About The Teacher
La Familia Ayahuasca offers small group (15 guest maximum) retreats in the area of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. These retreats are 8 days/7 nights/ 4 ceremonies in length.
We recognize how important and "big" this work with Ayahuasca is. We have been running retreats for the past seven years and through that experience we have found that small group retreats are an ideal setting for deep transformational work with the medicine.
Small groups allow us to provide a very high level of personal attention. In addition, an intimate setting allows you direct access to us, Zach and Jess, such that you can really get to know us on a personal level, ask questions about the medicine and the larger process of working with the medicine.
To take this concept even further, we want you to get to know us prior to you booking a retreat with us. We want "all parties involved" to feel as comfortable as possible prior to booking your retreat. Sure, this creates a few more steps in the booking process (an application and Zoom call with Zach & Jess), but again, through past experience, we have discovered that these extra steps are very much worthwhile.
La Familia Ayahuasca has its roots in Amazonian Mestizo Shamanism. Initially, with the intention of doing deep personal work for an extended period of time, Zach moved to Genaro Herrera, Peru in 2010. As a natural evolution of this personal work, Zach began studying the medicine with the Galindo family (Maestro Gumercindo Galindo and his father, Maestro Don Roldan Galindo). The Galindo family was an extension of the lineage that began Maestro Don Julio Gerena Pinedo, who was a highly respected shaman throughout the area, and became well-known among Gringos as well after being featured prominently in the book Ayahuasca in My Blood, by Peter Goreman.
Based on a dream his teacher had and visions Zach himself had during ceremony, Zach co-founded the La Familia Medicina retreat center with the Galindo family in 2011. La Familia Medicina was in operation from 2011- mid 2014.
Our Initial Evolution
With the blessing of his teacher, Zach began serving the medicine “solo” in mid (contact info blocked). During this time, Zach continued to work intensely with Ayahuasca and other jungle trees and plants. In addition, Zach began working with North American trees by applying the shamanic dieta protocol with trees such as Redwood, Sequoia, Oak, Juniper, Pando (Quaking Aspen), Cedar, Cyprus and the Bodhi tree. It was through this work that Zach and his students came to appreciate how the shamanic dieta protocol could be used around the world to tap into the wisdom of plants and trees in every location, and that the wisdom of these plants and trees tended to be uniquely relevant for those living in their environments.
In 2015 Zach met Jess on a Redwood shamanic dieta retreat in Northern California. From that retreat onward Jess immersed herself completely in the medicine. Together, Zach and Jess not only worked intensely with plant medicines, but also dove deeply into the practices Buddhism.
In late 2017 Lake Atitlan Guatemala began calling Zach and Jess through visions and synchronicity. Prior to these experiences, Guatemala was not “on the radar”.
During the first visit to Lake Atitlan, Zach and Jess received a strong message that they were expanding beyond their traditional Peruvian Mestizo lineage. While they deeply respect and will continue to honor their roots, they intend to skillfully let go of limitations and boundaries and explore approaches beyond the Amazonian container. One might say, in a way, they have begun a new medicine journey.
Our Current Revelation
Truth is obvious. Truth needs no defense nor argument. Truth simply is. It might be worth considering that resistance to Truth is the cause of suffering.
On May 15th, 2018 Zach realized a significant Truth. It was time to step aside and encourage Jess to step forth as the spiritual leader of La Familia Ayahuasca.
Zach simply realized that Jess had surpassed him on the great spiritual journey, it was time for the teacher to become the student.
Many spiritual teachers have noted that it is time for the divine feminine to step forward, and be honored as the masculine has been overshadowing the feminine for much of the last 3,000+ years. While Zach had heard this message and agreed with this message, it was not until this moment that he was ready to fully embrace it.
Back in 2015, Zach “hooked Jess up” by introducing her to the plant medicines path and supporting her re-orientation on the larger spiritual journey. Since that time, Jess has grown leaps and bounds, exceeding expectations and knocking the socks off of just about everyone in her presence. Now it is time for Jess to “hook us all up” by sharing her medicine and expression of the divine feminine with myself and anyone who chooses to work with La Familia Ayahuasca.
Zach realized what a special being Jess is- she fully represents and embodies the positive aspects of the divine feminine. She is the loving and nurturing mother incarnate. She understands and represents the divine feminine perspective that the divine is imbued in everyone and everything. That the divine exists in the Universe as the Universe.
Jess is now the “go to” person at La Familia Ayahuasca in regards to the spiritual direction of La Familia Ayahuasca.
Zach, on retreats and in ceremony will take the role of the masculine- acting as protector and support. Of course he will remain step up when necessary, particularly when our son Bodhi needs Jess’s attention, and at the same time he will defer to Jess.
A Note From Jess
Over the last several months, maybe even the last two years, there have been tips and hints that it was time to support and uplift the Divine Feminine. After all, this is all she asks for— a canvas upon which to paint herself into bloom; a container in which the masculine is holding space for her dramatic unfoldment. Even so, I was surprised by Zach’s recent revelation. Surprised, humbled, and… exalted. He surprised me with this in a letter… and as I read it, despite my initial shock, I realized how much this is what I had been longing and wishing for. And I immediately felt in my bones that this was right.
