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J Psychoactive Drugs. 2005 Jun;37(2):203-7.

Interview with Guillermo Arrévalo, a Shipibo urban shaman, by Roger Rumrrill. Interview by Roger Rumrrill.


Roger Rumrrill, a journalist headquartered in Lima, Peru who is a noted expert on the Peruvian Amazon, interviewed Guillermo Arrévalo, a Shipibo urban shaman in Pucallpa, who utilizes ayahuasca in curing rituals. Sr. Arrévalo comments on the phenomenon known as drug tourism, where urban men and women provide tours for foreigners, for a price, to experience drug-induced mystical experiences in urban settings like Iquitos and Pucallpa, Peru, as well as in Brazil, Bolivia and Ecuador. Arrévalo distinguishes between folkloric shamanism and touristic practices which are currently in vogue and, in his opinion, are the result of people trying to resolve personal problems. Arrévalo sees a spiritual and psychological crisis in Europe and North American society. The Shipibo shaman laments the misuse of toxic plants as additives to the ayahuasca potion and the damage that these plants cause to the unsuspecting tourist who doesn't really get his money's worth from shamans without experience, people who are liars and cheats and who don't have the capacity, the preparation or the boldness to do the work.

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