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The Council for Cultural & Biological Diversity
and Sentient Experientials present:

Rainforest Council
Gatherings

held at
Guaria de Osa Ecolodge
The Orchid of the Osa:
Rainforest Ocean Discovery Centre
& Ethnobotanical Gardens

Osa Peninsula - Costa Rica

"An Experience with Ancient Amazonian Medicine for Self, Community and Planetary Renewal."

Council 1: January 6 - 17, 2015

Council 2: January 19 - 30, 2015

Mini-Council February 7 - 12, 2015

Click here for more info on Mini-Council

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With traditional SECOYA ELDERS
from the Ecuadorian Amazon

Agustin "Tintin" Payaguaje and Basilio Payaguaje are the ceremonial guides for these events, experts in the ingestion of heroic doses of extra strong entheogenic plant medicines. Their laughter is contagious in lighting up each part of the day. Their presence an absolutely natural stance on life! Miguel Payaguaje will also be present, he is a student of the traditional way of life and will be the interpreter for the elders, who are in their 70's and only speak Pai'cocá.

The exploration of rainforest plant medicine traditions will be ushered in by these legendary time-honored maestros from the Ecuadorian Amazon, good elders who were raised in the wilderness, living traditional ways of life that include copious ceremonial meditations. Our good elders share visions and designs too spectacular to be acquired in any other way, other than sitting with them through the timelessness of the cool nights of Yage. Indelible on their way of being is this "great spirit, bedecked in designs, aromatic, beaded and leafy," acquired while fasting with their maestros in their wilderness motherland. Long before roads and interruption from modernization occurred, these whole-hearted elders already understood the entire picture! Their presence represents both the sacred gift and the serious joke that is life, and a whole lot of fun! The designs they embody were garnered in times of antiquity, and while older than old, they are also newer than new. Seeing them offers an ever-pertinent navigation perspective for these tumultuous times. They are traditional Secoya elders, torchbearers of a millenary spiritual tradition, who will be the ceremonial guides during both councils.

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THE SECOYA

The Secoya, or as they are called among themselves, the Siecopai, are an truly authentic, millenary Amazonian society, whose name means "Multicolored People." The elders embody a culture and tradition of immense spiritual magnitude. While dwindling, as this modern era tears at the seams of the most ancient fabric, this way of life, a heritage of humanity, is an ever effective time-tested medical system of universal significance. The spiritual and ceremonial science these elders embody and joyfully transmit is one of the great wisdom traditions of Gaia, its magnitude just beginning to be understood. This is the spiritual science of "God's Multicolored People." Kindling the lights of the most ancient prophecies, of universal oneness, and how to understand and achieve this as a tool for happiness, seamlessly helping improve every aspect of one's life! A way of life that brings all subtly together back onto the one great path of universal whole-hearted living, the one that walks alongside everything and everyone together towards an integral salvation for all species alike. Sadly though, due to geopolitical borders, the encroachment and harassment of the petroleum companies, as well as the impact of colonization now imperil their culture and ancestral lands. Despite these changes the Secoya live with grace, whole-heartedness and natural presence, and are happy and willing to share their wisdom with those who come with sincere hearts.

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A BRIEF BACKGROUND STORY

Our relationship with the Secoya is based on a long-standing genuine friendship of love and reciprocity that began in 1994 when Jonathon S Miller Weisberger began working with the community and facilitated a process of ancestral land reclamation that led to gaining access to a large tract of ancestral lands on the Ecuadorian and Peruvian boarder area. The trips began as a way to fund the work that since their onset in 1994 have channeled significant percentages of tuition proceeds to rainforest and wildlife conservation initiatives, as well to traditional elders and indigenous peoples communities in Ecuador. Since 2003 tuition proceeds have also supported a marine turtle conservation initiative in Costa Rica. Through these acts, the events have benefitted plant, animal and human communities far beyond the first circle of the gatherings participants. Funds are allocated and used where the needs are most prevalent, and we have learned from our knowledge at ground level, how to make a lot happen with a little.

Some of the many acts of solidarity have looked like this:

(2000-present) Building and repairing homes of the traditional elders, the building of ancestral lodges in the village for teaching centers and cultural revalidation, building fiberglass canoes for traditional families and attention to some health needs of the elders such as dentures and hearing aids have been accomplished.

In 2010, a successful conservation initiative in Ecuador led the enlargement of Napo-Galeras National Park!

Here at Guaria de Osa Ecolodge, a marine turtle conservation initiative has been overseen since 2003!

(1995-2000) Among the Secoya some of the works take the form of publishing a bilingual education booklet on health and life (natural medicine and ethnobotany) and a cosmological wall calendar. Projects such as cultural revival workshops among elders and youth have been accomplished and actualized.

From 1994-2000 we spearheaded a process to assist in territorial land reclamation and cultural revalidation initiatives among several indigenous communities in Ecuador.

In the high Andes, funds were given for materials to built a community water tank that benefits over 50 families at a reforestation initiative we have supported since 1995.

Most recently the Guayusa Tea House is being developed. This project is a "market driven rainforest conservation and restoration initiative," linking rainforest conservation and good health by offering what we consider too be the finest tea on earth to a much wider audience, linking bridges and pathways towards sustainability, environmental awareness, rainforest conservation, sustainability, fair trade and good health.

More information on these projects can be found at: www.4biodiversity.org, the CCBD link on this web site and www.rainforestconservationprojects.org

Ethnobotanist Jonathon S. Miller Weisberger says: "Our approach is holistic and direct in nature. It is aimed at finding creative ways to facilitate renewal, and thus bridge the many gaps that erode the fundamental pillars of the paradise that is earth, so as to safeguard the rainforest, ancestral wisdom and integrity on the plant."

Click here for videos of the most auspicious Guaria de Osa Ecoldoge

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In synergy, since 2006, mindful fellow travelers from our global community have come to participate in our council gathering, with a beginner's mind, for an uplifting experience with traditional plant medicine maestros, experienced ethnobotanists, skilled holistic health practitioners, for an unforgettable adventure and celebration in wellness and renewal, in ecological and self-discovery!

STAFF

Ethnobotanist Jonathon S. Miller Weisberger is an enthusiastic storyteller whose extensive and knowledgeable understanding of rainforest medicinal flora and indigenous life and world view is unique.

