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Oaxaca Medicine Journey

Medicine guides Sindy Martinez and Ruben Fonseca
Medicine guides Sindy Martinez and Ruben Fonseca

Sacred Traditional Medicine Journey:
Reconnect with spirit, a magical journey in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico
December 12 - 17, 2024

Our Guides - Diana Fried, Tierraventura’s Claudia Schurr and Yves Chavan, Lorena Villanueva, Sindy Martinez and Ruben Fonseca
Trip is limited to 6 retreat participants

$2400 early-bird (pay in full by July 1, 2024)
$2700 standard (pay in full by Sept 1, 2024)

Fees include tour, lodging, meals and ground transportation - see details below

$500. non-refundable deposit to hold your spot*

*we will refund (minus $50. administrative fee) if we can find someone to take your spot if you cancel.

"Oaxaca Journey... A sacred pilgrimage, rich with layers of personal meaning. Well-curated authentic and respectful traditional rituals with indigenous healers. My heart has opened in ways I could have never imagined, in part through our deep reverence and connection with the culture and the spirits of the land."

~ Christina MacLeod, Colorado USA

Curandera Lorena Villanueva
Curandera Lorena Villanueva
Cabins at Lachatau

Through the sacred medicines of Oaxacan traditional medicine, and the Chinese Five Elements, we have an opportunity to explore the journey of our own heart and soul.  We will dive into learning and experiencing traditional medicine, and the work of two shamanic healers of the Huichol Indian tradition, and with this amazing ancient wisdom, we will create a safe and deep space for group and personal exploration.

The heart of the trip will be a day-long plant medicine journey - moving into altered states of awareness.  This is an incredible opportunity to work with deep medicine teachers who have developed their own plant medicine. Please see below for our guide’s description of her experience with these healers. This will be a deep dive, and we will prepare and harvest throughout the trip. You will be in a safe and strong container with a lot of support.

We will learn about, and experience, traditional healing for the body, mind and spirit. These deep experiences allow us to strengthen our own life medicine, as well as bring it back to those with whom we are connected. Some of the practices we will do can be challenging and may push edges in us (this is part of the traditional medicine teachings). Five Element teachings will be interspersed throughout our trip. We will offer a group acupuncture treatment as well.



You may want to plan a few extra days to  have time to explore the local culture and to acclimate to the altitude and time zone; commonly known for its colorful, diverse culture with the greatest biodiversity in México, Oaxaca has 16 indigenous groups, exquisite cuisine, archeological ruins, and beautiful crafts.This time of year the climate will be ideal. We begin with generally sunny warm days with cool evenings in the high desert of Oaxaca City (generally mid 80’s during the day) . We will integrate the group process of Council  to help deepen our journey together.

All meals and lodging are covered by the trip fee except where noted “on your own” (trip price has been adjusted accordingly). Meals can range in price in Oaxaca City and it is possible to eat very inexpensively. Please know that “on your own” doesn’t mean eating alone as many of the participants will go to dinner together. Dinner prices in Oaxaca range from $7 to $20. 

Oaxaca City altitude is at about 5,000 feet, and Lachatao is at 6500 feet. Oaxaca City is a beautiful place to explore; you may also want to consider flying to Huatulco at the beginning or end of the trip and spending a few days at the beach.

We also recommend that you stay for an additional day after the mountain journey, to have some time for yourself to further integrate.

International arrival in Oaxaca City. Taxi from airport to hotel is not included, and is very easy and inexpensive.

Special diets may not be able to be accommodated. If you have special dietary needs you should plan to bring your own supplements. Note: lunch is actually the biggest meal of the day (comida) in México and takes place around 3pm. Please make sure to bring snacks to hold you over in the early afternoon. There are plenty of places to buy snacks, depending on the level of your preferences.

Please be aware that we are traveling to an area where the infrastructure is not similar to that which you may be accustomed.  Travel in Mexico and in remote regions can be unpredictable. Transport and accommodation may be rudimentary at times.  


Changes to the program, although unlikely, may be necessary due to unforeseen circumstances. 

We will send a packing list, but please be sure to bring a sweater/ light jacket for the mountains, and natural insect repellent. Money can be changed by ATM in Oaxaca City.





