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Yawanawa Retreat with Chief Nixiwaka
Puttany & Family

20 February - 25 February 2024

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Join us for a deep connection with the ancestral culture of the Brazilian Amazon with the Yawanawa tribe. 

This is a very special opportunity to be in an intimate container with the spiritual leaders of the Yawanawa people.


Chief Nixiwaka is one of the most important indigenous leaders of our time. His wife Puttany and her sister are the first woman in their tradition to work with the ancestral medicines. 

The ancient songs of the Yawanwa are like anthems for humanity, they bring us home to our hearts with so much joy. This will be a powerful experience bringing the transmission community & family - held by six of the most incredible healers and musicians of the Yawanawa, five that have just come out of a year long dieta. We will also be joined by a very special healer from the Marubo tribe who is only leaving the Amazon for the second time.








The Yawanawa People

There are approximately 1200 Yawanawa living in the Brazilian state of Acre, in villages along the banks of the Gregório river, where they have made their homes since time immemorial.

The Yawanawa people's first contact with the non-indigenous world happened around the 19th century. It was an intense period of much conflict with the rubber barons and missionaries who invaded their lands and tried to forbid Yawanawa language, culture and spirituality. In the 1980s, chief Biraci Nixiwaka Brazil led his people in the fight for the recognition of their native territories, and the Yawanawa became the first indigenous people to obtain the official rights to their lands in the state of Acre.

The Yawanawa have since then reclaimed their sacred medicines, rituals, song and dance, festivals, games, traditional body painting and adornment, artwork and food, in a profound journey of cultural revival.

The Yawanawa Immersion


Experience a profound return to WHOLENESS.

A homecoming to your heart.

When you hear the songs of the Yawanawa it feels like you have known them forever, making it easy to sing along and feel the power of our voices united.


Dancing to the rhythms of the drum will bring you to your original joy & innocence.

  • 2 Nights Sacred Ceremonies  

  • Yawanawa song & culture workshop

  • Preparation & Integration Practices before, during and post retreat guided by Ixchel Munay co-founder of Yacumama

  • Embodiment Sessions Including - Yoga, Meditation & Dance 

  • Authentic Connection, Partner Exercises, Community

  • Nature immersion in pristine land with river, creek, mountains, ocean views, wildlife - monkeys, toucans, hummingbirds, scarlet macaws. 

  • 5 Nights accommodation and 6 days organic farm to table meals

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Life on Retreat

We'll take you on a powerful journey of transformation through sacred ceremony, wisdom circles and embodiment practices. There will also be a balance of spaciousness to connect with nature, reflect, rest and receive optional healing sessions.


Our focus is on creating a nurturing and supportive environment for you to dive deep into your own personal journey of healing and self-discovery while creating a group field of connection and coherence.


You'll leave this retreat feeling fully alive, with a renewed sense of vitality, inspiration and aliveness.


Don't miss this unique opportunity to step into the fullness of your being and create lasting change in your life.


February 20 

Arrival between 2:00 and 3:00
Welcome Circle - Sharing about Yawanawa culture, ancestral wisdom and wisdom from the forest. 
Offerings to Spirits of the land at the Grandmother Tree

February 21 

Group nature walk to river & waterfalls
Optional massage, healing sessions with Yawanawa, rest 
Sunset Yin Yoga with Ixchel to Prepare for Ceremony

Ceremony in Evening

February 22 

Integration Circle & connection and embodiment practice
Silent time in nature, Optional massage, healing sessions with Yawanawa, rest 
Yawanawa Song & Culture workshop

February 23

Optional morning embodiment practice
Silent time in nature, optional massage, healing sessions with Yawanawa, rest 
Ceremony in evening

February 24

Integration Embodiment practice 
Silent time in nature, optional massage, healing sessions with Yawanawa, rest 
Integration/Closing Circle with Yawanawa 

February 25

Closing embodiment & connection practice
Silent time in nature, Optional massage

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Preparation and Integration

Preparation and integration are some of the most important aspects of this experience and Ixchel will be supporting with this to upgrade your experience. 

