Shamans & Staff
Titi de Paula
General Manager / Facilitator / Bookings & Communications
Jerry oversees the general operations of the center to ensure that all the guests are happy and supported. He handles all the bookings and communications as well. He supports the guests before arriving, during the retreats and also provides support after the retreats during their integration period.
Jerry has worked in Corporate Sales for most of his professional career but was called to work with the medicine several years ago. He has been working extensively with these plant medicines for several years now and has worked in other retreat centers in Ecuador and in the Peruvian jungle. He brings much care, attention and knowledge to this role. Jerry is truly a bright shining star at Ayni.
Matías André Lizama
Together with his artistic and educational trade, he has been working extensively with plant medicines for many years. He has been on a path of health, self-knowledge and spirituality from different traditions and cultures. He is very passionate about his path of supporting and being in service in sacred ceremonies, Vision Quests, Sun Dances and Spirit dances.
He carries the blessings of his elders, tribal chiefs, his family and all the many medicine people whom he was initiated under. Santiago is well known throughout Ecuador and the Americas as a highly respected Shaman and a gifted healer, when you work with Santiago you will quickly learn why. Santiago is deeply compassionate, wise beyond his years and carries a deep and powerful intention to heal with the spirit of San Pedro.
Santiago has lived in Vilcabamba, Ecuador for over sixteen years along with his wife, two daughters and two sons. Well known and loved in the community, he works tirelessly to offer healing to all those who seek his help. He is also the guardian and keeper of one of the last San Pedro forests here in southern Ecuador. His medicine songs, prayers and blessings carry the intentions of the spirit in his heart and are a special gift to all those who have a chance to work with him. Santiago speaks Spanish as well as English and creates a healing space in his ceremonies where everyone feels comfortable and safe.
Santiago works with the sacred tools of his ancestors that have been passed down for generations, the power and presence of his lineage speaks in all the work he does. Santiago works with many animal spirit energies, including Jaguar, Mountain Lion, Fox, Coyote and Hummingbird. To work with Santiago is to learn the ancient traditions these sacred ceremonies represent and to re-connect with the subtle energies of spirit, so you can heal on all levels and start to transform your life.
Kitchen Manager / Facilitator
Andrea is a passionate vegetarian food artist, avid plant grower, writer, traveler, teacher, and studying herbalist. Having grown up in the Northern Plains of South Dakota, and feeling a deep connection to her Panamanian roots, she has traveled all over the Americas. She has worked on many projects ranging from permaculture/organic farming, cooking at three retreat centers, living with indigenous families in the Ecuadorian Amazon (Kichwa and Secoya) and supporting their endeavors to safeguard ancestral wisdom, teaching English, and learning to prepare natural medicines. Andrea studied Cultural Anthropology at Western Washington University, attended two herbalism schools in Oregon, and has apprenticed for many amazing teachers in forests, prairies, jungles, and homesteads. She loves creating beautiful, medicinal, and delicious food, and for her, serving this kind of nourishment to others is a deep act of spiritual devotion.
When I was 20 I embarked on a one way trip to Mexico, where I reconnected to my heart’s ancestry. I then became a mother of four. And I must say, this became my most sacred spiritual initiation, the most challenging and the most sublime. I am initiated on the path of Bhakti, of the Vedas. I am also initiated as a Pampamisayoc within the Andean Q’ero cosmovision. I haven’t always embraced my mission. On the contrary, I struggled with myself, during extended periods of darkness, where I denied my own aptitudes with great endeavor. Without the support of two of my teachers and of my Godmothers, I would not have traversed through the quagmire of my confusion. I bestow upon them the utmost gratitude. And this radiant dream has manifested with the sole purpose of being shared. I consider myself an apprentice along this path which I honor, and it keeps me humble. I live in the Sacred Valley of Vilcabamba, Ecuador for 18 years. I have nested with the shaman, alongside the river which is where are the magic occurs. All within a forest of native San Pedros and Huilcos, which are sacred plants of power. Honoring my truth, this is as honest as I can be regarding my path and my journey.
Maria Inés Borrero
- Familiar Constellation guaranteed by the Bert Hellinger center in Argentina.
- Gestalt Psychotherapist, specialized in Esalem Sur, Chile.
- Facilitator of Personal – Transpersonal Development, specialized in Esalem Sur, Chile.
- Bachelor’s in educational science and educational supervision and management. Active and personalized methodology, UTPL Ecuador.
- Psychopedagogy, specialized in UTPL Ecuador
- Master’s in Reiki, specialized in Centro Raiz, Quito
- Specialist in Rebirthing techniques, specialized in Centro Internacional de Rebirthing, Leonard, Orr, Argentina.
- Floral therapeutic, Flores de Bach y Andessense, Chile.
- Management and practice of Andean Cosmovision.
- Management of group meetings of Shultz, Couching Grupal.
María Fernanda Flores
José Luis Garcés
Juan Pablo Martínez
Juan José Burbano
Born in Ecuador in 1967. He is ideologist and the founder of Ayni as a space where they can help the human kind become one heart. For over 10 years he has practiced yoga and has been actively involved with Shamanic circles. His profession is agro-zootechnist, his practice is based in the respect and development of sustainable organic agriculture. He also is self-taught in the hyperrealistic art and in the visionary art with 35 years of experience. He possesses a wide knowledge of interior decoration and sustainable, ecological structures. He has musical talent which he uses to sing the Icaro’s songs during sacred ceremonies. He is in charge of the general management at Ayni.