Vikara was born from a vision to be a space where those seeking healing, self-growth, transformation and the experience of living in the present moment could come and find the right experiences to support their journey. We are passionate about holding space for you. Whether that is through yoga & surfing or our plant medicine retreats, this authentic little Ecuadorian paradise is the perfect place to set out on an adventure of self-discovery.
From the moment you arrive you will be surrounded by natural beauty, tranquility, and everything you need to slow down, relax and turn inward. Olón offers you warm weather all year long, breathtaking sunsets, abundant nature, interesting culture, and a quiet environment.
The entire team will welcome you into Vikara with open arms and open hearts. The vision of Vikara is expressed in the design of the rooms, the planting of the trees and flowers and the design of our retreats. Each detail is given attention to transfer the Vikara energy to you.
We wish for the wellbeing of all the creatures on Earth and the wellbeing of our Planet because we recognize that we are one family. So, we invite you to let go of your daily worries and stress here, and instead indulge in self-care and rejuvenation.
Meet the team
Since childhood, I have been fascinated with questions about the meaning of life, the universe, mysticism, and God. On my first adventure, I decided to cross Israel by foot, and I walked for over 800 km carrying everything that I needed on my back. That is where I found God in Nature. This experience led me to many other adventures all over the world seeking a path for connection again and again with the Source. I lived in many places and met many fascinating people, but it wasn't until I found plant medicines that I felt that this is the right path for me. I truly found a way into the spirit world that was real for me and a way that I could heal myself. I found my way back to nature, into the source of my being and the connection with the universe. It changed my life completely and from that moment onwards I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to this.
I built Vikara with the idea of providing space for people to come to heal and to share that space with other healers and lightworkers who are contributing to the transformation of planet earth. The earth is suffering, and this is the time to pay attention to her cries for help. We must heal ourselves to ensure the future of the next generations. Last year I became a father to a beautiful soul, Uriel and that completely changed my attitude toward life. I no longer do what I do for myself but for him and the rest of the kids on planet earth. The healing journey never stops! I pray that our future generations can have a life of freedom, abundance, beauty, and love. Aho metakiase! For all my relationships.
Plant medicines reminded me of the essence of who I am. The more I sat with them, the more I discovered about myself. The more I connected to myself, the more I realized that the life I wanted was very different from the life I was living, and the love plant medicines helped me cultivate for myself inspired me to leave the secure albeit unfulfilling life I was living behind to create a life I felt excited to live.
Over the past five years, I have been on a self-guided journey to learn as much as I can about sacred plant medicines, psycho-spiritual development, and integration. I studied consciousness coaching, psychedelic integration, the Enneagram system, and integrated frameworks of the human psycho-spiritual journey that unify numerous Sufi, Eastern, and modern Western models of enlightenment and awakening, in addition to models for understanding the cognitive developmental stages. And, I have found incredible teachers along my journey who share their knowledge of the ancestral wisdom traditions belonging to my Andean and Egyptian roots.
I'm very grateful to have landed at Vikara where I am responsible for the day-to-day management and operations of the center, including organizing and leading our plant medicine retreats. Nothing brings me more joy than being in service and supporting the individuals that come to Vikara on journeys of transformation. At the same time, I continue to learn by assisting the men and women who share their medicine here, and directly from the master plants we work with.
I am Tatiana Davila, a psychotherapist with 28 years of experience in the field. My journey in the therapeutic world began with Initiatic Therapy, which taught me to focus on the sacred nucleus within each person and its connection to the greater Life. Through this therapy, I developed my skills in self-exploration and accompaniment through art, symbols, and other means. This foundational experience has stayed with me throughout my career.
As I continued to grow in my field, I expanded my knowledge by studying Gestalt Psychotherapy and art therapy. Along the way, I discovered my love for medicinal plants and floral therapy, an interest that was rooted in my upbringing in an environment that valued ancestral knowledge and the use of plants for healing.
The ancestral knowledge also taught me the importance of relationships and honoring them. This understanding of everything as sacred and connected, whether it be other people, plants, or animals, has helped me understand the power of flowers in my work as a floral therapist.
