Maestra Estela (Sankenwesna) is the owner of Aya Madre, a new 100% female and native owned Ayahuasca and Plant Medicine retreat center deep in the heart of the Iquitos jungle. Maestra Estela comes from a Shipibo community called Santa Rose of Denmark, located about 8 hours from Pucallpa by boat. She was born in 1975 and was raised by her grandparents, both shamans and healers. As a child she was introduced to medicinal plants and has her first encounter with ayahuasca at the age of 14. When she turned 20, her grandfather transferred the power of medicine to her before he died, initiating her as a shaman. She continued learning with her grandmother, who transmitted her light and wisdom. At the age of 35, she began to cure foreigners with physical and psychological trauma, working in various well-known healing centers in the region of Iquitos. Maestra Estela currently has more than 20 years of experience in the field of shamanism. In her process of learning, she dieted 14 months with the medicinal plant camalonga, 2 years with Toe Floripondio and two more years with pinon, in addition to a 6 month intensive “diet of light” (kind of like a Shipibo version of a silent meditation retreat). She is recognized in her community as the master of light. Maestra Estela is the mother of 4 children. Her 13-year-old daughter Ronibensho (Amerita) and her 9-year-old son Reinihue (Ray), are also studying master plants under the tutelage of their mother and grandparents. Both sing their own icaros. Her cousin Clementina, a shaman in her own right, also works at the center and sings icaros during the ceremony.