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Ethnobotanical & Anthropological Expedition Peru 2012

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:20 am
by Nezahualcoyotl
Please join us for an adventure in an exotic land! We need more members for the Anthropological & Ethnobotanical Expedition to Peru in Spring/Summer of 2012! Post on the event page wall if your interested in being a member of the expedition team! We need botanist, herbalist, healers, writers, dreamers, workers, gardeners, crafts-folk, adventurers, etc.! Our goal is to study the people and the plants while giving back to the communities we visit through volunteering or by helping with whatever means we can! We will also be playing tourist a bit and visiting all the amazing sites like Machu Picchu! Join us!

The Spring 2012 expedition to Peru will begin in early May and last for about 100 days. We will be exploring the wilds of Peru with a focus on ethnobotany, botanical medicine, environmentalism and giving back to the communities which we visit and interact with. It will cost about $2000-3000, so start saving now! We will be doing volunteer work, riding a riverboat up the Amazon to visit the healing retreat known as Shimbre, exploring the Andes in Cusco's "Sacred Valley" region and backpacking up the sides of 11,000+ foot mountains to seek out ancient ruins, including the famed Machu Picchu!
We desperately need people who speak fluent Spanish (or Quechua)! The expedition team also needs anyone with the following skills or knowledge - ethnobotany, medicine, Hispanic/Latin history or culture, botany, herbalism, shamanism, religious history, etc.
I think giving back to the people of this wonderful land we will be visiting is important so I think we should start our expedition with some volunteer work. We could possibly work at an orphanage, a farm and help out at Shimbre. Volunteering will not only give back to the community but it might also give us an inexpensive place to stay as well as an opportunity to adjust will give us a chance to adjust to the culture, the environment, the altitude and the ambiance of this ancient and beautiful land!
Aside from volunteering we will be exploring the Amazon rain forest near Cusco around Shimbre. Then we will travel to the "Sacred Valley" region of Peru. This will include healing ceremonies with shaman, visiting the Pisac market, seeing the ancient ruins of Ollantaytambo, hiking the Inca Trail and visiting the mythical mountain city of Machu Picchu.
We must keep in mind that this is an expedition because we have a purpose and a goal. Our purpose is to give back to the community and peoples with which we interact. Our goal is to collect plant pressing, seeds and information about plant medicine, healing and other use for natural products. We are first and foremost adventurers but adventures with a mission so our main focus needs to be ethnobotany, studying plant medicine and giving back by volunteering and helping in other ways.
As a third and final goal I want each person who comes to gain understanding and healing through the experiences and adventures our quest will reveal to us!


South America: Peru

>Places of Interest in Peru:
*Lima - Avoid!
*"Sacred Valley" region
*Vilcabamba, Peru?