A rainforest conservation advocate, he has collaborated ethnobotanical studies with 5 distinct indigenous communities and tribes in the Ecuadorian Amazon and Andes from 1990 - 2000. Since 2000, Jonathon lives 9 months a year in Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula at Guaria de Osa EcoLodge. He is author of Rainforest Medicine: Preserving Indigenous Science & Biodiversity in the Upper Amazon, director of CCBD (Council for Cultural and Biological Diversity), and steward of Guaria de Osa (Orchid de Osa) Ecolodge. He is an intrepid and knowledgeable rainforest guide with more than 15 years of ground-level experience. A hike with Jonathon must not be missed as he guides you to explore the primary, spectacular rainforest surrounding Guaria de Osa. Jonathon will serve both councils.

Fire-keeper Josep "Waosutu" Rosas, steadfast to the Secoya tradition, who lives in Ecuador and has been in service to the Secoya elders for nearly six years. He accompanies them from Ecuador to the Guaria de Osa EcoLodge. Josep is their helper and attendant at the council gatherings. He is also the assistant ceremonial cook and fire keeper. Josep will serve both councils.

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WELLNESS PRACTITIONERS

Serra Russell Chase, Acupuncturist, began her exploration of Chinese Medicine at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in 2002 and graduated with a masters degree in 2006 after spending over one year living and studying in southern China. She has been fortunate to learn medicine traditions with Heiner Freuhoff, Lonny Jarret, Thea Elijah, Hua Ching Ni, the Wu Sheng'an family in Xi'an, and the good elders of the Secoya community in north eastern Ecuador. A thorough pulse diagnosis guides her acupuncture, body work, herbal, and dietary treatments and Serra hopes to encourage the highest expression of health and wellbeing in all the people she works with. Serving through community acupuncture in Brooklyn for over seven years and traveling to South and Central America for the past four years, Serra has assisted thousands of people with many different needs and will confidently treat everything from body pain to broken heart, wholeheartedly and without hesitation. She started the Brooklyn Acupuncture Project in 2007 and is grateful to the community for making it the amazing place it is! She has been serving Council Gatherings at Guaria de Osa since 2012. Serra will serve Council 2.

Deb Buck, through teaching yoga and plant medicine, she enjoys fusing devotion, strength, integrity, and grace in order to inspire contagious enthusiasm and deep relationship in service to Mother Earth. As a yoga teacher, Deb finds full enjoyment through which yoga combines strength, flexibility, breath and mindfulness. She embraces yoga practice as something that can nourish our spiritual way of life and facilitate pathways back to our true nature. Her specialty is to encourage students toward self-exploration through their connection to nature and exploring how yoga practice can be a metaphor for how we choose to be in life. She loves to blend the teachings of the plants, our relationship to the natural world and the physical practice of yoga. Deb teaches yoga at Yogadurango in Durango, CO. and travels to teach in different states and countries periodically. She has trained with the amazing teachers through Yogadurango and with Indira Kate Kalmbach at the Pavones Yoga Center in Costa Rica. As an herbalist, Deb has an incredible devotion for facilitating the transmission and reception of plant medicine in the oral tradition. Her curiosity drives her to dig deep, to embark on the adventures of creating relationships with our plant relatives and to seek out those that had the knowledge, the wisdom keepers. She has learned with Elders/Wisdom Keepers/Teachers from around the globe. She has spent the last 7 years studying intensively with Doug Simons of Chanchka Remedios. Deb's dedication in her work is to facilitate the transfer of the messages of the Earth and the voices of the plants to create space for building lifelong relationships with the plants. She has been working intimately with the plants for 10+ years building, learning, teaching and practicing. Her daily intention is to continue to learn to live more harmoniously with all sentient beings. Deb will serve both councils.

Emily Casey is devoted to the healing arts. She is a practitioner of Reiki and Theta Healing. These two medicines have facilitated expansive growth in the past years and she is humbled to offer these services to the council. Emily is guided to steward the precious plants offered by the Earth. The intention of the Reiki and Theta sessions is to assist in the integration of the transmissions received through the deepening of our understanding of ourselves and the planet. Emily will serve both councils.

Valerie Carpenter will be offering Sound Healing including Acutonics (tonal acupressure using tuning forks calibrated to the natural frequencies of the Cosmos) to support participants and staff. She is the founder of The Vestibule Center for Sound Living in the SF Bay Area, where she specializes in sound-based therapies that bring mind, body, spirit into inner harmony and balance. She holds certifications in Sound, Voice and Music Healing from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), the Acutonics Institute of Integrative Medicine, Integrated Listening Systems (iLs), and the Vox Mundi School of the Voice, in addition to enjoying a distinguished career as a professional writer and actress. Drawing on a vast array of experience as a performing artist, workshop facilitator, and intrepid explorer of the inner realms, she offers a multi-modal sound healing approach that embraces the shamanic healing arts. She has developed effective protocols for stress relief, grounding and centering, spiritual emergence, and trauma recovery. Valerie will serve Council 2.

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HELPERS

James Ficklin aka "Duff" is an Environmental Activist, Filmmaker, Photographer, World Traveler, Tree Hugger, Permaculturist, Herbalist, and a Massage Therapist trained in traditional Thai massage, Reflexology, Acupressure, Taoist-Chi Nei Tsang (internal organ massage). He's also a certified Chi Gung & Meditation instructor teaching the basics of the Universal Healing Tao System. He studied with Taoist Grandmaster Mantak Chia this past summer in Thailand. He has been trained as a "cook" by Jonathon, the Secoya elders and Jesup. Since 2005 he has made many journeys to the Ecuadoran Amazon with Jonathon and worked as a volunteer assistant at Guaria De Osa in Costa Rica for several council gatherings. He is an enthusiastic, nature-loving, warrior-healer in training. Duff will serve both councils.

Scott Crawford has been working with rainforest and Hawaiian plant medicines and spiritual lineages for over 20 years. He has maintained our website for the last 10 years, and has been a volunteer staff for two previous Councils at Guaria de Osa / Orchid of the Osa Ecolodge. Scott is a grantwriter and taro farmer, and works on many grassroots projects in Hawaii that blend traditional Hawaiian "'ahupua'a" concept (integrated watershed management) with modern tools and science to create models of community-based management partnerships and effective local governance from the bottom up. Scott will serve both Councils to share and be present and helpful, and assist the gathering and the participants in whatever way needed.

