Our Story: Zach and Jess Poitra
Zach began drinking Ayahuasca in 2009. At that time he was working in Finance and while he was successful, he found himself very dissatisfied and depressed. He knew that something was "off". After some searching via other modalities, he decided to take a trip to Peru and attend a 9 day Ayahuasca & shamanic dieta retreat.
Zach moved to Jenaro Hererra in 2010 and stayed in Peru until mid 2014. Upon his arrival to Jenaro Hererra, Zach began drinking Ayahuasca and doing shamanic plant dietas with the Galindo family. Zach’s main teachers were Maestro Gumercindo Galindo and Maestro Don Roldan Galindo (Gumercindo’s father).
In 2011 the Galindo family and Zach opened an Ayahuasca retreat center, La Familia Medicina. La Familia Medicina conducted Ayahuasca and shamanic plant dieta retreats from 2011 to mid 2014. Late 2013, Maestro Gumercindo Galindo gave Zach the title of "Maestro".
Mid 2014 Zach left La Familia Medicina and began his "solo career" in the medicine. This took him on many travels and finally in 2018, he and Jess were able to settle in Guatemala on the shores of Lake Atitlan.
Jess graduated from law school in 2008 and practiced international commercial arbitration at a small law firm in Istanbul, Turkey for seven months before realizing that there was not enough money in the world to pay her for hours (and years, really) spent doing something her heart wasn’t in. After returning to the States, Jess became an avid whitewater kayaker– something she had been wanting to pursue since her teenage years. Jess spent the next five years learning and teaching whitewater kayaking and paddle boarding, earning certifications in kettlebell and CrossFit training, and helping her clients connect to their bodies and to nature.
During those five years, Jess was also battling a severe case of Rheumatoid Arthritis. After two and a half years of intensive pharmaceutical therapy, Jess became frustrated with the western medical model, and discovered that she could achieve remission using nutritional therapy alone.
Inspired, she decided to pursue a career as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and Autoimmune Coach. Her work in the fields of nutrition, fitness and ancestral health brought her to the Paleo F(x) conference in Austin, TX where she attended the very first PFX panel on Shamanism. One of her most influential mentors was a speaker on this panel, and described the experience of Ayahuasca and the concomitant exploration of consciousness and spirituality as a human birthright. After witnessing this panel, she could not stop thinking about Ayahuasca. One year later, she attended her first Ayahuasca retreat… with Zach.
That retreat in July of 2015 proved to be a turning point in the lives of Zach and Jess. Since then, they have become spectacularly and synchronistically connected. Jess and Zach, as of the summer of 2016, are husband and wife. Jess also formed a strong relationship with Ayahuasca and has been studying the medicine intensely since then.
Jess’s life has changed in every aspect since her first experience with the medicine. She feels it has drawn forth her full human nature and true potential by releasing her from patterns and deep cultural conditioning. This story is but one example of the powerful relationships and connections that come with the release and creativity that Ayahuasca facilitates.
Most recently, in 2018 Zach, Jess and their new born son, Bodhi, have decided to move to Guatemala to start "La Familia Ayahuasca" (Ayahuasca Family).