Day 1: Thursday, December 12 - Dinner included      

Arrival at Oaxaca City International Airport (OAX). Taxi from airport to hotel is not included but is easy, safe and inexpensive.  Lodging at Hotel Azucenas (


Oaxaca is a popular destination so you'll need to book plane reservations well in advance. Many airlines fly into Oaxaca City. Make sure that your arrival and departure is OAX, unless you want to go to the beach before or after in which case you would fly to  Huatulco (HUX) for that portion, and OAX for Oaxaca portion.  For those familiar with travel in México, a 6 hour bus can be taken from México City (TAPO Central de Autobuses) to Oaxaca City. We will stay at Hotel Azucenas, located in the heart of Oaxaca City within walking distance of museums, art galleries and shops. Located in the Historic Center of Oaxaca, a couple of blocks from the Zócalo, in a beautiful and small restored colonial-style house. Hotel has a beautiful outdoor roof terrace.





Day 2: Friday, December 13 - Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included 
After breakfast we will drive to the magical mountain village of La
chatao (1 hour, 30 min.) We settle into our basic but beautiful guesthouses in the village.  A moderate hike brings us up to the Hill of the Jaguar, the old sacred site of the Zapotec community. 
Our walk turns into a ritual, guided by Juan (the guide of the community) and Lorena Villanueva (traditional medicine cura








Opening ceremony on top of the mountain. 
After lunch, a small introduction into traditional, Indigenous medicine by Lorena & Claudia Schurr.
Later in the afternoon we will have an introduction to Five Element Chinese Medicine by Diana Fried.
For those who like, we will offer a group acupuncture treatment.

 - Overnight in the cabins of Lachatao -





Day 3:  Saturday, December 14 
Purification and preparation day 

Introduction into the world of traditional Indigenous medicine

Light eating today of fruits and vegetables, included

For the indigenous people everything is about balance. Indigenous healers work with various tools to help bring us back into balance and alignment, and to work with the blockages in our body/mind/spirit.  The most common tools are the Temazcal (an indigenous steam bath) and the "limpia", a ritual cleanse.


In both cases the four elements of nature, in this tradition, support energy flow.

In the temazcal we work with the elements of earth, water, fire and wind.

The steam bath itself represents the womb of mother earth and you go inside with the intention to be "reborn", to support the transformation of negative energies.


In the "limpia" the healer uses a chicken egg (a living cell), herbs, water and the smoke of copal (incense) to release trapped emotions and to create flow. 


Each group member will receive a limpia today and we will enjoy a Temazcal together guided by Lorena. 

We will prepare ourselves for the Ceremony Mirar adentro.

- Overnight in the cabins of Lachatao - 









Day 4: Sunday,  December 15 - There is a special diet before the ceremony ( no meat, no lactose, no gluten) and no breakfast. Light dinner, included

We will walk in ceremony up the Jaguar Mountain where we will prepare for the ceremony on the mountain. Spiritual DMT ceremony called MIRAR ADENTRO (to look inside) led by Sindy
Martinez & the mara’akáme Ruben Fonseca (Huichol medicine man). 
Guides will bring mats for each participant, prepare the fire, altar, etc. Participants may want to bring a blanket and pillow, and
definitely water. Some like to have flip flops. We will spend the day on the mountain in ceremony.
See below for guide Claudia’s description of her experience with this ceremony.
Coming back from our inner journey we will have a council session


 - Overnight in the cabins of Lachatao -

Day 5, Monday, December 16 - Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included

After lunch we will drive back to Oaxaca city. Free time.
We will gather later in the day to do some more Five Element exploration, and to continue to harvest our ceremony.


- Hotel Azucenas -

Day 6, Tuesday, December 17 - Breakfast Included

End of our journey - transfer to airport or stay on in Oaxaca City





 Ceremonia Mirar Adentro - written by Claudia Schurr of Tierraventura


 "Mirar adentro" means to look inside.

My dear friend, Venus Rodriguez, a talented healer and Aztec calendar reader, told me about this sacred plant medicine ceremony.  She and her dad had worked with Ruben Fonseca for a long time and she invited me several times, but I always resisted.  The truth is that I was a bit afraid to open doors I might not be able to control or understand.  I can't even say what, at the end, convinced me to participate, maybe it was just time for me ... Venus told me Ruben's story, and that really impressed me.  He lived with the Huicholes (an Indigenous group from the North of Mexico) for 13 years.  Their sacred plant is Hikuri (Lophophora williamsii), peyote ... the ancient grandfather.  I was always skeptical about sacred plant medicine, and I also saw it becoming a trend, the awakening of the "modern world" looking for quick fix. 


