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Amazonas and the A'i

The A'i, which in Aʼingae means “people of truth”, inhabit the territories in the Sucumbíos and Putumayo Amazon regions of northeast Ecuador and southern Colombia, situated between the Guamués River (a tributary of the Putumayo River) and the Aguaricó River (a tributary of the Napo River).


Within these regions, they have established 5 reservations, with one of AWE's headquarters located within the Dureno A’i reservation in Ecuador. Here, we receive students and develop programs focusing on the intersection of knowledge and healing. The existence of this space and the realization of our initiatives within it are the fruits of friendships and trust alliances gradually forged with the community and our A'i leaders, who currently guide us in AWE's activism projects within this community.


The A'i people teach important practices, such as respect for the sacred plants, for the traditional healers (curacas), humility, and simplicity.

The elders of the community: Taita Querubin (first authority in the Cofán people), grandmother María, grandmother Tntn, and Taita David remind us of the importance of respecting the jungle and its invisible world.


Within the living history still carried by the various ancestral groups of the Amazon, the genesis of the ayahuasca brew is attributed to the A'i, who are regarded as the original custodians of this ancient knowledge. Generation after generation, they have been living along the path of the yagé and the jungle. Becoming their voice, skin, body and territory. Our experiences with the A'i elders have taught us that Yagé (Ayahuasca) is not a plant or a brew, it is a spirit, a spirit that lives within us. In the jungle, Yagé is the cosmos, culture, and tradition. It is the means by which the knowledge of the teachers of the jungle and our ancestors is transmitted. The Yagé ceremonies that the Taitas lead guide and keep the spiritual harmony within the community alive, and teaches “how it is to lead a good life” and to know how to navigate it.



Council of elders 2024

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