The yagé, the colombian ayahuasca

The Ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi) is a vine that grows on the jungle of te Amazonas, from Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Brasil y las Guayanas, is know and referenced by the indian tribes. Across all the Amazonas and beyond.

Also used by the sage andean elders as a ” master plant” and contributes as a quintessential part in the traditional medicine. Its a holy beverage that has hallucinogen properties, that is consumed in regular bases, this vine has being used since more than 5.000 years for the individual and collective grow as well as method to amplification and comprehension of the heald of the mind.

The Ayahuasca changes names in the different places were it grows, today we will embark in a journey across Colombia to find out how the ayahuasca is used there. The word ”Yage” ( Yagé ) is a word that inspires fear among Leticia, in the Amazonas ”people from other regions think that if you come to Amazonas is an obligation to drink Yagé, but they dont know that there are many thing beside that” Says Robinson Garcia, a taxi driver that lives 25 years in this territory and he doubles as a tourist guide of the travel agencies from colombia and other parts of the world.

The humidity that you can feel in Leticia is the one in charge to give the welcome to the tourists. Packed with boots, mosquito repellent, canteens among many other gear. Is the perfect contrast with the simplicity of the habitants of Leticia, if you ask to the tourist they will say that they are here to take a walk and do a ritual with the indian tribes to drink that famous drink. Gillermo Salgado is a tourists guide from Bogota and he has 23 years going to the Amazonas river and he knows like the palm of his hand all the movements, places and situations that take place there. ” I drunk Yagé 10 years ago, the first thing that you have to do is a diet of 3 or 4 days, you cant drink anything, only a few glasses of water, then you go with the chief or shaman for recommendations and he figures about if you are ready for this, because this is not for everybody” he says in a serious manner and almost causing that the persons wont want this risky practice.

That ”risky” part is a comes from a bad experience in the indian communities in Leticia, there are more colombians than strangers that come here looking for the Yagé.