When you say yes, you will receive a package of preparation and integration tools with meditations, embodiment practices, journal prompts, an integration e-book, dietary and lifestyle guidelines. 


These are all to prepare us for the ceremony of life so we can be more loving, aware humans in all of our relationships.

We will have a post retreat group integration call on:

March 13  3:00-4:30pm CST

A community is created within the group and if you choose, you can continue to connect with people that may become your friends for life. 

Accommodation Options


Wood Balinese Cabins with exquisite carvings, two twin beds or one king, ensuite bathroom and outdoor shower overlooking forest.

We have a variety of accommodations all nestled in nature to connect you with the forest and inspire you with expansive views of the ocean, mountains and jungle.

You will likely see blue morpho butterflies, hummingbirds, toucans, scarlet macawas, monkeys and more right from your room.


Stunning ocean and mountain view rooms with two twin beds or one king, AC and ensuite bathroom.



Beautiful wood cabins with 2 twin beds or one king, 2 have ocean views and the rest have forest views. Ceiling fans, and suite sink and compost toilet & shared showers.


Luxury ocean view tents with high ceilings, two twin beds or one king, wood floors, en suite sink and compost toilet and shared outdoor oecan view shower.

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I will be forever grateful for my profound experience with the Yawanawa at Yacumama - for the deep healing found in sacred celebration with community.

It felt as if we were embodying the keys to bringing this earth back into balance. 

- Courtney Smith

Ixchel embodies the divine mother, creating a potent container of unconditional love for her work. In ceremonies with Ixchel, I have been able to connect to the deepest parts of myself, reaching new levels of forgiveness, self-compassion and healing from trauma. I think of Ixchel as my spiritual momma and am exceptionally grateful to have her in my life.

– David Langer

My retreat in with the Yawanawa at Yacumama was nothing short of life changing. 

I learned so much about myself in the ceremonies dancing around the fire and felt a part of myself that had been dormant for a long time wake up and come online.

-Jesse Fairbank

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Chief Nixiwaka is one of the most relevant indigenous leaders of our time. He has dedicated his life to reclaiming his people’s ancient culture and spirituality. After reconquering the rights over their ancestral territory, Nixiwaka, alongside his family, led the opening of their culture to the outside world. Its main element is the Yawa Festival, which is held annually since 2002 in the village of Nova Esperança (“New Hope”). In the past years he has spent most of his time in the Sacred Village, dedicated to spirituality and healing, receiving teachings from the elders, in order to carry on the Yawanawa legacy. In his few journeys out of his village to represent his people, he’s also visited other spiritual leaders around the world and has partaken in the sharing of many cultural traditions.

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Yawanawa spirituality is a sacred territory where never a woman had dared to step, for since ancestral times, it had belonged exclusively to men. In 2005, Putanny and her sister were the first women to make the sacred oath of the Yawanawa people. They have since been recognized as the first women to undergo Yawanawa spiritual training. After a year of strict diet, Putanny earned her communities' respect as spiritual leader, opening the way into this sacred path for other Yawanawa women. A break in tradition that united the male and female universes - and brought the magic of feminine spirituality to strengthen the Yawanawa culture. Together with her husband, Chief Nixiwaka, Putanny currently leads the place of origin of the Yawanawa people, considered the cultural sanctuary of this Nation.

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Nawashahu is the eldest daughter of Putanny and the chief Nixiwaka Yawanawa. She has been brought up to become a leader. Nawashahu has been very dedicated to their studies of Yawanawa spirituality, dieting with the elders and always seeking to learn more from the leaders of the tribe. Nawashahu is a guardian of this knowledge and a very talented singer, who has accompanied her parents in their work and travels outside the villages since early age.