When Ruben left his mara'akame (spiritual leader of the Huicholes) and his community, they gave him a lot of peyote.  During this period he started having dreams and visions and he began to experiment with different plants. This is how he developed his own recipe of plant medicine.  He never had the intention to share it with others, but the Universe had other plans for him.  

Ruben is now guiding the "Mirar adentro" ceremony with his wife, Sindy.  It's a wonderful ceremonial setting; there's a fire in the middle of the circle, and altar for the feminine, and altar for the masculine.  Usually we sit outside, on Mother Earth, and the ceremony takes place during the day.  This was very important to me, and for the first time I felt totally safe.  The medicine is made from passion fruit, rue (Ruta graveolens), bark from the ceiba tree and the root of the tepezcohuite (Mimosa tenuflora).  It's very powerful and activates the Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) inside of you.  The DMT is called the molecule of God, and doing the ceremony will help you understand why.  

Our ancestors used plant medicine to have a deeper understanding of the universe and our purpose in it.  For me, each time I'm amazed how much information I'm bringing back from these inner journeys.  Overall, I saw and felt the interconnection of the whole; everything is alive, the elements are part of us, and we are part of them.  I saw parts of my past lives, I understood the gift of my ancestors, my own gift and I could finally accept who I am.  I felt my fears, my doubts ... it's pretty amazing!


The journey is, of course, different for everyone, but I'm always speechless at how deeply every participant is working.  We have a round of words after the ceremony, slowly coming back from our inner journey ... to integrate.


These ceremonies changed me on a cellular level and they keep on doing this. One of my students once told me that she saw in one of her visions why our ancestors broke us into a thousand pieces.  It was the only way for all the information we carry in our DNA was safe and not lost.  We ... healers, shamans, energy workers only help you find the corner pieces of the puzzle. 

The work to put the pieces together again is yours.  

I'm very excited to share this with you, and our group.  What a powerful and life changing jou
rney this will be!



















Claudia Schurr and Yves Chavan are the owners of Tierraventura  and Tierra Sagrada, a travel company specializing in helping tourists experience the unique culture, ecology and profound rich Indigenous medicine of Oaxaca (,  Yves and Claudia will be responsible for all of the in-state travel.  In addition, they coordinate all of the traditional healing instructors throughout the 10 days. They also serve as our drivers and assist with translation. Claudia is a German trained Sociologist and Yves is a Swiss trained Architect.





Diana Fried, MAc, MA, NCCAOM Dipl.Ac, Acudetox Specialist

Diana launched Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB) in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, along with a team of people from the acupuncture community. She has worked in disasters and underserved communities doing community acupuncture healing all over the U.S., Haiti, Nepal, Mongolia, Ecuador, Mexico among other locations. Diana, a Five Element- trained acupuncturist, has been teaching for many years about the Five Elements as part of a deep worldview about healing for individuals, communities and the planet.


Diana developed AWB’s Healing Community Trauma training program which has now provided training for over 6000 acupuncturists in the United States, and thousands in other countries, on how to do mobile community service field work with acupuncture. Diana envisioned and fostered AWB’s Military Stress Recovery Project (MSRP) to help heal the wounds of war and heal intergenerational trauma, establishing free community clinics around the U.S. to serve active duty military, veterans and their families. Diana initiated AWB’s World Healing Exchange program with the first trip to Nepal in 2009. 


Diana Fried has many years of experience and training in emotional/trauma healing work, along with years of work in international grassroots community development (Oxfam America, Grassroots International), including travel and work in Mexico, Central America, Asia, and Africa. She graduated from the Academy for Five Element Acupuncture with an M.Ac. (1999), is a certified Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist trained by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA), and a certified Qigong Instructor.

