Carlos Tanner

As the director of the Ayahuasca Foundation in Peru, I develop healing retreat, educational courses, and host plant medicine research, always striving to find ways to communicate challenging concepts that might open more pathways to healing.
After graduating from UMass in 1997 with degrees in philosophy and art, I spent time traveling around the country exploring life as a young adult. I found a career in graphic design and became a production manager for New Mass Media, creating ads and laying out weekly papers in the Northeast. I also found a deepening depression and dissatisfaction with what was supposed to be my success in life. I began drinking and doing drugs to the point where, in 2003, I woke up in my car, underwater, having driven my car into a river after blacking out behind the wheel.
This powerful experience was more than just waking up to survive a nearly fatal accident, it was also waking up to a realization that I needed to make significant changes in my life's path. The first change to my path was by way of a trip to the Amazon rainforest of Peru just a few weeks later. I spent several weeks in the jungle, where I drank ayahuasca in five ceremonies led by a curandero named don Juan. I was able to heal deep traumas that I recognized to be the true source of my depression and addiction. I was also invited by don Juan to become his apprentice.
In January, 2004, I moved to Iquitos, Peru, and began living with don Juan and his family, studying the science of plant medicine and the ayahuasca healing tradition. After four years, I came up with the idea to start the Ayahuasca Foundation, which became a legally registered non-profit organization in 2009. My journey since then has been an incredible collaboration with amazing people from all over the globe. In 2017, our organization opened the Riosbo Ayahuasca Retreat and Research Center, where we have hosted important research into the healing potential of treatment with ayahuasca in the Shipibo tradition. These studies have been published in several journals, including Frontiers in Psychiatry. We are currently conducting research in collaboration with the Heroic Hearts Project on the effectiveness of ayahuasca plant medicine treatment for PTSD in veterans.
We contribute to indigenous communities and to organizations that strive to protect the Amazon rainforest. We hope to provide healing for more and more people in the healthcare industry, and to influence new curriculums in psychedelic assisted therapy as the global community remembers the value of ancestral wisdom in healing traditions that use psychedelic plant medicines to regain balance in our personal systems as well as our societal systems. It's such a blessing to be able to walk this path, as it is provides a level of fulfillment that I could have never imagined possible. I wish you infinite blessings of peace, light, and love in your own paths to healing and fulfillment.