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THE SETTING

Orchid of the Osa Ecolodge, located in the remote "people friendly wilderness" rainforest at San Josecito Beach just south of Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula's westernmost cove and just north of Corcovado National Park. Corcovado National Park, endorsed by National Geographic as "the most biological intense place on the Planet is right next door. And the "Floating Butterfly" also known as "Island of the Navigation Spheres of Giants" (most commonly known today as Caño Island Oceanic Reserve) can be seen as if suspended in the pristine blue green waters before the lodge. Rio Claro surf break (a paradise rainforest river) is a casual 45-minute walk down the beach, where there are waterfalls, secret beaches and forest paths to discover and enjoy. For these reasons and so many more the region is sometimes called, "The Little Amazon by the Ocean!"

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INTENTIONS

  • To Experience the prehistoric origins and vital importance of Plant Medicine Traditions from the Upper Amazon as taught and lived by the Secoya elders for centuries.
  • To provide an opportunity for renewal of body mind and spirit through rainforest plant medicine traditions that act as a catalyst for auspicious transformation and tangible human progress.
  • To make known the holistic indigenous ceremonial science of "Gods Multicolored People" (translation of "Secoya"), under the tutelage of skilled Secoya wisdom keepers, the traditional elders, accomplished "torch bearers," and adepts of this sacred spiritual culture.
  • To experience tropical biodiversity in a remote rainforest wilderness and beach setting. Meet a pristine Pacific Ocean and the mighty rainforest ecosystems of the Osa Peninsula, where birds, plants and wildlife abound, sing and play.
  • To facilitate right livelihood by creating work opportunities for people in remote ecologically sensitive regions and raise funds for rainforest conservation and cultural heritage projects.

Note: Tuition proceeds & sales of all traditional Secoya arts & crafs and ceremonial atire, as well as Pablo Amaringo visionary art replicas, available at the event, will be channeled to rainforest projects overseen by the CCBD (www.4biodiversity.org), supporting traditional elder masters in the Amazon and a Marine Turtle Conservation Project on the Osa.

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INVESTMENT

Investment is US $2200 / participant / council

Important Notes:

  • We ask everyone to begin the Council Gathering on Day 1 and end on Day 11.
  • If you wish to arrive early and/or depart later, please ask for availability and extra fees.
  • Consider registering as soon as possible to guarantee a space for this epic, stellar experience!
  • Space available for each council: 27 mindful participants
  • In order to reserve your space, investment is to be paid in full. Thank you.

Discounts:

  • Discount available for more than 1 council.
  • Discount offered for your referrals.

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INVESTMENT INCLUDES

Please Note: all activities are optional since we understand that sometimes to do less is to do more.

  • 3 Sunrise Renewals beginning 3:00 in the morning on Days 2, 3 & 4
    Note: The wellness & vitality enhancing effects of sunrise renewals balance the body's pH and are crucial to any healing or detoxification program & for preventing disease. In today's modern society, most people are acidic as a result of diet, sedentary (or overactive) lifestyles, stress, pollution, and the accumulation of chemical and heavy metal toxins.
  • 3 traditional Shamanic Healing Meditations on Nights 5, 7 & 9
    This time-tested millenary tradition from the Secoya People of the Amazon, for personal and planetary re-birth, uses well-prepared, highly refined plant medicine to promote spiritual & physical renewal, allowing one to move closer to spiritual understanding, personal growth, vitality, wellness and renewal, in quantum leaps! Read: Rainforest Medicine: Preserving Indigenous Science and Biodiversity in the Upper Amazon.
  • Experience the prehistoric origins of Plant Medicine Traditions from the Ecuadorian Amazon as taught and lived by the Secoya elders for centuries.
  • Welcome the past, present and future importance of Indigenous Plant Medicines and its healers and gardeners.
  • Appreciate the connection and relationship of plant medicines with the ancient traditions of Tao.
  • Connect the magnitude of these two Indigenous Spiritual Sciences and aspects that nourish renewal and wellness in our personal life, our community life, and the life of our environment, locally and globally.
  • Expand one's guts and grace.
  • Enjoy arts and crafts sessions and Secoya-style face painting with homemade aromatic face paints.
  • Explore indigenous worldview through Origin mythologies, and fireside storytelling and listen to rare recordings of master healing chants.
  • Discover tropical nature and rainforest ecology on observation walks and or treks into the nearby rainforest, where plants, birds and animals abound!
  • Meet and learn about prominent plant allies on guided in-depth ethnobotanical plant walks.
  • Connect the magnitude of ancient Spiritual Sciences and the aspects that nourish renewal and wellness in our personal life, our community life, and the life of our environment, locally and globally, through evening talks and group dialogues.
  • Circle together to hear each others journeys from the night before.
  • Learn basic aspects of ancient world traditions from east and west and discover their similarities as well as practicality to assist people in improving the quality of their lives in these modern times
  • Swim, snorkel, surf a sparkling Pacific Ocean, just a 3 min. stroll through Guaria's ethnobotanical gardens; enjoy a hammock siesta in front of the beach; or a Whale and Dolphin tour, scuba or snorkeling at Caño Island Oceanic reserve; enjoy waterfalls.
  • Benefit from the Wellness Modalities with holistic wellness practitioners during the Council.
  • Delight in beading with the Secoyas using entheogenic designs

In Addition

  • 11 nights / 12 days lodging
  • On non-fasting days, three wholesome daily meals with vegetarian options. Guayusa tea, herbal teas from the garden, homegrown cacao and organic coffee, and real butter
  • Group round-trip boat transfer - one way: an hour and a half boat ride through the enchanted Sierpe River out onto the magnificent Pacific Ocean where you will be taken to a white sand paradise!
    The other way to Drake Bay a land transfer through the rainforest; flight takes you over the rainforest canopy!
  • Clean linens & towels; bring your beach towel or sarong. (Please also bring a light blanket, sheets, and pillowcase for use during the ceremony)
  • Have a favorite hammock? Bring that too! Or purchase a perfect handmade hammock from the Secoya. Prices range from $300 for cotton and $600 hand-woven chamber rainforest palm fiber.