Diana is trained in Council practice through the Upaya Zen Center and the Center for Council. Diana is a graduate of the Upaya Zen Center Buddhist Chaplaincy program, and has studied Vipassana and other forms of Buddhist practice since the 1980’s. She is a certified Trainer in Happy For No Reason. Diana studied Plant Spirit Medicine with Eliot Cowan, and has deeply studied traditional medicines of cultures around the world, including experiences with plant medicines. She was on the staff of Spring Hill, which led Opening the Heart Workshops, in Ashby, MA.  




Trip Dates: December 12-17, 2024

The trip is limited to 6 participants

$2400 early-bird (paid in full by July 1, 2024)

$2700 standard (paid in full by September 1, 2024)

Fee  includes tour, lodging, most meals, ground transport (see details below)

Trip fee does not include international travel


$70 total single room supplement (for 2 nights in Oaxaca only, not available in the cabins at Lachatao)

$500. non-refundable deposit to hold your spot*

*we will refund, minus $50. administrative fee, if we can find someone to take your spot if you cancel.

Registration Form and Packing List will be emailed to you after we receive your deposit. 

You must have a valid passport to fly to Mexico, and make sure you have at least 6 months from the end of the trip until the expiration date.  No visa is required. 



By check via Zelle online or mail to Diana Fried:


Diana Fried

30 Laurel Hill Drive

Leverett, MA 01054

(505) 281-2969

Venmo: @Diana-Fried-1


Private transportation

English speaking guiding

Meals as listed

Overnight accommodations

Work with healers

Not included - airfare, alcoholic and soft drinks.

Any food and travel for additional days before or after the trip are your responsibility and are not included.

If you should get sick or need a change of accommodation or travel plans while in Mexico (outside of regular trip plan), that cost is your responsibility.  





We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance that includes medical evacuation. This is just a smart thing to do for overseas travel, and if there is a medical emergency, particularly if an evacuation is needed, you will need to have this coverage. 


Please check with your travel doctor about vaccinations - you can also check the website

for the Centers for Disease Control




The deposit is non-refundable (we will refund minus $50. administrative fee if we can fill your spot).  If you cancel after the payment due date, there is no refund unless we can find someone to fill your spot, then we will refund your payment, minus a $50. administrative fee.



"Embarking on a heartfelt journey in Mexico was an enriching exploration of traditional medicines, sacred ceremonies, and the vibrant tapestry of indigenous cultures. Studying ancient healing practices and immersing myself in profound teachings became the highlight of my travels with Diana. The genuine warmth of the local communities enhanced the authenticity of every moment. Experiencing rituals passed down through generations added a spiritual depth that left a lasting impression on my soul. This travel experience curated by Diana and team was a true gift. It offered a profound connection to Mexico's cultural heritage. I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn, share, and be embraced by the richness of traditions. I highly recommend this transformative adventure to those seeking a genuine encounter within the heart of Mexico and your own heart. Diana Fried and Your Life Medicine will guide you and support you in all ways. Thank you🙏🏻"

~Jennifer Larsen

"Diana is a skillful, sensitive, and knowledgeable leader who connects with others wherever they are on their spiritual paths. My time with her on the Oaxaca trip was the experience of a lifetime."

~Jane Barboza


Curandero: A Life in Mexican Folk Healing – Eliseo “Cheo” Torres and Timothy Sawyer
Curandero Conversations – Antonio Zavaleta and Alberto Salinas

Woman Who Glows in the Dark – Elena Avila

Transborder Lives: Indigenous Oaxacans in Mexico, California and Oregon – Lynn Stephen

Zapotec Women: Gender, Class and Ethnicity in Globalized Oaxaca – Lynn Stephen

Medicine Guide Lorena Villanueva
Medicine Women Guides
Trip guides Clauda Schurr and Yves Chavan
Medicine Ceremony Altar
Oaxaca City
Oaxaca Medicine Journey group photo - walking up to Jaguar Mountain, Lachatao Mexico
Medicine Guide Sindy Martinez
View of mountains
View of Sacred Medicine Ceremony site
2023 Oaxaca Retreat Group Photo
Claudia Schurr, trip guide and healer
photos: Medicine guide Sindy (left) and curandera Lorena (right)
Claudia Schurr, trip guide and healer 
Diana Fried (left) and Jenami Larsen, trip participant
Trip guides Claudia Schurr and Yves Chavan

Welcome to Transformation that Lasts! 

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