Roger Lopez Ramos “Suipino” is a medicine man, director and founder of the school. He dedicated all his life to heal people from all over the world and to rescue the Shipibo culture and their territory.
The Master Vegetalista and Director of the school, Roger Lopez Ramos told us his story:
“Since I was a little boy, I started to learn about shamanism. My grandfather taught me in a traditional way, integrated with nature, with medicine.
I was born in 1968, at Roaboya Nativo. During that time Roaboya was the most populated Shipibo town. I’m the son of Ida Ramos and Daniel López. Since I can recall, I lived with my grandfather José López and my grandma Manuela Rengifo. Mom and dad abandoned me when I was 4, they got separated and they left me with my grandfather. So I grew up with him and I feel till now that he is my real father.
At 8 yers old, I realized that he was a shaman. I looked at his work and his patients. We had a big house, full of patients. I used to sleep beside my grandpa. He asked me to go and find ayahuaska or tobacco, and it was like playing. He loved me so much, and I did always joined his ceremonies. He sometimes gave me a little spoon of ayahuaska. I used to sleep under his cushma. There, I could listen his chanting; sometimes he asked me to bring him his “agua florida” perfume. Grandpa also worked with wood, he used to take me for helping him. To cut, take the longs. It was fun for me. When he finished with the wood, he had a lot of patients. At 11 years old, he taught me about plants, its names and uses. When he went fishing, he asked me to make a “plaster” to that person, or give that other person something to drink, make a sauna for this other, a bath for another people. To harvest Roni waste, rub his body. He said to me: learn, because someday this old man is going to get sick and you will have to cure me. He knew a lot about plants. As a kid I picked all the plants that he needed. One day my grandpa got sick and I was the one that went looking for a plant that grew 10 kms away. At that time there were tigers and other animals. Grandpa said: don’t be afraid. At 6 am I took my machete, arch and got to the plant at 1 pm, then I got back home at 5 pm, by myself, and I wasn’t scare. You’ve been brave and strong, he said to me, now you can learn all about what I do. And now you have to fast, you can’t eat until 3 pm when you are preparing plants.
I had no economic possibilities. I thought if I'm not going to study, I have to be a healer. We were starving, lived in poverty, I had no clothes. That’s why see abandoned children hurts me, because I lived it.
My grandfather did every day routine of plants. Sometimes my grandfather talked me about how to heal, how to sing, where the “icaros” born, how to connect with the ground, what is the Roni Waste (which is one of the favorite plants of shamans because we connect with it).
I started smoking tobacco at 20 years old. I was drinking plants since I was 8 years old and my grandfather took me to isolated places to do 3 months “dieta”. Then I realized I had to study. It was complicated because I was forbidden to eat food prepared by others. My colleagues told me I was crazy when they invited me to parties and I couldn’t go.
At 15 years old I drank ayahuaska for the first time and I had a good vision. I was not scared or anything. I saw many beautiful things and I grabbed a laugh, feel happiness, for me it was a world that I had never seen and understood why my grandparents are wise. There is the power, the spirit, the knowledge. My grandparents could not read or write, but they were great sages. I knew I had to learn. I said if I can read and write, I have to be even better than my grandfather. I want to heal, learn and make friends.
At the same age I had a vision about a promised land. At that age I was on “dieta” all the time. My grandfather told me if you want to learn, be a healer, see the world and help many people, listen to me son, I'm going to die, you have to pass this knowledge someday. I’ve learned, lived and stayed with a very clear idea that I must help humanity to heal, to rescue children and my culture. We must begin with the children because they learn faster and within them is knowledge. So I thought to make a nature school, a school that defend us, with the values of knowledge, culture show, so many people from other parts of the world will come to help defend our cause and we will deliver healing”.