Everyday Life

The planned activities for resident patients are not optional since they are an integral part of the whole treatment. However, the spiritual or religious activities are never compulsory. Each patient will be free to participate or not according to their faith, belief or life philosophy.

The Center brings together people of much contrasted origins and social or cultural backgrounds, from the local indigenous peasant to the academic student from Lima or Europe. This encourages the development of mental flexibility, adaptation to others, and awareness of individual characteristics in a healing differentiation process.

During the day resident patients are organized in working groups by areas in order to accomplish the everyday community tasks. The work areas in the mornings are cooking, cleaning, gardening, facilities maintenance, ruits and vegetables seeding, bakery, among other ergo therapy activities. Everything that is produced is exclusively destined to domestic consumption. Participation in these work activities not only maintains the place in order, but also structures internally the person. It is also some kind of personal retribution to the dynamics of the Center. In this way each patient learns how to cook, make bread, wash their clothes, i.e. address elementary aspects of their life.

In the afternoons resident patients participate in self-knowledge workshops, such as the masks and tales workshop, and in occupational workshops such as craftwork, carpentry and some other artistic activity as a means of expressing feelings (painting, music, etc.). At the end of the afternoon psychotherapeutic, psychoeducational, general culture or training meetings are held. Their goal is to manage interpersonal conflicts, learn tolerance to frustration, develop a true communication and open the patient’s horizons.

Sport activities are organized, from a classic soccer match, to athletic disciplines and Ping-Pong. Playful activities are also held (games, bonfires, walks, tournaments, etc.), and spaces are left to rest and relax both in everyday living as well as during the weekends. Takiwasi does not propose a permanent hyperactivity that would divert the patients' attention from their problematic. Even though it is considered necessary not to remain in a condition of constant mental debate, the treatment seeks to be a moment of self-observation, reflection and meditation.

Freed from external concerns, the patient can focus all his energy towards the knowledge of himself. Following that purpose, there is no possibility to exit the Center until the reinsertion stage (approximately after sixth months of treatment). However, the therapeutic team plans one-day trips every two weeks and regular visits to the botanical reserve (1 hour at walking distance from the Center into the jungle) where the patients work, ingest plants, participate in ayahuasca sessions or in “dietas” (retreats) that break the daily confinement at the housing center.

It is worth emphasizing that the group of a maximum of 15 patients has 2.5 hectares to spread, with doors open to the street, simple fences made of plants and trees, and the Shilcayo river bordering one of the sides, where one can bathe. In this way, the context does not evoke an atmosphere of forced incarceration, like the one that exists in hospitals or prisons. Everyday life in the Center is marked and accompanied by different social celebrations (such as birthdays, commitments or vows of drugs abandonment, departure celebrations, etc.), by the therapeutic process (essentially with ritualized plant sessions and retreats/diets) and by spiritual life (meditation, mass for religious practitioners, reparation rituals, etc.).

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