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INVESTMENT DOES NOT INCLUDE

(Extra fees)

[Rates are subject to change]

  • All San Jose expenses: hotel, taxi transfer, meals, etc.
  • Getting to Guaria de Osa
  • Costa Rican Osa Peninsula domestic air flight (San Jose to and from Osa Peninsula): $247 round trip (as of 2015)

    Please Note: Guaria's international staff will make your San Jose hotel reservation and your domestic air reservation.
    You will be notified how to pay the hotel and the domestic flight soon after you register.
  • $30 / person airport exit tax (as of 2010)
  • Extra days before and/or after the Council Gathering is $100/day plus a $50 non-group Osa Peninsula one-way transfer.
  • Non-group transfers cost $50 one way / person.
  • To reserve your extra days, and your non-group Osa Peninsula transfer, please pre-pay. See How to Pay link.
  • We suggest bringing US$500 - US$700 in cash
    to pay for any extra expenses while at Guaria de Osa.

  • Acupuncture Sessions
    Cost: $72 / private treatment; $36 / group treatments
    Funds are donated to the Secoya Fund.
  • Reiki & Theta Healing
    Cost: $33 - $66 sliding scale (private treatment)
    50% is donated to the Secoya Fund
  • Want to do arts & crafts with the Secoya elders? Then please bring glass beads (small and medium size beads); nylon thread, beading needles & wax)
  • We suggest a separate $100 donation to the Secoya Curanderos (healers) which will support their families in the Amazon.
  • Please Note: Present your donation to Jonathon, who will distribute equally to the Secoya Elders at the Council. He will also earmark donations to other Secoya members who couldn't attend the Council yet are in need of financial assistance.
  • One on One Healing with the Secoya Shamans: $100/session
  • Our attentive and tireless staff gratefully accepts gratuities. We suggest at least $100 for the 11 days of devoted and attentive service. Please present your gratuity to Jonathon, Guaria's administrator, who will, in turn, distribute the staff donation to those 'on stage' and those 'behind the curtain.'
  • Secoya hand-made hammocks - that take a month to make. Cost per hammock: about $600
  • Internet Fees: Due to the high installation and monthly service cost of remote satellite internet here in Costa Rica, our rates for internet or internet phone use are: $3 for the first 15 minutes; $5 up to 30 minutes; $10 for one hour. Bring your own laptop and you can be connected to our wireless satellite connection. Cost is $30 / week. However, during the Council Gathering, we strongly adviseyou to 'unplug' from the world during the 11 days you are at Guaria de Osa.
  • dn Pablo Amaringo Prints

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EXTRA FEES AT GUARIA DE OSA

  • We accept Costa Rican Colones or US Dollars.
  • Note: We cannot accept personal checks nor American Express Travelers Checks nor money orders because the banks in Costa Rica take more than 6 months to cash.
  • What We Offer is listed at the links below:

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WHO TO CONTACT

Dahlia and Ladna Miller
Email:
Telephone: (510) 235-4313 (located in California - Pacific Standard Time)

Thank you for networking this once in a lifetime event!

Dahlia and Ladna Miller (mother & daughter) are the ones who will get you to the Ecolodge effortlessly by arranging all your Costa Rican logistical reservations and transfers. They will send you additional information as well, a what to pack list and more detailed info relating the gatherings. Once you get off your international plane you will be escorted all the way to the Ecolodge.

It's a family operation (Ladna, Dahlia, and Jonathon) and what a family! I have worked with all three and they do a wonderful job. The retreat participants just need to get a flight to San Jose and the rest is taken care of. They will arrange for the hotel in San Jose, the transfer from the hotel to the domestic airport, the flight to the Osa Peninsula, and the boat to Guaria. It's a real adventure and everything goes like clockwork. Once at Guaria, all meals are provided and the yoga/meditation space is wonderful. The participants can spend their free time on the beach or in the jungle, or Jonathon provides some really interesting trips for the more energetic and adventurous. In addition, our investment supports rainforest conservation. David M., geological eco-engineer

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HOW TO PAY

To Reserve Your Space

  • Write your check payable to: SENTIENT EXPERIENTIALS
  • In the memo of your check please write which council date you are paying for.
  • Mail your investment to:
    Sentient Experientials @ Guaria de Osa EcoLodge
    c/o Dahlia Miller
    PO Box 1004
    El Cerrito, CA 94530
  • United States payment via personal check, money order, or cashiers check: please mail your investment via Priority Mail and purchase a Receipt for Certified Mail (which requires Dahlia Miller to sign for it).
  • International payments via bank wires: please ask Dahlia at

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INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT RESERVATIONS

Important:

  • Please check your passport to make sure it is valid for at least 3 months after you leave Costa Rica.
  • Costa Rica requires everyone to purchase a round trip ticket.
  • Before you purchase your international flight ticket, please e-mail us the itinerary to review. Thank you.
  • Are you coming to Costa Rica from a country with risk of yellow fever virus?

    If in doubt, please consult this information.

    Note: Yellow Fever vaccinations must be valid for at least 10 days and the certificate must be shown at the airport before boarding your flight.
  • We suggest participants arrive into San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica, at least one day before your Council Gathering starts.
  • Outside Santa Maria International there will be a shuttle transfer from Hotel Adventure Inn waiting for you. Please ask us for instructions how to reserve for the shuttle transfer from the hotel to airport.
  • We will give you instructions how to pay for your hotel room and receive 10% discount as Guaria de Osa's guest.
  • For anyone who needs to leave Costa Rica on the last day of the Council Gathering keep in mind your morning transfer from the Osa Peninsula arrives into San Jose at 11 am. Therefore, it is very important to book your departure international flight back to your home country anytime after 2 pm. or spend the night in San Jose

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GETTING TO GUARIA DE OSA

We pre-arrange the following round-trip reservations
to get you to Guaria de Osa effortlessly!

  1. Domestic air flight to and from the Osa Peninsula:
    When we send you your reservation confirmation, you will then receive instructions how to pre-pay directly. As of 2015, round trip cost $245/person.
  2. Hotel in San José:
    Their fees include airport transfers before and after international flights, free international phone calls; low rates, great breakfast, comfortable spacious rooms.
  3. Visit: www.adventurehotelsofcostarica.com. Mention you are a guest of Guaria de Osa EcoLodge on the Osa Peninsula and you will receive a significant discount.

