Life of an Ayahuasca facilitator and difficulties of running an Ayahuasca retreat.

Life of Ayahuasca an facilitator and difficulties of running an Ayahuasca retreat.

Few weeks ago I have met with a colleague of mine Oliver Glozik from Guacamayo Ayahuasca retreat. And we had an honest conversation on what it takes to run an Ayahuasca retreat and about life of an ayahuasca facilitator.

Here you can watch the full video but below I will try and provide a summary.


Challenges of starting and running an ayahuasca retreat, as well as the complexities of being a facilitator.

Starting and running a Retreat

Building a retreat from the ground up is no easy task. Beyond the logistical challenges like securing a location and setting up facilities, there’s a deep responsibility to create a space that’s safe, welcoming, and conducive for profound experiences.

It as labor intense and requires a large investment.

Running an Ayahuasca retreat is like running a hotel, restaurant, spiritual retreat, a spa and a psych ward. It is really really complex.

Regulations and Understanding

Ayahuasca is a powerful brew, and there are strict regulations around its use. Navigating these while ensuring the well-being of every participant is a top priority. We are lucky in Colombia Ayahuasca is legal given that your shaman (Taita) is a real shaman and has all the according paperwork.

Maintaining a ballance between affordability and Quality

Our commitment at LaWayra has been to make the retreats personal and affordable. Striking that balance requires continuous effort and innovation.

When you charge prices lower than average to make your retreat accessible it means you need to be creative with your finances.

It goes from people saying this is too cheap to be good from people saying that healing work should be free. And this is very tough cause you can’t please everyone.

Ā Being a Facilitator

This role isn’t just about guiding a session; it’s about understanding and connecting with each participant.

Emotional Weight

Every group brings in diverse backgrounds and personal stories. Holding space for everyone’s journey, ensuring they feel seen and supported, can be emotionally taxing.


We’re always on high alert to ensure physical and psychological safety. Sometimes, unexpected challenges arise, and we must be prepared to address them immediately.

Continuous Learning

The world of ayahuasca is vast and deeply spiritual. Even though I aim to keep things real and grounded, there’s always more to learn and understand.

I read 1 book a month on average on psychedelics to stay up to date on the topic. Not including numerous podcasts.

Me applying Rapeh

In sharing this, I hope to give you a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes of LaWayra. We pour our hearts into ensuring every individual has a meaningful and safe experience. If you’re considering joining us or any retreat, know that the challenges we face are all in service of providing the best possible space for you.

Remember facilitators are humans too and we too have our emotion, our challenges and our own personal growth šŸ¤—

Sam Believ
Founder of LaWayra Retreat


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