Since our pregnancy and the birth of our son, Bodhi, my role in ceremony has shifted and evolved. With the addition of this new role as the spiritual and ceremonial lead of La Familia Ayahuasca, I have no doubt that my relationship— and OUR relationship— with Ayahuasca will continue to shift and change in extraordinary ways.
Zach has blessed me first by giving me an introduction to the medicine more beautiful than anything I was even capable of imagining. And Zach has continually blessed me in these last three years by supporting my studies and holding space for me to unmask myself, sometimes by trial and ordeal and other times by Grace.
Let it be known that it is my intention to return the favor… and that I feel ready to do so. Let me hold the space as we create, expand, dissolve boundaries, unfold and give birth to the next generation. That is, after all, what the feminine does.
ReviewsWrite a review - tell others about your experience.
Steve Olafson October 04, 2019
This was much more than I expected. The experience is quite surreal and life changing. Zach, Jess and their crew were just incredible. They certainly gained my trust very quickly and maintained it throughout the week. I found out some things about myself that were difficult and important. Things that deep down inside I was keeping locked away. They were opened up to me through the medicine. I would never have thought that the singing would be such a profound part of the experience. Both Zack and Jess made me feel like I was floating on another place with their mesmerizing voices. I plan on doing this again with this team.
Melinda Payne September 27, 2019
This was my first retreat with Zach and Jess and I'll never be the same. I had moments of utter bliss and beauty along with emotionally heartbreaking experiences. I healed deep wounds and saw the beauty in myself and others. Jess, in particular, took great care of me after a particularly sorrowful night. She sang to me and helped ease the pain. I can't recommend enough Zach and Jess and plan to do more retreats with them.
John Y September 26, 2019
This was my first experience with ayahuasca medicine and I cannot think of 2 better people to guide me into the other dimension. First, trust is a must. You're on a journey to a foreign place and Zach and Jess made me comfortable from the get go by their calm and laid back presence. Their knowledge and understanding with this medicine is deep. Next, the music...omg what a voice and beautiful song they have, it's like they sing to your soul. And finally, the work they perform on you during the ceremony. They serenade you with song while cleaning your spirit. The medicine does the rest of the work. An excellent experience overall and I thank them so much for guiding me through this entire experience.
Greg S September 25, 2019
Zach and Jess’s retreat that I attended was truly a profound experience. They are both very well-versed in a multitude of spiritual traditions and practices, which they incorporate nicely into their work. They are kind and wise teachers/healers and created a safe environment for the work. We were guided through important preparation weeks before the retreat and instructed on navigating post-retreat integration. Post-retreat I’ve began taking important actions (e.g. contacting some old friends, making donations I’ve been meaning to make, telling family members I love them more often). I’ve felt lighter on my feet and have found improvement in my physical mindfulness practices. In addition, Zach has a great singing voice and Jess’s singing voice is next-level beautiful. If you’re interested in this work, I highly recommend choosing Zach and Jess as your guides.
Jonathan D September 22, 2019
It's going to be so hot, you're going to sweat, and shake, and be uncomfortable for hours. And when you're done you're going to be so thankful for the opportunity. Zach's calming presence, Jess's gorgeous singing and the rich history of the ceremony that they both respect made this one of the most rewarding couple of days of my life. I'm full of gratitude, excited for what I discovered about my body, its abilities and my mind's potential to approach difficult topics and gain clarity about so much that I've been spinning my wheels about for years. There are so many places where you could go for a retreat but this is really one of the only places where you'll return home rested, energized and permanently changed.
Derek O'Brien September 09, 2019
Where to start. What an amazing experience, Zach & Jess are beautiful people who have really put time into catering for their guests and all of the needs one could imagine, when it comes to feeling comfortable for an ayahuasca retreat. Bamboo House is beautiful, from the food to the sleeping arrangements, everything was setup so that you are comfortable and you can focus on doing the work. I had zero experience with hallucinogens, and I was intimidated to try something as powerful as ayahuasca. My worries quickly subsided given how safe and comfortable I felt, all based on how Zach & Jess run their shop. I received a lot of answers and have clarity around what I'd like to work on. I had tried conventional methods before, however this experience expedited what I was looking for. I found the plant medicine not only opens your mind, but it also opens your heart, I was motivated to make a better effort of showing my love to those who love me back. I feel motivated to be a better brother, son, uncle & partner based on my experience and the messages I received. Zach & Jess all day, you won't regret it.
Hannah Frances Milward August 04, 2019
I can not speak highly enough when it comes to the experience I recently had.. Words don't quite do it! What I can say is; Since leaving, I can't stop raving about these awesome humans and the magical space they create and hold for retreatees. I felt safe, cared for, respected, nurtured and able to be totally open and vulnerable. The food was exceptional, accommodation super comfortable and the other's within the group were all wonderful human beings. The ceremonies were incredible. I went to exactly where I needed to go. After each ceremony we all received the most beautiful support and guidance to have a greater understanding (and more meaningful processing) of our individual experiences. I would LOVE to bring people from my home country to Guatemala to heal and grow like I have been able to do. I can not recommend highly enough.
