Join us for a once in a lifetime cultural and spiritual cacao retreat in Tocache, Peru
July 3-10th – 2020
This retreat has been designed by Corin and Sally of Seleno Health (The Maca Experts) and Oonagh (The Cacao Ambassador) of She Universe to awaken an extraordinary connection with Cacao, with the jungle, with Peru and with your heart. It takes you to places you cannot go as a tourist, spending time with the locals in a real way, with a beautiful Shaman and of course with Cacao.
This is a life changing adventure and journey that will bring richness, tools and connection to your life and to this incredible sacred plant that is here to support you in so many way. It is also to connect with the farmers, the families, the community, to appreciate them, inspire them, support them, to give back to them and say thank you.
This retreat is a journey into the jungle, into cacao and into the heart!
Friday 3rd July
(Lima – Tocache)
Journey to the Jungle
Morning – We meet as a group at the airport in Lima and fly to Tingo Maria on a charter flight (1 hour). Once there we connect with our driver and continue deeper into the jungle by road to our final destination of Tocache (3 hours).
Afternoon – Free time to wander around the town, shopping and visiting the local vendors of chocolate and cacao. Dinner will be at a local restaurant with an opportunity to get to know the other retreaters and share your story.
Post Dinner, Oonagh the Cacao Ambassador of She Universe will open the connection with Cacao, giving an introduction to this incredible ingredient so your hearts are awake to receive all that will come over the following days.
Saturday 4th July
Connecting with our co-operative and the jungle
Morning – After breakfast we are taken to the co-operative headquarters to meet and greet the farmers of the association. We enjoy a tour of their processing facilities, chocolate making area and learn about their story. Includes an official welcome and presentation, followed by cacao and chocolate tasting. Following this we will present and introduce the retreaters who will individually share their story and mission with cacao.
Afternoon – We journey to an agroforestry farm where Oonagh will guide us through connecting with the trees and listening to what cacao is sharing with each of us. This is a time to take in the frequency and power of the farm and understand the environment in which cacao grows. We take part in the unique experience of cutting and opening a pod of cacao and enjoying the sensory sensation of eating the fruit and nectar inside.
Evening – Connecting with Pachamama (mother earth) workshop led by our Shaman Claudia. We invite you to be present and to fully immerse yourself in the natural environment of the Amazon. We give thanks to Pachamama for what she provides and we create our intention for the week with cacao. The workshop is about creating a frequency that resonates with harmony with our natural surroundings and clears away the stressors and worries of the past. It allows us to become present and to give our own thanks to Pachamama for her beauty and medicinal plants.
Sunday 5th July
Connecting with Cacao
Morning/Afternoon – We visit a cacao farm and learn the steps in producing and processing cacao into the different products used for export. From pod to powder, everything involved in creating quality, therapeutic grade cacao. Understanding the different varieties of cacao, recognising different trees and the importance of agroforestry. Growing trees, harvesting, fermentation, drying, husk removal, milling, pressing, heating and preparation for export. We hear about the challenges faced by our farmers and the complexities of producing quality cacao beans. We also see the mechanical steps involved in turning beans into nibs, paste, butter and powder. It is also a time to share chocolate and gifts with our farmers and their families in appreciation for all their hard work.
Evening – Cacao ceremony led by shaman Claudia, Sally (Seleno Health) and Oonagh (She Universe). In this workshop we take our lessons from the day to another level by coming together in circle to connect with cacao on an emotional and spiritual level. The ceremony is an opportunity look inside yourself and open your heart. Through establishing a deeper inner connection of self we bring about a transformational shift of intention from our grounding ceremony the previous evening. Whether you are looking to deepen your understanding of self, release old patterns and traumas, or move into a more self-confident space. Whatever your path, the intention is yours to set, and the cacao allows you the insight and awareness to move towards that goal through opening the pineal gland in the brain and bringing you into a higher state of awareness and consciousness.
Monday 6th July
Experiencing the jungle environment
Morning – We journey into the jungle to visit a natural waterfall and pool where we can swim, bathe and feel the beauty of nature around us. A time to experience life as a local and learn more about the beautiful flora and fauna that surrounds our community.
Afternoon – Free time. This is simply free time to write / explore / sleep / meditate / practice some Spanish / converse and share stories
Evening – Workshop led by Corin and Sally – The science of cacao. In this workshop we outline the traditional medicinal uses of cacao and the biochemistry and evidence behind its use. We will take you on a molecular journey into the plant to explain how it works to improve health and its spiritual properties in creating connection and opening the heart. We discuss the physiology related to the consumption of cacao and detail the biochemical processes of ‘opening’.
Tuesday 7th July
Be a cacao farmer
Morning/ Rest and Integration time. This is simply free time to write / explore / sleep / meditate /
Lunch will be at the village and we will then split into teams and have an afternoon working on a cacao plantation. Working with our farmer we assist with pruning pods and harvesting. We then go through the processes of removing beans and creating fermenting tubs as well as taking fermented beans through the sun drying process. Finally we will come back together at the co-operative – roast our beans / grind up our beans and make our very own farm to table cacao elixir or hot chocolate just as you can at home!