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Peu is one of the most devoted spiritual leaders from the younger generation of the Yawanawa people. He committed to the sacred “samakei” (diet), the Yawanawa’s highest spiritual initiation, for five consecutive years. In this period he received direct teachings from the elders Tata and Yawa, who have recently passed away. His studies with the elders brought exceptional strength to his work with the sacred healing prayers of his ancestry. Today Peu is responsible for preparing and serving the medicines in the Sacred Village. He is also a talented musician, as has traveled to Europe, North America and Asia sharing Yawanawa spirituality.

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Mukashahu is the youngest daughter of Yawanawa chiefs Nixiwaka and Putanny, she comes from a long lineage of indigenous leaders and medicine men and women. She has been raised to be a leader of the Yawanawa people in the future. She lives in the Sacred Village of the Yawanawa people where she studies their spirituality, history, language and songs. From an early age she mastered the acoustic guitar and now in her teenage years brings out a strong voice ready to accompany her sisters and her mother. Mukashahu has just come off a year-long spiritual dieta with her mother. She and her brother, Mukaveine, are the first children of the Yawanawa nation to undertake such a profound spiritual dieta within the Yawanawa culture.

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Referred to as the “Little Chief’, Mukaveine is the youngest son of Yawanawas chiefs Nixiwaka and Putanny, he also comes from a long lineage of indigenous leaders and medicine men and women. Mukaveine has the name of the prophet of the Yawanawa people, who received many visions, such as the invasion of white men. The prophet thus instructed the Yawanawa people to make alliances with the white man and keep peace. “Little Chief” Mukaveine is thus expected and raised to be a leader of the Yawanawa people in the future. He lives in the Sacred Village with his family and after recently completing a year of dieting alongside his mother, Mukaveine has been honoring his name and prophecy, representing the culture, songs and stories of his people like few others, despite his young age.


Saku is a very powerful medicine man of the Marubo nation in the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil, although of young age. Considered part of the family by chiefs Nixiwaka and Putanny, he has been working assisting them in the healing of participants. In the Marubo nation, medicine men and women identify the children who will continue their work and they start doing healing work at a very young age, as Saku, who started when he was age 4. He has for decades deeply studied the indigenous spirituality of his people, having undergone thru very strict dietas to serve as channels for the healing of his patients. He’s a master of ancient spiritual codes and techniques which he uses on the patient’s body and spirit to bless the person in the way needed.

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Hola I'm Ixchel! I’m a cofounder and steward of Yacumama. I'm a mother, ceremonialist, community builder, spiritual midwife, facilitator, dancer, musician, entrepreneur, coach, permaculturist and eternal optimist who is passionate about human potential. I am dedicating my life to the liberation of all beings, to the remembrance of our divinity, to the embodiment of our full potential.  In 2004 I experienced the most profound homecoming in my first ceremony with Ayahuasca. I got to connect with the part of myself beyond name, beyond time and space that has always been and will always be - free of the ego that was identified with any of my triumphs or failures.  Since then Ayahuasca and Huachuma have been my greatest teachers in helping me to be a better human. I have received so much from these master teachers that for the past 9 years I have been in full service to sharing their gifts around the world in ceremonial retreats. The Yawanawa have touched me deeply and I am honored to be in service to this container with my passion for embodiment, preparation and integration.

We are so happy that you are considering joining us for the Yawanawa Immersion at Yacumama!

This will be an experience of a lifetime, a powerful, transformative  opportunity to connect with yourself, with the land and the allegria (joy) that the Yawanawa bring. 

Please fill out this brief form for more info. 

Join Us! 


Yacumama is in Ojochal, a small town near the Pacific Ocean, known for its international fine dining, which is part of the Ballena (whale) Coast.

We are 30-40 minutes south of Dominical and 15-20 minutes south of Uvita, where the Envision Festival has been held for the past ten+ years. 


Yacumama is a 3-4 hour drive southwest of the international airport, SJO.


From San Jose or other airports in the country you can also take a 45 minute flight on a small plane or even hire a small private plane to Quepos airport which is about an hour drive from Yacumama.


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