Who we are

Takiwasi, or "The Singing House" in Quechua language, is a NGO dedicated to the fundamental and applied research on traditional medicines and their implementation in the treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts and in the establishment of mechanisms for prevention of the abuse of addictive substances. More broadly Takiwasi seeks its application in areas of health in general in articulation with modern scientific knowledge.

Takiwasi was created in 1992 as result of six years of research work in the Peruvian Upper Amazon (San Martin Region), that at that time was the world’s first area for the production and consumption of basic cocaine paste.

Its general objective is to revalue the human and natural resources of traditional medicines, and to develop a real therapeutic alternative to drug addiction, which is:

  • Effective
  • Low budget
  • Adapted to people from different cultural and social backgrounds.

Takiwasi working methodology draws upon:

  • Modern medicine with the empirical knowledge of the Amazon healers and shamans
  • Fundamental and applied research (psycho-clinical)
  • Researchers and practitioners of different disciplines and nationalities
  • Therapeutical, scientific, ecological, cultural and humanitarian concerns

Rescuing the ancestral knowledge associated with Traditional Medicines

Takiwasi - Centro de acogida

Where We Are

The Takiwasi Center is located in the outskirts of the city of Tarapoto (population 150,000 aprox.), in the region of San Martin, in the Peruvian Upper Amazon area, 800 kms northeast of Lima, the capital of Perú. This area is known worldwide for its great biodiversity and for being the historical epicenter of Traditional Amazonian Medicine.


Tarapoto, also known as the “City of Palm Trees”, is a thriving city located at an altitude of 350 meters above sea level in the high jungle plateau. Because of its height and the mountains that surround the city, Tarapoto has a cooler climate than the other cities of the Peruvian Amazon. It is one of the main tourist and commercial cities of the Peruvian Amazon.

Tarapoto is connected by flight through the airport "Cadete FAP Guillermo del Castillo Paredes" that has a large and modern terminal. The airport provides daily flights to the cities of Lima (approximately 1 hour flight), Pucallpa and Iquitos.

The journey by land is also comfortable, either by car or commercial bus, thanks to the roads that connect Tarapoto, on the one hand, with the coast of Peru and the city of Chiclayo, and on the other hand with the center of the country and the cities of Tingo Maria and Huánuco.