2-3 months (50-100 days)+.

~~~Itinerary: Ideas... must be put into order, organized, etc.~~~

1) Members of the expedition team will meet in Lima, Peru. We will gather all the members of the expedition team and then leave the city.
) Visit Cusco and rent a place. This is home-base.
) Take Spanish classes in Cusco. Learn as much as possible, not just about the language but about everything! Use these classes as a way to meet people, get familiar with the city, etc.
) From Cusco we will find a bus or other means of trasportation to Shimbre.
) Volunteer! Do your part! Find a place to do some good volunteer work where you can stay and learn.
) Help brew the Ayahuasca if possible and learn as much as possible about the plants used to make it. Take Ayahuasca and San Pedro and gain healing.
) Explore wild areas for native medicinal flora. Ask the shaman and other knowledgable people about plant medicine. Ask for teachings.
) Ride to Matucana. Spend the day exploring the area. Find, document and collect the legendary type specimen strain of Trichocereus "True Blue" peruvianus from the area, it may be difficult to find...
) Visit Pisac and check out the market. Rent a room and stay for a while.
) Go to Olloantaytambo. Rent a room and stay for a while. This would be the staging location for the Inca trail.
) Take the train half way to Aguas Calientes (or whatever the best point to begin hiking the Inca trail may be???) and then begin hiking. Hike the Inca trail up to Machu Picchu.
) Visit Huayna Picchu and the other ruins in the area.Hike all over the this area.

~Expedition Goals~

*Visit Shimbre. Gain healing and insight.
*After hiking to Machu Picchu use the quickest, cheapest and safest means of transportation possible to return back to the orphanage, Cusco or another location where you can rest for a few (2-5) days.
*Arrive in Peru 3-5 weeks in advance rest of the expedition team to acclimate to the altitude and culture.
*Begin reading the book "Peruvian Shamanism: The Pachakuti Mesa" just before you leave and during the trip. Bring a few other good books.
*Bring gifts/things to trade- knife, kukri, "Shaman stones",
*Document the expedition with photography, video, audio and plenty of notes. Compile this information into a documentary.
*Eat "Cuy" (guinea pig) and other strange, rare foods, especially rare and exotic fruits (save the seeds). Document exotic edibles!
*Go to Ollantaytambo and see the ruins at Ollantaytambo.
*Go to festivals, celebrations, holidays, etc.- Q'oyoriti in May/June. Qoyllor Ritt'I in early June. Inti Raymi (Festival of the Sun) on June 24th (huge event)!
*Go up above 15,000+ feet if possible, but only use the pharmaceutical drug diamox the first 2-3 weeks or if symptoms are unbearable.
*Hang out in the city of Cusco for at least a few days at some point during the journey. Cusco will likely be our starting point, ending point and "homebase" so to speak. Pisac and possibly Ollantaytambo are also good places to hangout.
*Hike the Inca Trail or some other route to Machu Picchu, Huanyu Picchu and other sites of interest in the area.
*Hunt both plants & animals! Collect plants and hunt and kill some wild animals to study as well as for food.
*Live among tribes people for a period of time and learn their ways and culture philosophy.
*Press many botanicals and deposit the herbaria specimens in a suitable organization just before you leave. Distribute useful seeds you collect to orphanages and other worthy people who will propagate and preserve the plants.
*Recruit other people who speak both English and Spanish/Quechua and are interested in ethnobotany into the expedition team.
*Visit "Ayahuasca" shamans, seek to learn some of their knowledge especially about the plants themselves.
*Visit "San Pedro" shamans; seek to learn some of their knowledge especially about the "Cimora" brew and "San Pedro" admixture plants. Observe and record the preparation and usage of the botanicals used in the "Cimora" brew. Document and collect the botanicals used in the "Cimora" brew.
*Visit the Nazca Lines. Collect plants in the area.
*Visit the ruins of Chavin. Collect plants in the area.
*Volunteer and stay at the "Casa De Milagros" orphanage for a while (or another orphanage). Help the orphan's in whatever way possible, focusing on self-sufficiency and sustainability.


~Ethnobotanical Documentation & Collection of Flora & Fauna~

*Collect Banisteriopsis caapi (White/Yellow/Light/Sky/Heaven strain) plants and seeds.
*Collect Brunfelsia spp. used for shamanic purposes. Learn more about their uses.
*Collect Erythroxylum novogratensis var. truxilensis in Trujillo, Peru and other special varieties of Coca. Chew this "Leaf of the Gods" and make herbaria specimens.
*Collect Justicia pectoralis var. stenophylla plant cuttings.
*Collect Neoraimondia arequipensis/macrostibas ("Cimora" admixture strain).
*Collect Neoraimondia arequipensis/macrostibas ("Cimora" admixture strain).
*Collect Nicotiana spp. (smoking strain) seeds
*Collect Passiflora species used in "Ayahuasca", "Cimora" or for other edible or medicinal purposes.
*Collect Psychotria viridis (w/ appendages under the leaf) plants and seeds.
*Collect Salvia species plants and seeds.
*Document all edible and/or medicinal fungi. Make lots of spores prints and herbaria specimens.
*Document and collect seeds from medicinal plants, food crops, toxins/poisons and reputed psychoactives. Collect as much viable seed as possible!
*Document and collect the type specimen strain of Trichocereus bridgesii: 4/5-ribs, long spines, etc.
*Document and collect the type specimen strain of Trichocereus pachanoi: almost nonexistent spines, deep green color, etc.
*Document and collect the type specimen strain of Trichocereus peruvianus: glaucous blue skin, red-brown spines, etc.
*Document the preparation and usage of Anadenanthera.
*Learn more about Phyllomedusa bicolor or the "Sapo Toad". Document the usage of this animals derived product. Experience it under the guidance of a shaman.
*Learn more about Virola spp.
*Learn more about the "Cimora" brew. Collect and document "Cimora" botanicals, create multiple herbaria samples for all the botanical ingredients for the "Cimora" brew.
*Learn more about the following reputed "Cimora" botanicals- Hippobroma/Isotoma longiflora, Pedilanthus retusus/tithymaloides, Brugmansia spp., Iresine spp., Euphorbia cotinifolia, Iochroma fuchsioides/grandiflorum, Lycopodium spp.
*Learn as much as possible about the usage of Ilex spp., collect seed from the useful species.
*Locate a Diplopterys cabrerana plant. Document as much information as possibly about this usage, cultivation, mythology, etc. of this plant. Collect live plants and seeds.
*Seek out the fruit of the Cacao tree, once located devour a few fruit and take the rest with you.
*See various Trichocereus spp. in their native habitat, take lots of photos.
*Study the usage of Brugmansia spp., Datura spp. and other related plants. Seek out special strains. Collect herbaria specimens as well as living plants and seed for propagation.

>Notes -

~Questions, Concerns, etc-

*How do I get around? What kind of transportation do I use? Is it safe to just hop into any taxi?
*What about cell phone service? What about computer?
*Can I ship and receive packages from home? For how much?
*Are there any good School/classes in S.A.
*Where is a good place for Volunteer work??
*Are there place where I could do something like stay with a family and pay rent? Work on a farm to pay for my housing? Where can I find cheap lodging?
*What kind of expedition gear is essential?

Re: Ethnobotanical & Anthropological Expedition Peru 2012

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:22 pm
by swatch
This sounds like such a great trip. I wish I were further along in my life path where I could make this happen. I hope you guys still do these in 8 years, because I seriously want to participate in this.

Re: Ethnobotanical & Anthropological Expedition Peru 2012

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:07 pm
by Nezahualcoyotl
This is just one of the amazing places we will visit! Here is a picture from the 2010 expedition!


We will likely do it every other year to some location to collect plants and do ethnobotany work!

Re: Ethnobotanical & Anthropological Expedition Peru 2012

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:11 pm
by slinky
If you are still going on these expeditions in a few years, i would love to come! The view looks breathtaking, and the described journey sounds amazing. Good luck on this year's expedition!

Re: Ethnobotanical & Anthropological Expedition Peru 2012

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:35 pm
by Nezahualcoyotl
We plan to go every 2-5 years or so to different areas of the world to collect plants and learn about the culture!