What is The Buena Vida?

The goal of The Buena Vida Retreats is to provide safe access to healing plant medicines within the context of ritual and ceremony. We believe these plants are tools that can help humanity awaken to their creativity, joy and inherent ability to heal themselves.  Our retreats aim to give a holistic container to healing; one that uses sound, movement, and most importantly, a sense of community.

While we know that the plants can heal deeply, we also know that they are just a tool in our vitality tool belt. Try on the the unique beauty of vulnerability and sharing in a non-judgmental community. We’ll be introduced to a type a meditation that you can fully understand and utilize. We’ll dive deeply into your inner selves to discover the personal ways in which mind, body and spirit need to thrive.

The plants open the heart, the sound moves energy and our leaders provide a space to be your authentic self.

Amanda Schendel 


Psychedelic Ceremony Expert


Amanda's goal as a Psychedelic Leader & Guide is to protect the practice of North and South American Spiritual traditions and ceremonies. As an advocate of the safe, responsible use of psychedelics, she strongly supports the use of these traditions surrounding their ancient healing. 

Amanda plays many roles; retreat producer, leader, facilitator, joke maker and shaman-in-training. She just may provide you with a song or two during ceremony.

She is a highly intuitive guide and has trained, assisted and facilitated in over 500  psychedelic ceremonies using ayahuasca, San Pedro (Huachuma cactus), psilocybin, tobacco, and rapé.

Amanda brings a seasoned, varied and light-hearted approach to even deep medicine work.

She spent the past 5 years studying native plant medicine and ceremonial healing with over 500 guests in Ecuador, Mexico, Jamaica and around the world.

She is the founder of The Buena Vida Psychedelic Retreats & Sol Medicine Mexico.  She works with private groups and retreat centers around the world.

She splits her time between her home in Seattle, WA & Mexico.

Amanda's Current Projects

June 2018 Sol Medicine in Baja Sur, Ayahuasca Retreat-Organizer and facilitator

June 2018-MycoMeditations Second Annual Psychedelic Families Retreat-Speaker and facilitator

September-October, 2018-MycoMeditations Retreat Facilitator & Women’s Retreat Leader

January-April, 2019-Sol Medicine Mushroom Retreats in Playa del Carmen, MX

May, 2019 The Buena Vida Mushroom Retreats in Northern Baja, MX 

October 2019: The Buena Vida Mushroom Retreats in Nayarit, MX

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Kate Ryan

Shaman. Sound Healer. Ceremony Guide.

Shamanic Musician, Oracle & Healer; Ceremony Leader Kate is a certified Sound Healer, 200Ryt Vinyasa teacher, Reiki attuned and shamanic initiate of Peruvian Shipibo tribe plant healing. She shares her practice, plant spirit medicine meditations, sound healing events and self care healing retreats in Seattle, Washington and around the world.

Kate has led over 250 shamanic and medicine ceremonies. She brings a maternal warmth and care to her work, providing each guest with a personal touch and intimate guidance. Her background as a classically trained jazz vocalist enlivens the ceremony space with an other-worldly sonic masterpiece that is unique to each journey.

"I am Kate Ryan; Songbird, Oracle & Shamanic Musician. My Maternal Grandmothers maiden name was Jakku.  Throughout my life I have been called to heal with a relationship to the great divine feminine. I believe when we heal ourselves, we heal our family & ancestors.  I carry the lineage of strong women forward to build a legacy of love. A graduate with a BFA in Theater, my 20 years of performance work focused on Ritual, trance practice & social engagement. I am currently sharing my practice through classes, workshops and self-care healing retreats based in Seattle, Washington."


The Buena Vida and Sol Medicine does not supply, manufacture, distribute or condone the use of any illegal substances. We do not give out, supply or sell any specific substance. The goal of Sol Medicine Retreats is to plan, organize and produce healing retreats. We facilitate access to trained, indigenous shamans who work with sacred plant medicines within an accepted, sacramental and ceremonial context. The shamans personally evaluate each guests’ needs and work strictly within the laws of their training and all local and national laws where the retreats will take place. We do not guarantee any results or outcomes, specific medicine usage, etc. Each participant is responsible for informing themselves about possible pharmaceutical drug contraindications, including but not limited to SSRI and other stabilizing medication. They assume all responsibility for due diligence required for their participation. For more information and additional resources, email hello@thebuenavida.net