Hac Dang May 11, 2019
I have done two retreats with Zach and Jess and both times have been amazing experiences. Having never experienced Ayahuasca before, I had no idea what to expect or how the medicine would affect me. Let me start by saying that knowing what I know now, I am SO happy and lucky to have Zach and Jess introduce me to Ayahuasca. They both care so much about your experience, there were even nights when Zach would stay up answering any and all questions that I had until sunrise! The work that these guys do is something that I deeply appreciate, highly respect, and wholeheartedly admire. They do an amazing job of creating a safe and trusting space, that allowed our group to really let go deep into the medicine and healing. You can feel a perfect balance of masculine energy from Zach and feminine energy from Jess. Zach's masculine energy served as the protector and container of the space while Jess's feminine energy let us flow into the experience. I highly recommend this retreat for anyone looking to experience Ayahuasca (whether you've done it before, or if its your first time). These guys have a ton of experience, but more importantly, they care so much about your experience with the medicine.
James Dugan May 09, 2019
I’m coming in really hot with this, but I owe Zach and Jess for the rest of my life. I came into this experience on day 1 and didn’t have a clue what I was getting myself into. I didn’t realize how many problems I had and how my pride/ego were holding me back. This was also preventing me from obtaining happiness with myself and the people around me. Zach’s energy was that of a confident alpha male. I learned a lot from him. How to act as a man and not let my mind control the person I had to be. With toughness also came love and I owe him everything. Jess's energy was that of a loving mother and she helped release a lifetime of pain. I had moments of rage during the retreat and she destroyed the rage with love and understanding. I owe Jess everything. I now understand that they will not always be there to help me in my life and I must hold myself accountable and strive to become a more understanding, loving, and forgiving person. I highly recommend Zach and Jess for anyone that is facing obstacles in their life. The level of trauma is not important because let’s face it, we all have problems. They will help you work through issues and I promise you will come out better human. If you are reading this you deserve to be happy and loved. Take a chance and let them do what they do best. I am forever grateful for them and I promise to continue to pay it forward. Thank you Zach and Jess.
Matthew DeLaney May 09, 2019
I cannot begin to thank Zach and Jess enough for this transformative experience. I entered the retreat without having any prior experience with spiritual medicine or ayahuasca use. Struggling internally with self-forgiveness and self-love combined with deep emotional pain/trapped energy from a traumatic relationship I decided to give it a go. I’m so thankful I did. The results and healing were far beyond what I could have imagined. Unlike traditional therapy, I could actually ‘feel’ my body and soul returning to a healthy and happy state. In addition to the healing, the experience broadened my perspective and I came away with many lessons that I hope to implement in my day to day life : ) As shamans, Zach and Jess made me feel extremely comfortable in an otherwise unfamiliar and vulnerable environment. If you are considering this type of retreat, do not hesitate to look to Zach and Jess to guide you on your journey.
Wadih D May 09, 2019
I would like to Thank Zach, jess and their beautiful Baby Bodhi for giving me one of the most profound and healing experiences that I have ever experienced by attending ceremony in May 2019. The loving and nurturing framework that they set up in their ceremonies is the exact structured framework that you need to do the work on yourself in a trusting, supportive and loving environment. Wherever you choose to go I highly urge you to do the due diligence on your shaman / healer. You need to vet your shaman and TRUST them in order to be able to do the work . This is of utmost importance – I am so grateful that mother Aya brought me to them. To anyone who is reading this and is called to do the “medicine” makes no mistake that you will be in very most capable hands with Zach and Jess... They walk the walk and talk the talk.They were a valuable bridge between traditional Ayahuasca knowledge and western reality. I TRUST THEM FULLY . They put so much energy into their work to facilitate your healing. They are truly empathetic human beings with a great sense of humour. They are truly skilled spiritual healers who are masters at their work- This is their agenda: to do whatever it takes to help you grow and heal and help facilitate your spiritual growth and happiness. The icaros that they are called to sing have a unique healing and soothing quality, you will never hear anything like what you will hear with them. Some of the most beautiful sounds my ears have had the pleasure and delight to hear. Surrender and Heal! With deep gratitude and thanks to Zach, Jess and La familia Ayahuasca. "let it go ....let it blow .......let the medicine in ....." Wadih D (Australia)
Sunny Parikh May 08, 2019
It was my first ayahuasca experience and I am extremely grateful to have done it under the guidance of Zach and Jess. They created a welcoming environment that was conducive for my friends and I to fully immerse ourselves in the experience. They guided each one us throughout the journey, helping to ensure we all were able to experience the incredible benefits that ayahuasca has to offer. Zach and Jess are highly empathetic, yet down to earth shamans with a lot of wisdom and experience. I highly recommend La Familia Ayahuasca to anyone interested in an ayahuasca retreat!