Our Preferred Scenic Routes

Scenic Entry Route on Day 1

Entry via Palmar Sur to Sierpe

Guaria's safari-jeep contact will meet you at Palmar Sur airport to drive you to the river town of Sierpe (about 45 minutes). Wait for our boat captain at Oleaje Sereno Coffeeshop, located by the Sierpe docks.

Beautiful floating water hyacinth plants are seen on Río Sierpe during this impressive water journey. Río Sierpe (meaning 'serpent') curves by a panoramic vista of 54,000 acres of Sierpe-Terraba Mangrove Reserve - home of the largest most intact mangrove reserve in tropical America!

Departing the mangroves, the boat (known as 'panga') goes thru the mouth of the majestic Pacific Ocean - another dramatic moment! Most times you can see whales, dolphins, a variety of birds, all enveloped in an unforgettable tropical ocean breeze.

This water journey takes about 1 hour (4 miles) on the Sierpe River and about 45 min. (21 miles) on the Pacific Ocean to the beach landing at Playa San Josecito.

Scenic Departure Route on Last Day

Departure via Drake Bay

Our boat captain waits for you at Playa San Josecito and our staff will help you with your luggage.

From Playa San Josecito, there is a 20 min. boat ride along the Pacific Ocean to Drake Bay Beach. A safari-style jeep will transfer you to Drake Bay Airstrip - about a 15 min. land trip through the jungle until you board your domestic flight back to San José. This journey, as is the entry, is what movies are made from.

From Drake Bay Airstrip to San Jose, you'll witness a spectacular vista of the Rainforest Canopy of the Osa Peninsula.

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GIFTS for the Secoyas

(optional)

Some suggestions... for those who are at the Council and for those who couldn't make it from their homeland in Secoya Territory

  • Simple art supplies like: blocks of drawing paper, water color set or gouache or acrylic paints and brushes; colored pencils; charcoal pencils, erasers
  • American Spirit - bulk in red pouches with extra rolling papers
  • Flashlights / head lamps
  • Beads:
    • Secoyas love to bead. Together you can have beading time and learn yajé designs.
    • Bring glass beads (small and medium size beads); beading needles nylon thread and wax.
    • Primary colors for beads, such as, red, yellow, green, blue, and white.

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WHAT TO PACK

Important Notes

  • Although this list is extensive we trust each one knows what to pack for a beach / rainforest environment. Please use this inventory as a friendly reminder and a suggested checklist.
  • Although porter service is gratis "on the house" - please pack what you can carry. The walk from the beach landing at Playa San Josecito to Guaria de Osa is about 20 min. south along a beach and forest trail with the Pacific Ocean to your right and the Rainforest to your left.
  • Lightweight fabrics, mixture of rayon and cotton (not 100% cotton) dry easier in the tropics. Include something to keep you warm in the cool jungle evening.
  • Since there is neither a local store nor drugstore down the beach and/or around the corner, bring your personal items. If you have a high metabolism, bring your own snacks. Women who may get their moon during their visit please bring your own pads.
  • At Guaria there are several hammocks. However, if you would like to bring your own hammock also bring webbing or chord (about 20 feet).
  • Please bring ALL your plastic wraps (including diapers) and dead batteries back to your home country for recycling. Please leave NO trace behind you.

Rainforest/Beach Clothes

  • Bathing suit: to respect cultural customs and sensitivity, please refrain from skinny-dipping
  • Beach towel or a sarong for lying on the beach
  • Shirts: 1 - 2 light weight long sleeves
  • Footwear: In general: fast-drying sandals (non-leather); flip-flops; a pair of lightweight hiking boots or sneakers. Flip-flops are great for walking the Guaria campus and beach walking (especially when the sand is very hot). Flip-flops are not the proper footwear to wear when you are in the boat, as the waves will scoop them off your toes when you transfer from the boat to the shore. For this occasion, a non-leather sandal that stays tightly on your feet is best.
  • Shorts: (at least) 2 or 3 pairs
  • Pants: at least 2 pairs - loose, lightweight rayon/cotton
  • Rain Poncho: lightweight - needed during wet season May to November
  • Sarong or beach towel: Help us increase the life span of our resources by not using cabin towels on the beach
  • Sleepwear: Lightweight cotton during dry season; sweats, thermal, flannel during wet season
  • Socks: 3 pairs at least
  • Sun hat: lightweight, foldable; baseball cap, visor, or straw hat with a wide-brim
  • Sweatshirt for cool jungle evenings; and cool San Jose nights
  • T-Shirts and/or tank tops: 3 to 5
  • Windbreaker jacket for protection on boat rides; light weight

Articles

  • Biodegradable toiletries
  • Binoculars
  • Bug Repellent:

    Although we rarely, ever have bugs on the Osa Peninsula, come prepared with:

    • SKIN-SO-SOFT by Avon; there are two options that effectively repel mosquitoes, sandflies, no-seeums, especially during the wet season; both are PABA-free, DEET-free; and have SPF 30: 1) Bug Guard Plus, Gentle Breeze Lotion and 2) Bug Guard Plus, Cool 'N Fabulous Lotion
    • PERMETHRIN, purchased in any wilderness supply store, or can order on line; spray all over your clothes, including underwear; last for 6 washings; cost about $16
    • Insect repellant: natural citronella-based products and pure citronella oil works great to dab on wrists and ankles
    • Bring a small jar of Vick's Menthol Vapor Rub and Calamine Lotion to rub around your ankles to control itching from possible chigger bites.
    • All mosquito repellents (such as DEET), applied to skin and clothing, are effective at repelling chiggers.
    • A suggestion to not eat bananas or other sweet foods may diminish the attraction of bugs to your otherwise sweet skin.
    • Vitamin B1 mg has the reputation of repelling mosquitoes. Although there are almost no pestering insects during the dry season - December through early April Ð people who may be susceptible to be bitten, it is suggested to take B1 plus B100 mg.
  • Camera
  • Camera batteries: re-chargeable batteries can be charged with our solar electricity
  • Day Pack for day hikes
  • Dictionary/phrase book: if applicable - bring a bilingual (Spanish/your language) book
  • Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries; because solar lights go out at 10 pm, your flashlight will come in handy for nighttime reading and walking on Guaria's campus. Note: watch for frogs that come out at night!
  • Flippers, snorkel and mask for snorkeling the warm waters
  • Garbage plastic bags: to keep your belongings dry especially for the boat rides
  • Glasses: if you wear glasses and/or contacts, bring an extra pair
  • Hammock: a non-nylon hammock will come in handy during evening ceremonies (unless you want to purchase a Secoya Hammock for about US$500). In order to hang your hammock, bring a pair of caribiners (2) you can purchase in any hardware store; and 20 feet of strap also called webbing;; ask salesperson what kind of webbing is recommended to hang a hammock.
  • Journal & writing tool
  • Life Jackets for children: especially for ocean swimming and boat rides
  • Money belt: for your general travel
  • Sunglasses: polarized are best for cutting ocean glare
  • Scuba Divers: Certification Card; DAN Insurance Card or Member
  • Snorkel: flippers, mask, and goggles
  • Sunscreen
  • Toiletries: toothbrush, comb, and hairbrush
  • Water bottle
  • Yoga Gear
    Guaria de Osa currently has between 25 yoga mats, 4 belts, and 10 blocks for your practice. In the tropics yoga mats have a shorter life span. We are also in constant challenge with a wax bee endemic to the area so some of the mats may have wax on them. Although we have light-weight blankets to sit on, yoga mats also can be rolled up for sitting. We recommend you bring your own if you want a newer yoga mat (without wax from the wax bee) and/or if you just prefer to use your personal mat for practice. In addition, consider bringing your own block, yoga blanket and strap

Optional Articles

  • Art supplies: a pad of paper for tempera paints' sketchpad; at least 3 paintbrushes of different thickness; a set of tempera paints. Watercolor or gouache (depending on your preference); colored pencils, charcoal pencil; eraser
  • Bandannas
  • Want to do arts & crafts with the Secoya elders? If so, please bring glass beads (small and medium size beads); needles and nylon.
  • Beads: for beading and jewelry making; particularly small, glass beads; preferably primary colors such as red, yellow, green, blue, and white; also good are shells, abalone, spongulas (ocean shells), rocks, minerals, and gems; beading needles, thread and wax
  • Beach chair (light, portable); camp chair or a 'Therma Rest attachment to a sleeping pad
  • Boogie-board; surfboard
  • Fans: foldable hand fans
  • Games/Sports: kites, frisbees, dominoes, chess, checkers, cards; soccer, volley, basket ball, etc.
  • Musical instruments: portable and small
  • Thermos: if you want to pack hot tea/coffee on hikes
  • Umbrella: good for sunshade or raindrops

Health Aid Suggestions

  • Aconite: a homeopathic remedy good for onset of any physical upset; internal tablets
  • Aloe Vera Gel: for sensitive skin; good to rub on after a sunny day; Bioland makes a great Aloe Vera gel, 100% organic and can be purchased in any macrobiotic or most pharmacies in Costa Rica.
  • Arnica ointment: A homeopathic remedy for bruises, sprains, reduces swelling; internal tablets and/or external ointment
  • Calendula: a homeopathic remedy; ointment for minor wounds and mosquito bites
  • Rescue Remedy: a Bach Flower remedy for trauma and shock; eases transitions; internal
  • Tea Tree Oil: a natural topical antiseptic
  • Vitamin E: for internal or external use for your skin

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CEREMONY BUNDLE

Your Jungle Bedroom

What we suggest you pack to use for the 3 all-night journeys:

  • Sleeping pad and/or yoga mat - this will be your mattress
  • OR a Therma-Rest Pad. What is a therma-rest you may be asking yourself? Therm-a-Rest air mattresses have been around for over three decades. These pads are one of the main standards of comfort while trekking where you will need a bed to rest upon - which you will find very handy during the all-night medicine meditation journey. Therma-Rest can be purchased in most wilderness shops (like REI) or on line. For example, take a look at these two sites:
  • A light, portable, foldable beach or camp chair, you can use to alternate between lying down and sitting up. (Also will come in handy to take out to the beach.)
  • 1 or 2 sheets and 1 or 2 pillow cases for your bedding (sleeping pad or yoga mat and pillow.) Why? Because there will be face painting with natural dyes using Secoya designs and although the coloration from the dye washes off easily, your sheet and pillow case will protect your 'ceremonial mattress.'
  • A light-weight blanket. Why? Because, even though you are in the tropics, your body will get cool / cold under the influence of the medicine
  • Journal & writing utensil
  • Small pillow
  • Small towel
  • Head-lamp or flashlight - bring back up batteries - rechargeable is the best.
    Note: if your flashlight has a red light this would be the best one to bring. If not, when you turn on your flashlight during the ceremony cover the bright light with your shirt (or something) so as not to disturb the others journeying with the bright light of your flashlight.
  • Layers of clothes to wrap around yourself when your body gets chilly. For example: socks, light weight wind-breaker jacket (also useful for all boat rides); a shawl; long sleeved shirt / blouse; or your light-weight blanket
  • For women and men: loose fitting clothes - especially around the waist.
  • For women: loose, flowing skirts are very appropriate to wear during ceremony.
  • A set of back-up clothes; especially pants (in case there is a bowel accident)
  • 'Diapers' - if you have a weak bladder and/or a weak kidney
  • A flower essence / natural perfume to sprinkle on your body; for example, basil, rosemary, myrrh or rosewater (optional)
  • Water bottle
  • Beads: for beading and jewelry-making after ceremony inspired by Secoya designs in the company of the elders. Beading needes, threads, and was. Preferably small, glass beads; preferably primary colors such as red, yellow, green, blue, and white. Beading needles, thread and wax.
  • Hammock - If you have one to bring, please make sure it is not made of nylon. There will be Secoya handmade fiber hammocks for sale and a few Guaria de Osa hammocks available.
  • To hang your hammock purchase at any hardware store: 2 simple caribiners and 20 feet of strap also called webbing; tell the store the webbing and the caribiners are to hang a hammock.
  • Teddy bear (just kidding - or not) - (optional)

Note: At www.guariadeosa.com - on the left hand margin, in the yellow-mustard-colored section, you will see two important links to read: Safety Guidelines and other ideas for What to Pack

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DISCLAIMER

Important to read more on our Disclaimer and Safety Rules to the right of the sunset photo at our Fees and Reservations page. Please read in full.

