A JOURNEY TO MACA'S
SACRED ORIGINS IN PERU

June 19 - 27, 2024

Starting in:

Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime spiritual and cultural experience in the heart of the Andes, 4000m above sea level in the sacred valley of San Jose de Quero – Junin. Immerse yourself in the rich Incan culture, connect with Pachamama and Apu – the spirit of the mountain, and discover the power of maca in its home origin.

EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC OF MACA

Do you feel the call of Peru? Are you ready to deepen your connection with this ancient superfood and the Incan spirit of the Andes? We'd love for you to join us for a once in a lifetime retreat to the heart of Peru.

At 4000m above sea-level, in the sacred valley of San Jose de Quero – Junin, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the powerful energy of maca and discover its incredible benefits for mind, body, and spirit.

It'll be a week-long journey of self-discovery and connection as you explore the ancient traditions and rituals of this beautiful land.

Some of the highlights of our retreat include connecting with the spirit of Pachamama (Mother Earth), unleashing your sacred feminine or masculine, participating in the Pagapu ceremony to bless and energise our maca, and embarking on a pilgrimage to the sacred crater lake atop Huaytapallana (5000m).

Our retreat also offers the chance to experience life on our Maca farm during harvest season. You'll have the opportunity to connect with your food, learn about its sourcing and production, and even participate in the harvest festivities! You'll meet our farmers and learn about their way of life, gaining a deeper understanding of the Incan traditions that have been passed down for generations.

Does this sound like a dream come true? Then don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to experience the magic of maca and the beauty of Peru. Read on to learn more about the details of our retreat and sign up to join us for this life-changing experience.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

for the June 2024 retreat

19th June

Travel to our retreat community

From Huancayo we travel to San Jose de Quero (4000m) where we'll be welcomed with open arms into our retreat community. Discover the beauty of the sacred region of Junin and immerse yourself in the local culture while enjoying the feast they have prepared for our arrival.

20th June

Connecting with Pachamama and learning from the wisdom keepers

Our Shaman will guide you through a ceremonial ritual of connecting with Pachamama. This is a time to honour our ancestors, express gratitude and unite with nature. We give thanks to the four elements, the four directions and become aware of our journey here.

During this ceremony, we take time to release any sorrows and set our intentions for the retreat. We also offer mama coca (the sacred plant) to Pachamama in hopes that our intentions will be fulfilled. In our circle, we will share our stories and blessings, allowing ourselves to be cleansed from our past and fully present for the rest of our journey in the Andes.

21st Jun

Solstice Ceremony – Understanding Andean Cosmovision

The day is about celebrating and tuning into the solstice portal. Through ceremony, music, dance and food we will move into the new year with gratitude, guided by Andean cosmovision. The day also includes the ceremony of El Pagapu – where we give back to Mother Earth (at 4200m). We will journey to our fields of maca and create a ceremonial offering hole, filling it with gifts of intention. Each participant will be invited to take part in the preparation and offering, infusing their energy into the ceremony. This act of giving back to Mother Earth is believed to provide our maca plants with healing medicine, which we can then receive through her sacred plants. The ceremony concludes with music, song, dance, and celebration of harvest as we honor and express gratitude to Mother Earth for her abundance.

22nd June

The maca harvest begins

Morning – Today marks the beginning of our maca harvest experience. We will spend the day at 4200m, immersing ourselves in the life of an Incan farmer. You will have the opportunity to learn how to properly harvest and select maca roots, with equipment provided for your use. We recommend bringing appropriate clothing and gardening or similar gloves to fully participate in this hands-on experience.

Lunch will be enjoyed in the fields alongside local community members, giving us a true understanding of their daily activities and way of life.

Afternoon – Once the maca has been harvested, we will clean and prepare it for sun-drying. This is a unique opportunity to connect with your food and gain a deeper understanding of the challenging conditions in which maca is cultivated and prepared. You will have a whole new appreciation for this superfood after this experience. Finally we will study the elements of Andean ceremony: preparing the table, making and sharing chicha, understanding duality.

23rd Jun

Cultural Exchange – San Jose de Quero College

Morning – We will start our day by visiting the San Jose de Quero College, where we will have the opportunity to meet and interact with the local children. They will be showcasing their unique Incan culture through a cultural display, and we will reciprocate by sharing some of our own Kiwi traditions, songs, and dances. We will also be delivering much-needed school supplies and handing out prizes and gifts to the children.

Lunch – We will have a delicious lunch together with the teachers and parents of the school, giving us the opportunity to learn more about their community and way of life.

Afternoon – Choose Your Own Adventure

  • Free Time - Enjoy some free time exploring the beautiful surroundings at your own pace.
  • Teach English - For those interested, you can assist in teaching an English class with the school. You can also join us in the town square to play football and volleyball with the local children, promoting cultural exchange through sports.
  • Guided Tour of Japata Archeological Site – Join the children from the school on a guided tour of the Japata archeological site. This ancient settlement was built 2000+ years ago by the Huanca people and consists of circular stone house formations with breathtaking views of the surrounding valley.