Andy Drish May 08, 2019
I've journeyed with multiple shamans and Zach & Jess are the best I've ever worked with. Here's why: I have yet to have an experience of a man and woman leading ceremony. Zach and Jess have an unbelievable balance of masculine and feminine energy that makes the journey incredibly dynamic... Zach sings a deep masculine tone and creates sounds that moves masculine energy and stirs things up... Jess sings like an angel and creates music that calms and relaxes. The combination is so unique. It's like dancing with the Universe all night long. They also set the context and expectations better than anyone else I've worked with. They are phenomenal and I can't recommend them enough.
Ryan Daniel Moran May 08, 2019
Zach and Jess were amazing, humble, helpful, present, and giving. I could not have asked for kinder or more experienced people to lead me in my first experience. It was light but deep, and it was life-changing but fun. I not only look forward to the experience again, but I look forward to seeing them - as people - again. I cannot speak highly enough of them.
Michael Tecku May 08, 2019
I was so scared to do this. I'd never really done drugs or drank alcohol. I didn't want to ever lose control. With Aya though I would go crazy and I'd just become a woo woo with a melted brain. I already loved my life enough, very successful and practical entrepreneur, and this would just be foolish risk. "I" died this weekend. There was a deep an ancient connection to the "We". I surrendered to it and was shown that we are all one, where we all come from, where we are all going, how to get there, that we are making love with life racing into the unknown and making it into the know because it is how we feel love and love does not need a why. I entered a slave to my own fears and chained by my own beliefs. We left free, We became a man, and accepted the role of benevolent philosopher king. That sounds totally insane of course but it was a more beautiful truth than could be fantasied. You could not explain a sunset, or love, to those who had not experienced it. This is our wisdom, we all already have it, it is not mine to teach but yours to discover. Zach and Jess are guardians and guides you can trust. This is a journey I hope you take. Thank you for opening the door Zach and Jess. Love Mike
Kevin H May 08, 2019
Was a scared first timer but Zach and Jess were absolute professionals who put me at ease. It did not take long for their extensive skill and experience to become very clear. Was not a believer before but am now. I witnessed magic and healing happen. I would not want to trust my life and soul with anyone else. Geniune, caring but also importantly practical, down to earth people. Stop looking. This is your spot.
kenric May 08, 2019
I must admit that signing up and traveling to another country to an Aya retreat was daunting and scary but once I arrived I knew that I was in good hands. The space felt peaceful and safe and I quickly got to know the handful of other people there. Zach and Jess were the ultimate professionals. The ceremony was great, Zach and Jess sang all night long who their unbelievable voices. The ceremony starts at sunset and concludes around 3-4am. My brain felt tired after the retreat but I learned alot about myself with the help of mother aya. If you are on the fence about aya or not sure who to go with, I highly recommend Zach and Jess.
noah kagan May 08, 2019
Zach was up at 6am talking to someone and helping them hours after the ceremony ended. It truly dawned on me how much him and Jess care about helping people. The whole experience is impressively well done and thorough. They make newcomers and experienced people all feel welcomed. They have great traditions, amazing music, phenomenal food and spend the time to really help each person. They were never judgmental and always encouraged people to go deeper on their self-exploration. The retreats are not easy as we are working on hard topics but I feel unbelievably safe and comfortable to only go with them in the foreseeable future. HIGHLY recommend.
Corey Smith May 08, 2019
Words can't describe how caring and in touch Zach and Jess are. They were both born to do exactly what they are doing. For such a powerful, emotional, wonderful experience they know how to contribute and foster the ideal environment to make the experience perfect. I would highly recommend them to anyone interested in Ayahuasca. They are patient for newbies but extremely knowledgeable and skilled for experiences of all levels. Thanks to both of you!
Eric May 08, 2019
I don't think there could have been a better couple leading my journey than Zach and Jess. All retreat they were welcoming, engaging, and comforting. You can feel their expertise and their warm and friendly personalities help ease any tension that might exist. The balance between Zach & Jess's icaros only enhanced the experience. I would 100% recommend doing a retreat with Zach & Jess. You won't regret it.
Billy May 08, 2019
I've participated with them in 9 ceremonies now. You should feel very comfortable about working with them. They are truly there for you and have your best interests in mind. It's hard to put the experiences into words, as they've been that impactful for me not just at the retreat, but in the life changes I've been able to make after. It doesn't change who you are. It helps you became more yourself. Maybe that sounds a little strange, but I'm speaking as someone who's extremely logical and analytical, and a statement like that may have seemed weird pre-aya, but makes sense now after going through the experiences. Like the saying goes, 'once you see it, you can't unsee it.' It's hard to put into words what it's like. One of my favorite quotes is: "how do you explain to a fish what it's like to walk on land." You won't fully understand until you experience it.
Scott Britton May 08, 2019
Zach and Jess are the best. They led a profound, personal experience for me and a group of friends. What I liked about them was you could tell they genuinely really cared about helping the people in our group. They were also very knowledgable about a wide array of topics that came up.
