Concha Garcia Allen
Michaela van der Meer
Pepe Mendoza Loli
Sacchidanandaprem Acharya Swamin
Soila Picota Vargas
Soila Picota Vargas
Soila or "Mamá Soila" or "La Chamanquita", coming from the Shipibo Miraya's, is the right hand of Master Heberto. Her job is not only to assist Heberto when he is conducting a ceremony, Mama Soila is also in charge of the medicinal baths and daily rituals, especially those with the master sticks, since Mama Soila is an excellent palera teacher. A “palero” is a shaman who has specialized in the knowledge of master trees or master sticks, whose barks are used for some of the most powerful plant medicines, and is one of the most demanding specialties, which requires years of hard training. Mama Soila is also very much appreciated as a counselor.
Born in 1970 in the town of Vista Alegre de Pachitea, Soila embarked on her shamanic learning at the age of 20. As a child she used to suffer from nightmares in which she was chased by strange creatures half man half plant. Her parents consulted with several healers who failed to alleviate their dreams. When Soila was 10 years old, her uncle, who was already a renowned shaman, saw in a vision that her niece was born to be a healer and for that reason the plant spirits were trying to reach her in her dreams. In that vision, her uncle saw three plants with which he had to make a potion to cure Soila of her nightmares. Since then she began to connect with the plants in her dreams and to receive her healing energies, and she was no longer afraid.
Only two months later something extraordinary happened, Soila could already cure the sick without the need to consume any visionary plants and immediately the word spread in the village. Her parents felt that they should protect their daughter from any evil person who wanted to steal her powers and decided to move to a distant village.
Ten years later, the nightmares returned and Soila, saying nothing to anyone, made the same potion that her uncle had given her as a child. That night she saw in her sleep sick people of all ages, but especially women and children, who came to her for help and she felt disconsolate for not having medicine to offer them. She contacted her cousin José Fasanando, a prestigious shaman, and under his auspices she began shamanic learning.
After three years of dedicated work, Soila was ready and began a journey through the Upper Amazon basin, successfully healing a large number of patients.
She continued, in turn, dieting a variety of plants and integrating their energies into their healing inventory.
Up until today she continues to diet.