Please note: Guaria de Osa is not a resort, nor a spa, nor a hotel. Instead, Guaria de Osa is a roadless, wilderness discovery centre, powered by the sun, rooted in a rainforest beach / ocean environment on the Osa Peninsula, also known as 'the Little Amazon of Costa Rica" - endorsed by National Geographic as "the most biological intense place on Earth!"

Guests will undertake full responsibility for all that is experience because essentially your sojourn at Guaria deOsa, albeit an enriching adventure, is a personal experience.

Guaria de Osa wishes to reserve the right to change the itinerary if by chance there may arise unforeseen circumstances, such as raw weather or sea conditions or other physical or material logistics that may surprisingly arise. This also includes last minute cancellations by guest teachers. Please trust that whatever changes are made, these will not affect the quality of the experience.

Although we do our best to 'keep on schedule' we understand that there is more than one notion of 'time' that does not always coincide with the western notion of linear time. We like to call it "jungle/beach time." Therefore, we ask you to please be open and flexible to appreciate the multiple realities of what might be considered 'the norm.'

Although there is a lot to do at Guaria de Osa and its beautiful surroundings, we understand that sometimes 'to do less is to do more.' We also value the benefits of 'embracing the unexpected' and 'releasing expectations.'

For the 'seasoned traveler' – or otherwise – please come to Guaria de Osa with a 'beginners' mind.'

All guests are financially accountable for breaking or loosing any Guaria de Osa items or belongings – including surfboards. If such an occasion should arise, we ask for reimbursement at the current cost in Costa Rica of the particular item that needs to be replaced.

We ask that you sign in and sign out or inform Jonathon when you leave the campus. Please take your walks and swims with a buddy.

Respecting cultural sensitivity, we ask that you keep your swimsuits on when swimming in the ocean and/or sunbathing on the beach.

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SAFETY GUIDELINES

Please note: Guaria de Osa is not a resort, nor a spa, nor a hotel.

Instead, Guaria de Osa is a road-less, wilderness discovery centre, powered by the sun, rooted in a rainforest beach / ocean environment on the Osa Peninsula, also known as 'the Little Amazon of Costa Rica" - endorsed by National Geographic as "the most biological intense place on Earth!"

The Ocean

When in the ocean, the safest way is always to swim, surf, or snorkel with a buddy and keep an eye on each other. Guaria's beachfront is safe for swimming most of the time, especially at low and mid-tides.

Sometimes, at high tide, there can be a rip tide that can pull a swimmer out about 25 to 3 yards. If this happens, don't panic! What takes place is a current draining a channel on the edge of the ocean. The current extends no more than 35 yards, after which there are no strong currents or undertows to worry about. Just let the tide pull you out, then swim off to the side and swim back in to shore. About a 15 min. beach/forest walk north is Playa San Josecito, a paradisiacal and safe beach.

The Forest

When wandering about at night, it is best to use a flashlight because thee are snakes in the forest. Special care should always be taken when stepping over a log. It is best to step on the log then jump off the other side rather than stepping over the log … since there may be a poisonous snake under the log on its other side.

Be careful when picking up anything off the forest floor or reaching your hands into the bushes. Snakes, for the most part, are passive. If you encounter one, please don't offend it or irritate it or scare it by neither calling it names nor yelling. Let your guide know if such a snake is in the immediate vicinity of Guaria de Osa's campus. What you can do is to greet the snake and move on if it is out in the forest far from the campus.

Sleep well for no one has died in the area from snakebites and the nearby clinic is always loaded with anti-venom for the unfortunate accident. No one has gotten bit from a snake bite at Guaria, except one of our dogs … and we cured him with our effective vegetable snakebite medicine, a cultivar from Costa Rica and the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest, now growing in our ethnobotanical garden.

There are scorpions yet they are relatively harmless and their stings are like that of a wasp. If you are allergic to bee or wasp stings, please bring your necessary precautionary medications with you and carry them in your daypack at all times!

Coconuts might be the biggest hazard. When napping or lounging under a coconut tree, be mindful because one might just fall on your head – although this rarely has happened to anyone at Guaria de Osa.

Ana, Guaria's pet macaw

Ana has an attitude! Typically, the nature of macaws is to be very territorial. She is loved, gorgeous, and grew up at Guaria. She might travel with you on the beach and watch over you from the trees … while Tin Tin, Guaria's pet dog might walk with you and watch your bags.

About Ana ... she is usually friendly yet sometimes she's not. By the way… Ana is not a 'she' anymore. We got her feathers tested and found out Ana is a 'he.' However, its name has not adjusted to her gender.

Burning Candles

Since the structures of the lodges are all wood, never leave a burning candle unattended in order to prevent a fire.

General Impression

Many of these safety rules are not unique to a rainforest-jungle-ocean- beach environment. Still and all, in order to prevent injuries anywhere geographically, being present and exercising mindfulness is a good thing when having fun.

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CANCELLATION POLICY

  • Because funds are processed immediately for events and maintenance, together with committing at least - and, more, if need be - 20% of funds to The Osa Foundation / Grupo Osanimi's Rainforest and Cultural Heritage Projects in the Amazon and Andes of Ecuador and on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica, we are sorry we cannot make any refunds.
  • Guests will pay for the entire block of time reserved by an event.
  • No refunds or credit is given when and if anyone is dissatisfied.
  • Because of the remoteness of the Osa Peninsula and because there are no roads to Guaria de Osa, whether one has to arrive late and/or depart early, there is no refund nor credit because the staff has prepared for your visit with food, supplies and more.
  • Guests will undertake full accountability for all that is experienced because, albeit an enriching adventure, essentially your sojourn is a personal experience.

For All Visitors

No matter how seasoned a traveler you may be, we advise everyone to come with a 'Beginner's Mind.'

Expect the Unexpected ... and you will have everything.

We reserve the right to change the itinerary if by chance there may arise any unforeseen circumstances, such as raw weather or sea conditions or other physical or material logistics that may surprisingly arise. This also includes last minute cancellations by guest teachers. Please trust that whatever changes are made will not affect the quality of your experience.

Event Participants

When an Event Participant cancels his/her reservation, any monies received will be credited for any future program/event valid within three years of cancellation - or - Event Participant can give or sell the original dates to someone else. Please notify us of any change.