Philipp Swoboda December 24, 2018
It was my first Ayahuasca ceremony and feel immensly thankful to have landed under the wings of La Familia Ayahuasca. The importance of a caring and open environment cannot be overestimated, and what Zach and Jess provided was just the perfect environment to unfold the experience for the individual. As i can confirm now, this was a unique experience beyond my wildest expectations, one of the hardest, but also one of the most enriching weeks of my life. The guidance before, during and after the retreat is highest level. Zach and Jess are solid-rock, empathic shamans, while at the same time being down to earth guys with a nice sense of humour, and a really valuable bridge between traditional Ayahuasca knowledge and western reality. You have definitely landed at the right place if you are a interested in a high-quality Ayahuasca retreat, here is where the magic happens and the organic-spiritual revolution is catalyzed !
Adam M December 18, 2018
Zach and Jess, along with Kevin and Carol do an astounding job of making you feel so comfortable, and so well attended to, you'll feel like family in no time. They work damn hard to ensure the best possible experience for you and go the extra mile all the time. I couldn't have asked for a better retreat or for better people to be conducting it. It's a first rate experience and had no complaints or qualms whatsoever. I would return in a heartbeat as I miss La Familia already. My retreat blew me away and left me with the most amazing experiences I'll ever have in my life. Trust your heart and go, you won't regret it.
Verne Lindner December 16, 2018
This was my first experience with ayahuasca. It was everything I'd hoped and much more. The role that our shamans, Zach, Jess, Carol and Kevin, played in the quality and value of this experience can't be overstated. They created a welcoming and open atmosphere, through their own interactions, careful selection of venue, and curation of participant group. I highly recommend La Familia Ayahuasca to anyone interested in an ayahuasca retreat, from first-time to experienced folks. I plan to come back :)
Dana Caron September 19, 2018
Ceremony can be an intense and potentially transformative experience and the right guide is must. Zach and Jess do a wonderful job of creating a safe and supportive space for this to happen. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to sit with them and will likely do so again. They are attentive to ceremony participants and heartfelt in their dedication to the medicine and the gifts it has to give. The work they do can’t, I assume, be easy at times and they respond not just professionally but with great care and attention to the needs of the participants. And, bonus, outside of ceremony they are simply great people.
Kevin Johnson April 26, 2018
I have been working with Zach and Jess for a just over 2 1/2 years. It's hard to overstate how happy I am with La Familia Ayahuasca! When I work with this medicine, I want to be confident that I am safe and in the hands of experienced, compassionate, well trained and knowledgeable facilitators. These two are definitely the BEST, and the ceremonies are just wonderful. True to their Mestizo tradition, they incorporate traditional Icaros, Hindu and Buddhist chants, and crystal bowls. The atmosphere they create is very conducive to deep transformational work and healing. Participants also have access to the shamans 24hrs a day during retreats for extra help and counseling when necessary. Accommodations are always excellent, and the food is always healthy and fresh (Jess is also a nutritionist). If you are looking for an Ayahuasca retreat, look no further. Words fail to describe the beauty and sacredness that Zach and Jess bring to ceremony! I wouldn't sit with anyone else!
John Cole April 18, 2018
There really are no words to describe how life-changing and positive my experience has been working with Zach, Jess and La Familia Ayahuasca. But I'll try. They create a safe and supportive space for personal work and healing, without being too heavy-handed with personal philosophies, methods, or techniques. They give the individual the needed space to do their own work and they are always there to give more support when needed. While grounded in a traditional lineage, they are also open and understanding of other viewpoints and perspectives, and beautifully weave more Eastern teachings and elements into the high-vibrational sacred space they create. I can't recommend them enough to anyone called to do this work.
Jessica Brewer April 18, 2018
My life has been infinitely blessed since meeting Jess and Zach. Not a day goes by that I don't feel deep gratitude for being divinely lead to La Familia Ayahuasca. When delving into the most vulnerable and deepest aspects of ourselves, and allowing ourselves to open up energetically to healing, one must feel safe. I feel that this is the most important thing to consider when looking for medicine circles because without safety, we cannot fully relax therefor surrender ourselves to the work we're doing. My first time sitting with Jess and Zach, I remember walking through the door and literally feeling the safety, love, and appreciation radiating off them and everyone there. 9 ceremonies later, I know with confidence that I will be sitting with La Familia Ayahuasca for years to come. The ceremony that Jess and Zach share and hold is so special in endless ways; but what I think vibrantly differentiates them from other shamans is the embodiment meditations that Jess leads right before drinking, the sacred balance of masculine feminine that is very much felt during ceremony depending on who is leading or singing Icaros, and the persistence discussions and reminders of integration. If you're not familiar with this word, know that upon sitting with Jess and Zach this word will become one of your closest friends... which is how it should be! One other thing about La Familia Ayahuasca is that they are always evolving in subtle ways they feel will improve the ceremonies and retreat for those of us attending. To anyone reading this in search of finding a retreat, I speak from the deepest most genuine parts of my heart that this community is like no other and provides the most comforting, trustworthy, safe space for you to do the healing your soul is guiding you to do!
