Maestra Olga Urquia Rengifo comes from Roaboya, a small native community outside of Pucallpa, Peru. She has a natural gift for this work, having been immersed in the world of plant medicine since she was a young child.
Olga’s Shipibo name is “Bawan Same.” In her native language, “bawan” is the name of a brightly colored parrot that is known to have the characteristics of intelligence and kindness. Olga indeed brings a keen sensitivity to her work with guests. Her presence is a welcome balance of strength and compassion. Our guests often comment on the quiet power of her icaros and the sense of care she expresses in her work.
Her entrance into plant medicine came primarily through observation. Western treatments and pharmaceutical medicines were hard to come by in her early years, and so as a child she had the privilege of watching her elders treat illnesses through traditional remedies made from plants available to them in the surrounding forest. Her interest continued to grow over time and Olga began dieting with master plants around the age of 20. She has continued to practice la dieta throughout her life as a curandera. Some of her favorite plant teachers are Ayahuasca, Noya Rao, and Chiric Sanango.
Olga’s primary teacher is Americo Lopez, another healer who works with Soltara. He is both her maestro and husband. They work together closely as a couple, bringing a unique harmony and potent synergy to the ceremonial experience.
Maestro Olga’s love and dedication to her work with the plants is evident in how she holds the medicine space. She takes great care that each person is looked after and receives the healing experience they are looking for. Her presence is consistently grounded and lighthearted, matched by a tireless work ethic that shows in the results. She is passionate about her people and her tradition and considers it very important that young people in the Shipibo community continue to learn, develop and maintain these ancient practices.