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OuR HEALING Approach

Our lineage of healers (Yackaks) extends back many generations. Our father, Don Agustin, was one of the founders of the Kichwa community of Rio Blanco back in 1970 which was created to preserve the ancient Kichwa customs and way of life.

In this community Don Agustin pioneered one of the first ecolodges and herbal medicine schools in the Amazon starting in 1990. This was created in order to invite the world to experience the Kichwa way of life and to preserve the forest while providing a sustainable, right livelihood for the community. These efforts then led to the creation of Ruku Samay in 1999 by Don Agustin and his son Clever, as a family-owned ecological association of multi-generational Kichwa families. We created our ecolodge and healing center to offer plant medicine healings and immersive cultural experiences to people from around the world.  

In accordance with our tradition, our current generation of  healers  began training at the age of 8, sometimes earlier.  Our parents and grand parents have always been actively involved in this training where family serves as the basis for  transmission of  knowledge and wisdom.

Our  healing approach is holistic.  Similar to the healers in ancient Chinese medicine, Kichwa Yachaks strive to help the client find the balance within the whole person rather than just treating individual symptoms. We believe that once balance is reached and the person is given enough space to heal, recovery is imminent. We have expertise in over 3000 medicinal plants and deep knowledge of the flaura and fauna of our beloved Pacha Mama which forms the foundation of our healing offerings.


In the Kichwa tradition, Ayahuasca is often used in the healing process. Popularly known around the world as a gateway to the spirit world, Ayahuasca has traditionally been used for thousands of years as a healing medicine by the Kicwha and other indigenous peoples of the Amazon. Made using two indigenous plants Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridis, Ayahuasca has been known to promote significant  healing responses physically, mentally and spiritually.

While the experience is different for everyone, Ayahuasca is known to be deeply affecting often allowing  people to come away from the Ayahuasca ceremony feeling more spiritually and vitally restored and connected to themselves and nature than they did before arriving.


"I had the most transforming experience at Ruku Samay. I'll never forget the kindness of the Grefa family and the amazing healing abilities of Don Agustin. It was truly life changing. Ruku Samay is pure magic. I have been coming back almost every year since 2007." - Guest, 2019

“Ten days in the Amazon jungle with Agustin’s family was incredibly amazing. Deep in the jungle, surrounded with such variety of fauna and flora, all the sounds of the jungle and delicious home-made meals was so great that I did not want to leave. Ceremonies were profound and opening and the retreat was deeply transformational for me. Can’t wait to come back to Ruku Samay soon.” Guest, 2017

"We bring our university students here every year for an intense, immersive experience. It is always unforgettable and the students are forever changed for the better." American university professor and tour leader, 2018

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