Bennifer April 17, 2018
I have participated in many retreats with Zach and Jess, and will start off by saying they deeply embody and practice the virtues of Honesty, Integrity, Transparency and Trust. Zach and Jess walk their talk and I am deeply blessed to have the many experiences of the Medicine with/through them. The sacred space that is created and held during, before and after ceremony is exquisite. The icaros that they sing are powerful and very healing. The food that I've had on retreat is clean, nutritious, and very nourishing. No matter what plays out in the ceremony setting, each of us is held deeply through the experience, without any judgement. The LOVE, compassion and wisdom that pours in through the individual blessings at the end of the ceremony help expand and intensify the deepening of the Medicine like nothing else. Trust in the sacred space, trust in the facilitators, trust in the experience, trust in every member of the group is what allows me to go deeper every time. I highly recommend Zach and Jess (LFA) to anyone looking to experience the Medicine and/or go deep with their practice. Their individual and collective offering and sacrifice to be clean, purified vessels for the Medicine, for the Divine, for Humanity and all Beings is very humbling and an endless blessing to all on the Path.
Jonson Yousefzadeh April 17, 2018
Zach and Jess as well as many of the other beautiful people I have met through them have been instrumental in helping me walk my path. The work done in retreat is unlike anything I have every experienced and well worth it. Being a relative 'newby' to any medicine work, I of course had some initial hesitation but this group has welcomed me in and allowed for me to feel comfort, support and guidance. I am excited to sit in future retreats with them.
keith nevins April 17, 2018
Zach and Jess make you feel right at home from the moment you arrive. they have everything covered from very comfortable sleeping arrangements to the best meals you could ask for. The ceremonies are hard to describe because they are so special. I was blown away by the icaros and music. You can really tell Zach and Jess put their all into making sure everyone feels comfortable and has a productive weekend. I cant wait for the next one!
Jacob Gasho April 17, 2018
Hi anybody who is reading this right now. My name is Jacob and La Familia Ayahuasca are really such fantastic people. When approaching this sort of spiritual work it can be quite nerve racking beforehand, especially if you've never done a retreat before. Zach and Jess though really made me feel welcomed and as comfortable as possible in order for me to have such a meaningful and life changing experience. I've never done any other retreats with another group before and I wouldn't plan to unless Zach or Jess recommended them personally. I highly recommend going through La Familia Ayahuasca and hope you, whoever is reading this, will have an amazing experience like I had with them and with Ayahuasca!
Amy Lee April 16, 2018
Zach and Jess are incredibly talented and skilled at leading retreats with presence, compassion and lightheartedness. I felt safe in their care, received personal attention when I needed it and had a truly life changing experience.
Nico Vasquez April 13, 2018
Although it is hard to find the words to describe such a transformative experience, I can certainly say that Zach and Jess are the real deal. The carefully cultivated environment I was welcomed into made me feel 100% at ease and secure. Many times throughout my retreat, I thought “Wow, I feel completely taken care of.” and, “I feel so nurtured here”. Accommodations were elegantly simple, comfortable, and safe. Everything I needed to know was explained and presented concisely and confidently. Pre retreat and post retreat, I have felt important and certain that I can be helped or have my questions answered with full attention. At all times during the retreat, day or night, I knew with certainty that if I needed anything at all, I wouldn’t be a bother if I asked for help. Each of these incredibly gifted people are highly skilled and caring, and they have fine tuned every aspect of the experience they offer. I have no doubts whatsoever in recommending this retreat and will definitely be back in due time!
Jessica Brock April 12, 2018
After years of psychotherapy and Western pharmalogical interventions for PTSD, I felt like I had reached a barrier. I had a deep desire to continue to dismantle the trauma I was holding onto, but found that words and medications were missing the root. It felt as though there were mental blockages, which in sessions felt like there was nothing else I could say about my experience yet I still had significant physical and mental symptoms of my PTSD. Looking for this missing link to unlock the unconscious ways I was clinging to my trauma, I began researching other treatments. I found research on various plant medicines to treat PTSD and was curious about ayahuasca, but on the fence. I came to Jess and Zach on a kambo retreat, not knowing they also led ayahuasca retreats. It was an auspicious meeting and I attended an ayahuasca retreat with them a few months later. The retreat was healing, restorative, revealing, and empowering for me. The physical space of the retreat is calming and comforting and reflective of energy and love that Jess and Zach put into it. The structure of the retreat maximizes your personal transformation as you are given opportunities to reflect and seek counsel on your experiences. You form an indescribable bond with the people on the retreat and in such a short time you develop a nurturing community. The work you do in retreat is hard, but you always have support and guidance. During the retreat, I faced feelings and emotional walls I wouldn’t have otherwise. I left with insights into my own journey and tools to integrate what I learned to bring about positive and systemic change in my life. Ayahuasca is and will continue to be an integral part in my journey to understand and move through my PTSD. I only wish I had found Jess and Zach sooner and that this powerful medicine was more widely used!
