet and apprenticeship with him need to be prepared to endure stringent food restrictions (no red meat, chicken, fruit, rice, salad, potatoes, carrots and other vegetables are allowed, only certain types of fish - like the Boquichico - alongside grilled or roasted green plantains, unsweetened rice pudding and coconut water).
A distinctive feature of Don Sixto as shaman is that he does not believe in dieting a single teacher plant or tree at a time. So, it won't be possible to do a specific Toé, Sanango, or Camalonga diet with him. His shamanic diet style is completely different, whereby the diet is done by taking - once every 45 days - an ultra-concentrated, powerful tea made with 28 different varieties of master trees, all cooked together for 8-10 hours in boiling water, in the guise of the Ayahuasca brew. Don Sixto uses the wood of Palo Santo ("Holy Wood", i.e. the Bursera graveolens tree, related to Frankincense, Copal and Myrrh), the wood of Palo sangre (Brosimum rubescens), the leaves of ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis sp.), Chacruna (Psychotria viridis), Limón (Citrus aurantifolia), Achiote (Bixa orellana), Mucura (Petiveria alliacea) and Clavohuasca (Tynanthus panurensis), with the addition of the shell of Ajos macho (single clove 'male' garlic from the Sierra of Peru) for smudging, during the spiritual purification rituals.