Evening – The evening is about enjoying the textures of cacao. Enjoying both hand massages and Cacao facials. It is about exploring the area of self indulgence, self-love and pampering ourselves with natures medicine. Finishing with a guided meditation we explore a sensual journey into self-love with beautiful rich cacao butter blends.
Wednesday 8th July
Exploring the indulgent side of cacao through chocolate
Morning – As a group we visit a local market and Sally will take us through a journey to learn about the incredible fruits and foods of the jungle. We find and select ingredients for our own chocolate making workshop in the afternoon.
Afternoon – Oonagh will lead us in a Chocolate and Cacao master class. Combining our cacao paste from the day before and ingredients from the local market we work with the women of the community to produce our own hand-made artisanal chocolate delights. Learning the techniques and art of chocolate making you will become a chocolatier for an afternoon. We will start with learning to temper, blending and combining ingredients to produce indulgent chocolates or chocolate treats. The workshop is all about understanding the processes involved in chocolate making and connecting with cacao on another level, one of pure bliss and decadence. Unlock your senses and enjoy the aromas, textures and tastes of working in a chocolate kitchen.
Evening – A festive evening of celebration with the co-operative. We spend time connecting and sharing the chocolate made by hand and giving thanks for all their incredible hard work
Thursday 9th July
A day of exploration
We have reserved this day as free for you to enjoy whatever you are drawn to do the most. Maybe more time on the farm, more time making chocolate, more time connecting with cacao. It’s an opportunity to take time to enjoy whatever you enjoyed the most, again. Or perhaps you just want to spend a day enjoying the town of Tocache or just reading a book surrounded by the sounds of nature.
Evening – A final cacao ceremony led by Sally and Oonagh and a final time to connect with cacao in her natural habitat. Take your experience to a deeper level and learn more on your journey of inner self exploration.
Friday 10th July
(Tocache – Lima)
Giving thanks and blessing
Morning – We meet in circle to connect one last time with cacao. In ceremony we share our appreciations, learnings and take time for self-reflection and analysis. We look inside at our journey with cacao and contemplate the awakenings that she has created for us during the week. We then close our ceremony with an offering and create our forward intention and direction from what we ave experienced.
Afternoon – We return to Tingo Maria (3 hours) and charter flight back to Lima (1 hour).
Evening – For those who want we will join for a group dinner and celebration in Lima as we prepare for the annual cacao and chocolate expo held during the 10-12th July. The expo beginning the following day brings farmers and chocolate makers from all over Peru together to showcase their products and unique stories. An opportunity not be be missed by anyone wanting to further their experience and learnings with cacao.
Other important information
Accommodation during your stay is at the Hotel Espana in central Tocache. It is a 3-star hotel with private spacious rooms, individual ensuites, comfortable beds, hot water and spacious interiors. Rooms are serviced daily and all bedding, towels, toilet paper etc is provided.
Food and meals:
All meals and drinks are provided and cooked by a local host family. Food is consumed in a marque style eating hall outdoors. On days away from the house lunch will be bought and consumed picnic style. The first and last nights you are required to cover the cost of your own dinner at a local restaurant. All dietary requirements can be catered for so please advise in advance if you have any food restrictions. Food is mainly traditional jungle style cuisine (fish or chicken or pork with rice, banana and vegetables).
We can organise any laundry to be done within a 1-2 day service by the local women for a small fee.
Average daily temperature in July: 28 – 32 degrees. Average temperature at night in July: 20 – 23 degrees.
Rainfall averages: 14 days per month – 165mm
Please bring suitable clothing for warm humid conditions with frequent tropical showers. Although July is the drier season with lower humidity and less rain it is still quite humid and sticky. Rain can occur rapidly and frequently at any time with most commonly passing showers. There can also be thunder storms although less frequently at this time of year. Be sure to bring suitable footwear for getting wet, shower jackets and or umbrellas.
Mosquitos and disease:
San Martin does have mosquitos carrying dengue, malaria and yellow fever. We highly recommend getting vaccinated for Yellow Fever at least 4 weeks before coming. Malaria is another of the common diseases in the jungle, it is transmitted through the bite of the anopheles mosquito. Mosquito repellent is a must. If you sweat a lot, you have to repeat the application several times a day (every 3 or 4 hours). It is advisable to wear clothes that cover the arms and legs and especially sleep with mosquito nets where possible. Try to sleep in closed places or that the windows have screens that prevent the entry of mosquitoes. Also avoid raw foods and make sure the water you drink is from a reliable source, always prefer bottled water. This will prevent the so-called traveler’s diarrhea and typhoid.
An in-house translator fluent in English to translate for you
All ceremonies and workshops
Travel from Tingo Maria to Tocache and back in mini bus
All breakfast, lunch and dinner during the days in Tocache from July 4-10th
Accommodation in Tocache from 3-10 July
All cultural and learning experiences
Transport in and around Tocache to events
Equipment and necessities for chocolate making
What’s not included:
Flights to and from Peru
Flights from Lima – Tingo Maria
(we can book for you but at your expense)
Lunch and Dinner on 3rd and 10th of July
Foods at the market for the chocolate making workshop
Travel and health insurance (required)