Charles April 12, 2018
After 10 years of failed mainstream modalities to treat PTSD, I found Zack and Jess. From the moment I talked to Jess on the phone I realized this would be something very special and meaningful in my life. Yes, absolutely the ayahuasca heals, but it was Zack and Jess who made the entire experience amazing. They provide a safe space to experience the medicine and make themselves available post retreat for questions and advice. Thank you!!!
Ryan Estes April 11, 2018
I've sat with Zach and Jess 9 times now. I'm looking forward to my next retreat. If for no other reason, I choose to sit with them because they put my safety and health first. I've experienced profound personal insights during their ceremonies. Aside from the medicine (which is incredible) here are some highlights: • Amazing food - seriously, I never eat this good. • Beautiful music • Great sense of humor • Integrated ceremony - I find the embodiment exercises and group-share dialog during their retreats to be incredibly stabilizing and tender. 5 gold stars, two thumbs up. If you're looking... you found it.
Nicholas April 11, 2018
My experience at La Familia Ayahuasca was one I will never forget. Zach and Jess work with medicine in such a way that allows individuals to be taught, healed, and cleansed during the retreat. They are caring and compassionate individuals who have so much to offer the world and anyone seeking an opportunity to learn and grow should seriously consider spending time with the both of them. Looking forward to my next opportunity to visit and meet new people who you will always share a bond with!
Scott Partridge April 10, 2018
I have been doing medicine (Aya and Dieta) work with Zach for almost five years. It has been life changing. To have such a gifted Shaman helping you along your own personal, spiritual path in life is a true gift an blessing. Once you find the right mechanic or barber in life you dont want to change. It just works. That is Zach. And to add his phenomanal wife and assistants to the mix, there are no words or phrases that can describe the complete work that is done on oneself when doing a retreat...
Keith Norris April 09, 2018
So you've done your due diligence on all things Ayahuasca. You've read everything you can get your hands on; you've scoured the message boards. Maybe you've even talked to friends with first-hand experience. And good for you! This an experience you definitely want to research extensively before you actually at on! There is, though, two final, but VERY important things you want to consider before setting on a retreat center. The first is the expertise of the facilitator(s). The second -- and this is vitally important!! -- is trust. Trust in the facilitator and trust in the atmosphere. Let me just say that I have done (as of this writing) 60+ ceremonies with La Familia Ayahuasca and I trust them TOTALLY. La Familia Ayahuasca creates a ceremony space and atmosphere that enables everyone -- from seasoned "pro" to jittery first timer -- to fully explore the depths of their inner world in a trusting environment. Set and setting is everything! I believe in the work and professionalism of these guys so much that I've introduced (and had a La Familia Ayahuasca retreat with!) my own kids. And what a fabulous, life-changing experience it was for all of us! If you're looking for the finest, most trustworthy retreat experience, look no further. I know I'll be back many, *many* more times.
Andrea Petty April 09, 2018
I have attended 1 retreat with La Familia Ayahuasca and my experience was profound and inspiring. Zach and Jess went above and beyond the entire weekend to help me connect with myself and the medicine. Though there was a group of us in attendance, I didn't feel 'lost in the crowd.' I felt personally cared for and supported throughout the experience. They both have so much wisdom and love to offer. I highly recommend them to my friends and family who are seeking this type of spiritual retreat.
Austin Felton April 09, 2018
Zach and Jess are true spiritual brain surgeons whom I trust with my life. If you ever get the rare opportunity to work them say YES or you'll be sorely missing out. I've never felt so much love and care in an experience, La Familia Ayahuasca is the REAL DEAL.
Jesse Jameson April 09, 2018
When seeking such a powerful exploration of self, my greatest consideration is the host and the environment. My experiences with Zach and Jess have exceeded my every expectation. Their ability to facilitate and hold a loving and supportive space for all they serve is awe inspiring.
Bibo Alex April 09, 2018
Hello everyone, It has been exactly 12 days since my retreat with la familia Ayahuasca, i wanted to wait until I settle back to normal life so I can give a good review to you guys, because just about 3 or 4 days ago I was still kind of under the effect of the medicine. My retreat time was magical. I really enjoyed every bit of it. The group was wonderful people, I really truly loved every single one of them. Zack, Jess, Bodhi, Kevin and Carol, they absolutely are amazing people, I can never forget them. I felt the love from the first time I talk to each one of them. I can't wait to see them again. I learned so much in the retreat time, it was so very beneficial for me. They know what they are doing no doubt. I recommend them for anyone wants to do this kind of work. LOVE IS EVERYTHING PEACE AND LOVE
Amy Pico April 08, 2018
Zach & Jess provide a safe space to do deep work with ayahuasca. I felt like my process was respected, and when I needed help, it was easy to ask for it! I would highly recommend attending a retreat with La Familia Ayahuasca for deep healing, developing community, and learning much more about yourself within a healing community.
