Psychedelic tourism thrives in Peru with thousands of foreigners visiting jungle retreats to try hallucinogenic tea ayahuasca despite recent lynching of Canadian man

Mail Online | 6/7/2018 | Associated Press
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Sitting on a mattress strewn across the floor with white sheets, Pamela Moronci closes her eyes while a traditional healer starts to chant in the indigenous Shipibo language.

In a straw hut, engulfed by the nighttime cacophony of the Amazon rainforest, a shaman inhales a potent tobacco from a pipe and blows smoke on Moronci's head to cleanse her, before she takes her place in a sacred ayahuasca ceremony.

Woman - Cup - Ounces - Bitter - Muddy

He offers the Italian woman a plastic cup with three ounces of a bitter, muddy brew made of psychedelic vines. Moronci drinks it, coughs and smiles despite its unpleasant taste.

'There is a really strong energy here,' she says, before falling asleep, amid the chirping of crickets and thundering rain.

Year - Thousands - Tourists - Jungle - Retreats

Every year thousands of tourists visit jungle retreats in Peru, Colombia and Ecuador to try ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic elixir made of native plants that is thought to heal some mental illnesses.

But while Moronci and others say they have found peace and enlightenment, for a few seekers the experience has been fatal.

Westerners - Curative - Commercialization - Impostors - Dozens

And as more Westerners seek out the legendary curative, commercialization has taken over as profit-seeking impostors pop up among the dozens of legitimate ayahuasca centers that have emerged over the years.

Over the past decade, at least 11 tourists have been killed in incidents linked to traditional medicine in South America, according to news reports, including a California man who was buried secretly by a shaman after he died in an ayahuasca ceremony in Peru.

Killing - Place - April - Village - Nuevo

The latest killing took place in April, not far from the Peruvian village of Nuevo Egipto, where Sebastian Woodroffe, a 41-year-old Canadian man studying medicinal plants, was bludgeoned in broad daylight by an angry mob in retaliation for him allegedly killing a revered traditional healer.

Peruvian investigators later concluded Woodroffe shot healer Olivia Arevalo with a gun he purchased. Now...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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