24th June

Traditional foods of Junin and Pachamanca Feast

Morning Workshop - Learn about some of the 2000 varieties of potatoes indigenous to Peru and participate in a hands-on demonstration on how to make traditional potato dishes and salsa using local indigenous herbs in a stone mortar. Trying different local foods papa, oca, olluco, mashua, achira, maca, arrachayacon y camote. Winding down the morning workshop, we will prepare an oven for a Pachamanca feast cooked in the ground.

Afternoon - It takes 3 hours to prepare the oven and only 30 minutes to cook the food. Our farmer and family work together with us to stack, cover, cook, uncover and remove the food before preparing a buffet-style feast. The feast includes a variety of meats such as chicken, pork, and lamb along with potatoes, corn, beans, sweetbread, salsas and sauces made during our potato workshop. We also have vegetarian and vegan options available upon request.

25th Jun

Pilgrimage to the sacred lake of Huaytapallana
(5000m)

We will continue our exploration of the Peruvian culture by following the native people of the region on a festive hike to the sacred creator lake, Huaytapallana. Accompanied by traditional musical instruments, we will trek to the summit where we will join in on their celebrations and rituals for Apu - the sacred spirit of the mountain and one of the four key elements in Incan belief. The locals will bring offerings and gifts to show their gratitude to Apu for a prosperous harvest and Incan New Year. It may be physically challenging, but it is a truly rewarding experience to be a part of this ancient tradition. Make sure to pack good footwear and suitable mountain clothing as temperatures can vary greatly at 5000m above sea level.

26th June

Connecting with Maca and Fire ceremony

Morning Workshop - Dive deeper into the ancient superfood through an informative workshop led by Sally Huapaya and Corin Storkey. Gain knowledge on maca's history, traditions, medicinal use, unique colors, traditional preparation methods, and the science behind its many health benefits. Lunch – Discover the versatility of maca in cooking as you learn different ways and techniques to prepare and incorporate it into delicious meals. From traditional dishes to modern wholefood and raw recipes, this workshop will leave your taste buds satisfied.

Lunch – Join us for a special Fire Pit Maca Ceremony, where we will honour and connect with maca on a spiritual level. Led by Sally Huapaya, this ceremony includes the preparation and consumption of a healing maca elixir as a form of gratitude and respect to this sacred superfood.

During your stay in San Jose de Quero you will be lodging at the house of our farmer and family. We have dorm style bed setups with one room for women (sleeps 6), one room for men (sleeps 5) and one room mixed (3 bunk setup – sleeps 6). Capacity – 17. All rooms are provided with heaters as temperatures can drop into the negatives overnight, but please also bring suitable clothing. There are many additional blankets available for those who require.
There is one fully functional toilet next to the house outside and one long-drop situated further away. We are hoping to be able to provide one functional shower with warm water by June 2024 and potentially an outdoor wood fire heated bath.
All meals and drinks are provided and cooked by our host family. Food is consumed in a marque style eating hall outdoors, next to the house. On days away from the house lunch will be bought and consumed picnic style by our host family. All dietary requirements can be catered for so please advise in advance if you have any food restrictions. Food is mainly traditional Peruvian soups, stews and Andean style cuisine.
Average daily temperature in June: 15 – 20 degrees. Average temperature at night in June: -5 – 5 degrees.
Please bring suitable clothing for all weather conditions, we have experienced snow during July before and also rain despite it being the dry season. During the day in the sun it can get very warm but as soon as the sun goes down the temperature plummets. UV levels are extreme so please bring sunscreen for the day as the sun is intense due to the thin atmosphere.
It may take some time to adjust to the altitude as oxygen levels are approximately 40% lower than at sea-level. We recommend getting to Huancayo 2-4 days early to assist with acclimatisation. If you pace yourself you will get more out of the retreat and are less likley to suffer from altitude sickness. Symptoms tend to be worse at night after a day of exertion and may include headaches, fatigue, nausea, pain and dizziness. For severe cases of altitude sickness we have an oxygen tank and recommend a 30 minute treatment to assist. We also can supply altitude tablets, coca leaves and high-doses of black maca to alleviate symptoms.
We can organise any laundry to be done within a 1-2 day service by the local women for a small fee.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • An in-house translator fluent in English to translate for you
  • All ceremonies and workshops
  • Travel to and from Huaytapallana for hiking
  • An overnight trip to the region of Huancaya from where we will connect you back to Lima.
  • Return transport from Lima to Huancayo or returning via Huancaya 27th-28th
  • Accomodation in Huancayo and Transport from Huancayo to our farm in San Jose de Quero (2 hrs)
  • Accommodation with our farmer and family in the village of San Jose de Quero
  • All food, water, bedding and cultural experiences during your time in Junin

WHAT’S not INCLUDED

  • Flights to and from Peru
  • Any additional expenses
  • Travel and Health Insurance (required)
  • Accommodation or any costs incurred in Lima or elsewhere in Peru

SIGN UP TO JOIN US IN PERU!

Total cost for 8 days – 7 nights, including all meals, accommodation, transport and experiences listed above:

$1,999.00 Early bird special (Limited Spaces)
$2,499.00 Standard Price

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