I believe that the resurgence of ancestral knowledge is critical in these times, as society has become disconnected from its spirit and this disconnection leads to illness. I see ancestral knowledge and its rituals as a means of bringing people closer to their spirits and their own being, allowing them to realize their own sacredness and take responsibility for the life that surrounds them.
My name is Mercedes Andino, a guardian of Mother Earth, a meditator, and an alchemist. My life's journey is a path of constant learning and growth as I strive to refine myself more and more each day. For over a decade, I have been studying traditional indigenous medicine, ancestral and magical knowledge, and working with native communities to lead individual and group rituals involving ayahuasca.
I hold a degree in Personal and Social Human Development, specializing in Emotional Therapy. I excel in individual, group, and couple therapy sessions, having dedicated years to research and work on various emotional and spiritual health problems, such as addiction, depression, grief and loss, and interpersonal relationships.
In addition to my formal education, I am also a certified Floral Therapist by the Ministry of Health and a phyto-therapist by inheritance from my grandmothers. I believe in the healing power of nature and use my knowledge to help those in need. My passion is to help people heal and grow, and I am fully committed to this path.
My name is Colas Bouny and I am French. I have been living in different parts of the world for 39 years now. I have lived in Peru for a significant part of my life and recently moved to Ecuador to live on the beach with my family.
I left France many years ago to pursue my passion for discovering new things. I have been to India, where I worked in the garment production industry, and other countries, but it was in Peru where I discovered my true calling. I heard about the sacred medicine of Ayahuasca from friends and felt a strong urge to learn more about it. This led me to the jungle of Peru, where I had my first Ayahuasca experience, which lasted for two months. The experience was intense, but it completely transformed my life for the better. I was struggling with addiction at the time and Ayahuasca helped me overcome it.
The Shipibo tribes, who live in the Pucallpa region of Peru, near the Pucalli River, have a deep knowledge of Ayahuasca and sacred medicines. They have a unique relationship with plants and conduct ceremonies in a specific manner. To build a relationship with the plants, one must undertake a strict diet, abstaining from certain foods, drinks, and activities.
During my time in Peru, I learned a lot from my experiences with Ayahuasca and the teachings of the Shipibo tribes. I started assisting in the ceremonies and eventually, my maestros recognized my abilities, and I was able to follow the lineage and start sharing the medicine with others. I do not view it as a job, but rather, as a natural part of my life that brings me happiness and fulfillment. Sharing Ayahuasca with others is a humbling experience, and I feel grateful for the opportunity to do so.
Life has been a beautiful journey of learning and discovery for me. I continue to learn from my children, my family, and all my experiences, both good and bad. The difficult moments have only made me stronger and more knowledgeable. I believe in living life to the fullest, following your passions, and making the most of every moment.
My name is Micaela Tello. Last year I decided to prioritize my personal transformation and healing process which I had worked on since I was a teenager. My personal journey with power plants began when I was able to identify the potential that cannabis had on my psyche and in my relationship within the various dimensions of my being. This relationship allowed me to develop a much greater understanding of what it means to tap into consciousness. The force that underlies existence and dictates every single action on this earthly plane.
In this journey of returning home to my roots, I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet with what I call my medicine family. And I have been able to learn so much about knowledge and understanding that I was unaware of before.
As part of my practice, I intend to cultivate every day the love and sense of unity in what I do, feel, and what I think. It has been a great challenge to redirect the things I do toward serving life and collective healing, but definitely something worth trying.
At the moment I am happy to have found a way to apply my technical and academic tools toward human flourishing. I am a true believer that in this age of global interconnectivity, it is our responsibility to create conversations that foster unity, understanding, love, and empathy. And I think my work as the Social Media Manager at Vikara allows me to do that, to be a conscious transmitter. Social media has taught me a lot since I started to take more seriously the type of content I was consuming on different platforms, I have been able to learn a lot from all those who strive to share their experiences and teachings through different channels and my goal today is to do the same so that every day more people can have access to the wisdom that we have forgotten. I think it is important to remember that everything we consume, be it food, digital media, information, music, or plants, will eventually become our reality, physically, energetically, or mentally.