Juan Zambrano April 08, 2018
This is one of the best experiences of my life!! I've been to many places around the world, but La Familia Ayahuasca really is something special. If you're looking for an awesome time with great people, this is it. I learned so much about my self in such a small amount of time & the learning keeps going. I am definitely sticking with La Familia Ayahuasca & not going anywhere else!! Seriously Blessed. Much love
Nick Patterson April 08, 2018
The most amazing shamans and experience anyone could ask for. Zach and Jess provide a retreat like no other while brining together a vibrant bunch of individuals that create a community. They offer a tremendous amount of insight into the medicine, the integration, and tools necessary to fully regurgitate your experience. No one i would rather recommend. Truly amazing individuals committed to guiding an amazing ceremony every time.
Andrew Linares April 07, 2018
Zach and Jess hold the sacred space well. I feel like I can dive deeply into the Medicine because the environment is safe and contained. Further, their personalities and presence foster connection amongst the participants. This is particularly important when it comes to integration and sharing. They are approachable and lovely people who are building community and doing amazing work. I highly recommend La Familia Ayahuasca.
Beau Turner April 07, 2018
I trust these people with my life. They are the most kind hearted and impeccable humans I have ever met, and doing a retreat with them is always the right choice for me. I consider it a great privilege to know Zach and Jess, and the skill and compassion in the work they do is absolutely infectious. My life has been elevated to beautiful heights since meeting them, and I know that I will work with them for the rest of my life, inspired to grow into the person that they wholeheartedly know I am to be. Thank you!
Maureen Cole April 07, 2018
La Familia Ayahuasca (Zach and Jess) run transformational retreats. Their deep knowledge and experience with plant-medicine combined with their respect for the tradition is exactly what I was looking for. Throw in their beautiful and powerful voices and articulation of the Icaros in a safe and caring environment and you simply cannot go wrong. I would recommend LFA to anyone who wanted to do beautiful, serious, transmuting work.
Randy Havens April 07, 2018
Zach and Jess really care about the retreats that they lead, and it shows in the every aspect of the retreat experience. The meals are delicious, the ceremonies are perfect and the guidance that Zach and Jess provide will help you integrate you experience into your everyday life. I'm so happy and thankful that I've met these wonderful people. I honestly don't think that anyone else can host a more awesome retreat. These guys really are the best.
Conrad April 07, 2018
The family behind La Familia Ayahuasca is incredibly passionate about their work and brings SO much to the table. I had my first ayahuasca experience with them this year and the changes have been incredible. For years, I had wrestled with feelings of restlessness, depression, and severe mood swings that would negatively effect those in my life that I love most... I would go on ridiculous exploratory vacations searching for what I felt was lost. I'd buy things. I'd lash out at those I loved. Ultimately, my wife started pushing me for medical invention, but I was opposed to typical pharmaceutical interventions as I'd gone through that circus ring when I was younger. So stepped in La Familia Ayahuasca... Out of the blue, a friend recommend that Zach and Jess as great healers. He had gone to their former sites in Oregon and Austin with great results. I decided to bite and went to a 3 day weekend retreat. The transformation has been an absolute blessing. The pain, anger, malice, resent, restlessness that my ego held onto so dearly has evaporated. I'm continuing to integrated the healing and knowledge gained from the weekend retreat into my daily life. Its work to integrate, but though diet, exercise, and daily meditation/yoga/simply being outside it all works out beautifully... All of these things have helped me keep balance and remain spiritually WOKE. There's so much more to learn about myself and the path. I'm happy and grateful for finding this healing. Thank you Zach, Jess and baby Bodhi for your eye-opening practice. Keep that healing train-a-chugging!
Dana Danielle Pickard April 07, 2018
As experienced travelers with Ayahuasca will say, it is difficult to put into words the beauty and profound nature of working with this medicine. Jess & Zach exemplify the spirit of Ayahuasca. You will be fully supported through your journey with them, as I’ve experienced many times. These two are some of the highest vibe people I’ve ever met; the more time spent with them, the better. They are big-picture amazing. Beautiful icaros & professionally structured ceremonies...I wish I could participate on a more regular basis. Thank you Jess, Zach, Ayahuasca, and all those I have met through doing this work. My life is greatly improved. Big love to you guys and your service to the world <3<3<3
Paul and Heather Clift April 07, 2018
I can't say enough about Jess and Zach. Their knowledge of working with this medicine is excellent. I've sat with a number of other groups over the last 11 years but the balance they bring with combining the masculine and feminine is truly unique. They provide a safe and healthy container for anyone's journey. Highly recommended....oh yea Jess has the voice of an angel
Christian M. Lenn April 07, 2018
Ayahuasca is probably not for everyone. Each person should make that decision after thorough research, medical consultation etc. Choosing the Shaman/maestro to open your psyche to must be done with care and “due diligence”. Zach and Jess were the perfect choice for me. I had never experienced ayahuasca before. Decades of recovery and antidepressants made me extremely cautious. Zach helped me through the titration process. So when I went to my first ceremony I was off antidepressants for the first time in twenty years. Zach and Jess open their home and their hearts to you. This is an extremely personal, safe and loving experience. I would trust them with those closest to me and I am.