Credit within three years can also be transferable for another event to a friend, family member, colleague, etc.

Event fees are subject to change and will be recognized by the Event Participant.

Hotel Reservations

All guests are responsible for paying any un-met hotel reservations. If you did not cancel in due time, please be accountable by paying the hotel fees. (We can instruct you how to do pay.)

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ENDORSEMENTS

Golden Words from Past Participants

"Sacred Love." - Sting, musician from England, 2009

"For Jonathon! Thanks for your work in the world! With best wishes." - Jeremy Narby, author of The Cosmic Serpent, DNA, and The Origins of Knowledge, 2009

"Jonathon! What good magic here at Guaria de Osa! Presided over by a most benevolent array of plant energies and animal intelligences, leafing and leaping spirits, laughing under a gazillion gleaming stars, accompanied by the steady drumbeat, like a dark heart of the wave on the sloping strand in wilderness and wonder." - David Abram, author of The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World, 2009

"My trip to Guaria de Osa was a psychospiritual journey that opened up possibilities in my personal and professional life that I had only dreamed of before. And it was exotically beautiful, rejuvenating and fun!" - Dr. Rachel Harris, psychologist, 2009

"Love, Love, Potency. Fabulous eco journey in the jewel of Central America." - Ganga White, founder of White Lotus Foundation, Santa Barbara, California and author of Yoga Beyond Belief, 2009

"With regards to our experience at Guaria, it was fantastic. The experience at the Council Gathering way exceeded our expectations and we could both say that this was one of the most important and meaningful 10 days of our lives. It was a life changing experience and I know that from now on life could never be the same for the better. The elders are overwhelming with their wisdom and humbleness. It is an honor for us to get to know them and drink the medicina with them. We really miss them and Jonathon. It was also a great pleasure for us to meet Jonathon. He definitely created a true paradise on earth. This planet just needs more people like him." - Silviya and Daniel Slavova, Bulgaria, 2010

"Wonderful to visit paradise here! Much love." - Daniel Pinchbeck from New York, author of Breaking Open the Head (see Chapter 22 "My Shamanic Vacation"), 2011

"I grew in so many magnificent ways at Guaria De Osa. I arrived expecting nothing, and I left with so many dreams and aspirations for which are still arising. There are no words (English, Spanish or beyond) that could possibly express my gratitude for all of the beautiful souls I met and all who made Guaria de Osa possible. I traveled physically, mentally and spiritually without fear... I received love and light and life beyond comprehension. I am so happy to have traveled on such an amazing journey with some brilliantly bright guides. THANK YOU to the power of 10! Thank you! Merci! Gracias!" - Kaeli, artist from Ontario, Canada, 2011

"The Council Gathering was such a beautiful experience. I loved every minute of it. The group was really special. I can't wait to go back next year. I'm already inviting friends to come with me. Thanks so much for everything. You do such a fabulous job planning everything for the trip." - Karen P., yoga teacher from New York, 2011

"I feel eternally honored for this superlative Costa Rican experience; it is exactly what I requested to present itself in the linear beginnings of this poignant 2012-year leading into the transition of the upcoming world era renewal." - Victoria from Australia, 2012

"I feel renewed beyond words. Creative energy with good intention is abounding. We deeply admire each and everyone who we had the privilege to meet and travel with on this metaphysical journey. As we looked back at all the pictures and video, we realize how much of an impact this has been on our souls. WOW! I appreciate the world in a whole new light, thank you Jonathon!!! You will all be thought of often and we wish you all the very best, may are paths cross again!" - Heather from Montana, 2012

"I came to Guaria and received many deep, life changing blessings. What better time then two days before I celebrate my 73 birthday. Guaria is Heaven 'near at hand' and satisfied my need for a raw rain forest visit. Magic! Mystical!" - Tyler from North Carolina, 2012

"Thank you. It has been an honor to share this sacred space and learning with you. I have learned so much. Respect and peace to the collective consciousness. All for one and one for all. Namaste!" - Treasure from Australia, 2012

"Ardent conductor
Weaver of magic
With vast experiential knowledge
enchanting musical tales
and gentle guidance...
All with the playfulness of a Secoyan!
Deep gratitude as infinite as the stars
From the roots to the shoots to the flowers to the fruits
Vines, feathers and flutes
Upmost beautiful honor, thank you."

- Amelia Mae (returnee), 2013

"Thank you for helping make possible a truly memorable and life-affirming experience. An email simply cannot express the impact that Guaria has had and will continue to have on me. Your work changes lives. I will leave it at that." - Buddy J., 2013

"Gracias por todo el apoyo. Todo me lo llevo a mi vida en mi corazon. Transferracion de mi vida y de mi manera de ver el mundo maravillosa en el que vivo. Descubrir mi grandeza y mi tesoro que llevo dentro... la mejor manera de commenzar mi 2013. Gracias mis mejores deseos y bendiciones para todos. Gracias de Osa, Los amo y la llevo en mi corazon por siempre." - Fernanda S. de Monterey, Mexico, 2013

"The last 10 days have been the best time, here in nature at it's best. It is sooooooo amazingly beautiiful here in every way. Thank you so much for sharing everything with us. I will never forget and hope to see you another time in life, perhaps in Amsterdam." - Jet from The Netherlands, 2013

"The experience has really been life-changing. Jase just visited his doctor today who was amazed at how much his body structure has changed from working with the medicine. He still has some pain but has not had to resort to taking ANY medication whatsoever!!! Only a year ago he was taking 20 pills a day! Thank you!!" - Lauri S., 2013

"This place is literally paradise. Nothing better than staying next to the ocean and the rainforest... and just a hike away to a refreshing river and waterfalls. The food was delish and the service was awesome. There's so much more I could say yet I think you should discover it for yourself. I will definitely be back." - Po-Hong, 2013

"Jona, you, the elders, staff and family are extraordinary in what you offer here in the service of humanity, and nature, not to mention the turtle program. I wish you all the best and much love!" - Luci S., 2014

"I returned to Guaria de Osa after five years and now wonder why it took me so long to find my way back. To see this former cow pasture turn into lush gardens gives hope for the future of the world. Good intuition and hard work combine here to rejuvenate our spirits in similar f