I'm Tatiana, a naturopath, and iridologist specializing in floral therapy. I've dedicated my work to helping women heal, drawing from my own experiences as a hurt girl who was able to open her heart and become a mother. My journey with flowers started with the Bach system and eventually led me to indigenous floral essences, like tobacco, ayahuasca, and rue. I now use these essences in combination with power plants like San Pedro and ayahuasca to support the therapeutic processes for my clients. Floral therapy is powerful because it connects us with the positive energy of the plant, and when the essence of the flower vibrates within us, it illuminates our darkness and helps us move forward in life.
My interest in this work began with intuition. At 21, I found myself in chaos in a big city and knew I needed to find my medicine in the plants. I ended up in a Mapuche community in southern Chile where I was taught about natural medicine, and then in Peru where I found ayahuasca and felt a deep connection with the plants. My path eventually led me to France, where I studied naturopathy, iridology, and floral therapy and graduated. Giving birth to my two children at home taught me a lot about the connection between the animal and plant worlds, and every ceremony I attend has valuable teachings.
I feel that my job is to put myself at the service of others, helping those who come to me with pain, trauma, and personality imbalances. I believe that we all have intuition, but it has been repressed since birth, and I feel it is my duty to help others tap into and develop their own intuition.
My name is Sisa, and I have been working as a yoga and meditation teacher at Vikara for a little over two years. My yoga journey began when I was 18 years old, never imagining that I would one day become a teacher. As a child, I loved climbing rocks and playing soccer, but the lack of flexibility eventually led to a lot of injuries. One day, I tried a yoga class at the gym and was hooked. I attended a Buddhist university where yoga was mandatory, allowing me to study the theoretical, historical, and practical aspects of yoga in depth. I have always had an endlessly active mind, so practicing meditation and yoga helped me regulate my hyperactivity, which eventually turned into uncontrollable anxiety and panic attacks. To learn more about taking care of myself, I decided to deepen my practice and become a teacher. I studied visual arts for art therapy and worked for social organizations, teaching creative classes for children. Eventually, I combined my two passions and became a full-time yoga teacher (although I still teach creative classes for children during the rainy season in Cuenca).
Aside from being a yogi, I have been living on the coast for many years because of my love for the sea. Just like meditation, the sea keeps me healthy. I love surfing, which is what brought me to the coast ten years ago when I was working in El Salvador. The best part of my day is when I can take off my shoes and walk barefoot through life. I live surrounded by nature because I understand and value the connection with the earth and plants. When I have time, I take care of my garden on my farm. I am 32 years old, born in Quito, and my Quichua name is Flor. My work with Vikara for retreats comes from my desire to share the healing tools that have helped me in my life.
Your way to transformation
Our community is guided by principles of honesty, integrity and mutual respect. Everyone is welcome at Vikara and everyone becomes part of our community. We are also consciously aware that we are part of a local community and bear a responsibility towards Olón. We work with local businesses and support local initiatives to make sure that we can grow mutually in a healthy ecosystem.
Exploration & Joy
Not only the exploration of a new country and environment, but also an exploration of your inner world and heart. Vikara is a place where you will be challenged, but it is also the place where you can just let go of all expectations, rules and patterns. Be yourself, be light-hearted, enjoy great food and company, laugh, and just recharge for your next adventure in life!
Connection & Love
Most of us spend our entire lives working towards true self-love. At Vikara, we work to build your capacity to give and receive unconditional love. We accomplish this in our dedicated transformational retreats, and also by creating a space that nurtures love through communal meals, meaningful conversations and a yoga practice that seeks to reconnect us with our hearts.
Through a deep Yoga practice, ancestral plant-based medicine, the magical nature around, and our warm community, we offer tools to return to your true roots, reconnecting to the child within you and thus allowing for the healing process to continue.