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Help me get back to the Amazon to fully immerse myself in plant medicine and helping the Earth!
Ralph Giunta
Boynton Beach, Florida
United States
1 Team Member


My name is Ralph Giunta and I am raising funds to continue on a path I started many years ago. I have been studying a mix of permaculture, herbalism, and shamanic paths for the past few years and with your help, would be able to intensify this study by apprenticing under an established curandero, Roman Hanis of the Paititi Institute (www.paititi-institute.org)

At the institute, they are focusing on preserving the local wisdom of ancient Amazonian and Andean peoples and bringing it to meet other ways of knowing, including Yoga, Chinese Medicine, Chi Kung, Permaculture, Herbalism, and community building!

Being able to go down last year for almost 3 months, changed my life. This time around, I will be staying for at least 3 years, to fully immerse myself in the experience. I feel I have started an apprenticeship already, and with this help, I could go forth with it. I want to learn how to be a conduit for the healing ways, for the preservation of this planet, and to be able to bring this wisdom wherever I happen to be on the path.

My story begins in a dark place, in the later days of march, 2007. I was a perfectly healthy college going 19 year old, working full time at a restaurant and enjoying skateboarding and photography. I suddenly fell ill, something that immediately felt like it wasn't the usual cold or flu. I remained at home for the next few days as the pain and tingling increased, ascending up from my feet into my upper body. I was then, by the grace of my mother, urged to be taken to the hospital. One spinal tap, two hospital visits, and 24 hrs later, I was diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome, which takes over the mylein sheath of the nerves. I was rendered about 95 percent paralyzed, and in the most excruciating pain I could ever imagine. Morphine could do nothing, as well as other intense pain medications. It was here, in the lowest of lows, that I first was being introduced to the human bodies faculties of healing, through the strength and love of my family, and the energy work I was exposed to by a Reiki healer. This experience brought me to see the other side of medicine, where healing comes in a holistic, multiple angle approach. Where Spirit is taken into account and everything that a person is going through is looked at. I started with myself.



The Funding/The Perks!

In addition to helping sustain me while I am there, I will be using this money to purchase some travel goods like a backpack and some jungle shoes. I'll be buying a good amount of film including 16, 35, and 120mm, to document this project in the making. I will also be purchasing a used laptop to use when i visit the city, to be able to make edits and short films of what is going on at the center.

I have a few things that can be given as gifts in exchange for donation. (if there is something you know I can do that isn't listed, let me know and we can discuss it!)

- a handwritten (people still do this) letter and drawing. Maybe a story, maybe a comedy, maybe the top three ways to avoid dis ease in chinese medicine context. It will include more than one letter. : )

- a seed kit! i have a good assortment of different seeds. upon letting me know where you are located, will determine what seeds I send.

- a recipe collection. Vegetarian recipes, tried and true. a drawing by joe (my brother) will be included.

- a song collection. I have made recordings of music over the years on cassette tapes. I am in the process of digging them up and assembling them, in conjunction with newer recordings as well. Joe does drums, I play guitar. mp3 format.

- a photo collection. prints of series of things, randomly chosen from the archive at flickr.com/ihatewetsocks (unless you like something particular, which I could print!)

The Gratitude!

I am intensely excited to be a part of the Paititi Familia. I invite you to come visit one day and see for yourself what is going on! I will be sure to make you some dinner : )

Other Ways You Can Help

Please share this page and video to those that you feel could be inspired to help out. It is much appreciated!! Thank you so much!


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raised in 1 month
107% funded
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$5,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
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This campaign ended on July 12, 2013
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