In 2019, the team of the Cordillera Escalera Ecolodge translated from Spanish to Russian the book «Yo soy Ayahuasca» («I am Ayahuasca») by the famous Peruvian psychologist and shaman – Jorge Gonzalez. Many of our Ecolodge’s guests and friends know very well this specialist in traditional Peruvian medicine, Ph.D., Rector of the National University of San Martín (and they also took part in his ceremonies). Dr. Gonzales was one of the first to visit our maloca and planted near the entrance an Ayahuasca vine from his garden.
Unfortunately, due to lockdown restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic, many people have temporarily lost the opportunity to visit Peru. Therefore, our guests from abroad often ask us the question: «How is Jorge doing? ». We decided to talk to him, find out the latest news and tell you about how one of the oldest and most authoritative Peruvian curanderos lives now. After the usual greetings and discussion of the weather in Tarapoto, a interesting conversation took place.
– Dr. Jorge, many people are wondering: are you currently holding ceremonies?
– Now I conduct ceremonies with Ayahuasca, but alone, without patients, since all types of gatherings are temporarily prohibited in Peru. My private office and the SONCCO WASI («House of the Heart») center are now closed.
– I don`t believe that you have stopped working! How do you spend your time during the lockdown period when it is impossible to admit patients?
– I support my Peruvian and foreign patients by phone. In addition, I conduct online conferences on topics of Amazonian traditional medicine, I talk about scientific experiments that have been carried out by the Complutense University of Madrid (Sp. Univercidad Complutense de Madrid) for several years. In their course, it was found that Ayahuasca promotes the creation of new neural connections in laboratory animals. (Amazonian shamans have known this for a long time!).
Earlier, Dr. Gonzales was contacted by the staff of the Faculty of Biology of the Complutense University of Madrid (founded in 1499 by Cardinal Cisneros) to report on the results of their research on the effects of Ayahuasca on laboratory mice and to learn about his own conclusions based on the results of many years of practice. An article about these studies was published in Translational Psychiatry. It is a scientific medical journal published by Nature Publishing Group, which also publishes materials on molecular psychiatry. NPG’s main and best-known edition is Nature, a weekly interdisciplinary scientific journal published since 1869.
I also do meditation and self-psychoanalysis, write articles on Amazonian traditional medicine, study the development of Covid-19, Dengue fever and other diseases.
– By the way, what is the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic in Peru in general and in Tarapoto in particular?
– Unfortunately, the Peruvian authorities have not made additional investments in health, education and social security since the beginning of this pandemic. The Covid-19 situation in Tarapoto is not so good, with the death toll hovering between 4 and 5 people a day.
– Jorge, now all over the world they are actively discussing the need for vaccination. What do you think about that?
– I believe that vaccination has a positive effect because it is the result of scientific research conducted many years ago. Shamanism is not against science, I think the main problem is that the commercialization of vaccines has caused a lot of competition and struggle for profit.
– Of course, it is difficult to predict when this all will end up, but still, what will you do first after the lockdown in Peru is cancelled?
– When the lockdown is over, I will return to my usual activities: caring for patients using traditional medicine, experimenting with botanical essences and group ceremonies with Ayahuasca (its effectiveness, as I have said many times, is to heal both body, mind and spirit at once). I want to finish writing a book with recipes and procedures. Of course, it would also be great to get out to Russia to present my book translated into Russian language. 🙂
– So you are planning to visit Russia to present your book?
– Yes. If everything goes well, I will go to Moscow in the summer of 2021 to present officially my book. Perhaps my son, Paris Gonzales Quinteros, will accompany me. He is a surgeon, and he understands my mission very well, so together we can tell a lot about the integration of shamanic and conventional medicine.
– Since the publication of your book «Yo soy Ayahuasca» have passed more than two years. What feedback did you get?
– I have received numerous congratulatory messages and wishes to continue practicing traditional medicine in the Amazon.
– Jorge, we have known each other for a long time, so we are very often asked: do you have a successor?
– I have several successors. For example, in the USA, these are Dr. Maximilian Erdélyi and Dr. Rene Erdélyi, who, after 36 years of study and practice, hold Ayahuasca ceremonies with me in their country. There is also a group of 12 persons from Russia who have been coming for 10 years to study at my SONCCO WASI international center. I often have online conferences with them.
Maximilian Erdélyi was born in Paris in a family of Russian immigrants (his ancestors were Hungarian nobles who converted to Orthodoxy and moved to Russia in the 18th century). When Maximilian was 6 years old, his family moved to Argentina, and after another 9 years – to the United States, where he studied at the Faculty of Biology at the University of California. Maximilian Erdélyi has been researching shamanism in South America for over 20 years, including Peru. He is the founder of the Santa Fe International Institute (USA, New Mexico) and a Doctor of Alternative Medicine. Maximilian is fluent in four European languages, including Russian.
– In conclusion, we would like to know what can you recommend to our guests and your patients in order to survive this epidemic?
– I have always recommended it and now I recommend it in the first place – to strive for a natural life. One must always remember the great words: «We are what we eat!». We have an internal doctor, and often we do not know him … Of course, we need to lead an active and positive life, take sun baths (this is vitamin D), constantly maintain the correct balance of water in the body, engage in meditation and self-psychoanalysis, combine rest and daily physical exercise.
The conversation ended on a very positive note. 🙂 We thanked Jorge for their time, wished each other good health, a speedy completion of quarantine and a world victory over the virus! And in the end, as is customary in Peru, we exchanged a phrase that set us up for further communication: – Estamos en contacto! («In touch!»).