Testimonials (in construction)

Sarah Tate (28 years, U.S.)

I worked intimately with Cynthia over the course of two weeks in the beautiful Andes mountains near Huaraz, Peru. Cynthia's teachings of the Women's Mysteries and Medicina Feminina are profound and transformational. Through meditations, visualizations, creating art and conversations we deeply explored the Women's Mysteries and healing of the Divine Feminine.
The most important lesson I took away from our work together is that healing the Divine Feminine starts with healing my own Divine Feminine self and Cynthia created this space for my own healing to take place.
Ending our sessions together, I felt inspired and energized to continue on my spiritual path to becoming a midwife.

Healing the Divine Feminine is necessary and there is much work to be done. Cynthia is one who has come to teach this medicine with her pure and open heart. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have received these teachings from Cynthia. 

"Health & Respectful Birth Practices" Workshop to Shilla Health Center Personnel, with Sophie Huart (Belgian Midwife) June 18th 2014

"Prácticas Saludables y Respetuosas del Parto"
Workshop for public health personnel (Peruvian Ministry of Health) who maintain a conventional biomedical approach to maternal care & Birth

This 3 hour-workshop intended to give Peruvian public health personnel in Ancash a fresh & evidence-based medicine perspective on natural birth, that is, non medicalized birth. We emphasyzed that when we interfere with unnecessary interventions in birth, many time there is more harm we do and change the course of a physiological birth.
Women need to feel safe, cared for, and respected. We emphasized the need of darkness in the room, 

The discrimination issue was addressed: I corrected that it is easier to work with Andean women than conventional urban women based on their lifestyles in Birth. Birth is biological, this respect not of one particular culture but to support the physiological process of birth.

Vertical positions: showing the facts why lithothomy (laying-down) is not benefitial for birthing women and their babies. Vertical positions (including preventions of vaginal perine tearing) are the recommended physiological birthing positions for all healthy birthing women, whatever their ethnic group

Health personnel which attended the workshop questioned their routine practices concerning birth and the director of the health center (behind Sophie in picture) and the other obstetras reflected that they should reinstall the "Culturally Adequated Birthing Room" in the health center. This was their own initiative (before we even suggested it!) They were putting it in agenda again and were excited to start its planning.

Menstrual Education Classes at Community School of Shilla, Carhuaz - Ancash (Fall-Winter 2014)

Menstrual Health & Sexual Education Workshops with 5th and 6th grade girls, elementary school (9-12 years)

Note: Shilla community school I.E. "San Juan Bautista" serves girls & adolescents from Shilla town and surrounding communities

"There is no tool for development more effective than the education of girls. No other 
policy is as likely to raise economic productivity, lower infant and maternal mortality, 
improve nutrition and promote health, including the prevention of HIV/Aids." 
Koffi Annan, Former UN Secretary General

The first series have 2 sessions: taught with an intercultural and woman-centered methodology, using art, participatory dynamics, song, storytelling, and body-language education techniques for girls to better understand and integrate the lessons shared. Girls are reminded that just for being in a woman's body they are open already to their own embodied Wisdom in this beautiful Rite of Passage of Becoming a Woman.

1st circle session: introduction to our sacred woman body; getting to know our Womb from the inside: feeling our Womb. Participatory lluvia de ideas (brainstorming) around Menstruation: "What have we heard of menstruation? from school, our mothers?"; woman-centered physiology of menstruation; introduction to Life Cycles, Lunar Cycles and our own Menstrual Cycles; menstruation as sacred & cleansing blood; Healthy Practices during menstruation (food, temperature, rest); Natural Remedies for menstrual cramps (Andean medicinal plants, home-based simple practices, yoga poses); Vaginal Hygiene (clarifying urban myths).

For the next session we ask as "homework" that they further ask their mothers about their menstrual healthy practices and self-care knowledge, valuing local feminine knowledge and opening talk spaces between mother & daughter at this age.

* In this session we emphasize that menstruation is "good blood" and not dirty. Also, that Menarche (first menstruation) is a beautiful thing to happen to a girls because it means that she is healthy, that she is fertile and that one day, as an adult woman, she will have the gift to bear children of her own. Girls in the class that share freely that they are already menstruators are congratulated and their peers are encouraged to do so too (and they are happy to when reminded that having their First Blood is very special and a Gift).

2nd circle session: review; doubts from last session; sharing of menstrual knowledge & practices shared by their mothers; Health & Menstrual Products (harmful chemicals and bleaching processes in industrial pads and tampons, TSS); How to use Cloth Reusable Pads: the healthy, ecological and culturally appropriate option; Menstruation rituals; teaching of Sacred Blood Medicine Songs.

          Sixth graders with their Luneras cloth pads, Teacher Ms. Mirtza, me and OSU volunteers

31 Luneras menstrual cloth pads were donated to all 5th and 6th graders of Shilla primary school! Girls received it as a Menarque gift and were excited to start their moontime in order to use them :)

3rd circle session "Sexuality, fertility and respect/ love":
Body Image: recognizing our unique beauty, Prevention of sexual abuse

Menstrual health workshop "Guiding our students by having a more positive relation with our own cycles" for female and male teachers at School of Shilla (June 11th)  All 12 teachers attended (1 male). Teachers were really open and interested in KillaWarmi's approach.

I shared:

* The approach of KillaWarmi menstrual education for girls & adolescents:
The value of introducing periods as positive, self-love and self-esteem in puberty; the value of intercultural sexual health education and an integral approach, including the biological, emotional, social, cultural and spiritual aspects of growing into a woman

* The school as a "Friendly Space for Mooning Girls". Reminder that is most likely that girls will have their first period either at home or at school. Proposal of having enough toilet paper at bathrooms, "emergency" menstrual pads, permisibility to let girls around this age go to the bathroom during class. I emphasized the importance of giving proper orientation when girls have their menarque at school, expressing girls with words and gestures (eg "congratulations" and/or giving a hug to them when they tell their teacher) that having their first blood is something beautiful, to feel grateful about and to celebrate - by this I invited them to be Allies of KillaWarmi in continuing and strengthening the teachings shared by KW to the girls & adolescents at their school.

Proposal of an intimate Rite of Passage Celebration (girls, women teachers & mothers only) every year for girls that in the school year had their Menarque!

KillaWarmi donated 12 menstrual cloth pads (donated by Lunapads, Canada) for their school medicine cabinet (either for girls who have their menarque at school or that have their first day of moontime and didn't have their pads with them).

* next program of KillaWarmi: "Certification of Friendly Schools for Mooning Women"! *

As part of the collaboration between KW and Peacework-OSU a spanish version of the teen's book "Are You There God? It's Me Margaret" (Judy Blume) was donated to the school's library, to be used by all teachers as part of their reading classes,   the intercultural storytelling around menarque from a girls perspective. Judy Blume's simple language, funny, getting into th is very appropriate as part of the informal education around menarque.

Collaboration with Peaceworks (US) to build a sustainable Women's Center in Shilla! OSU project

Peacework, an international NGO based out of Blacksburg, Virginia (US), in a project with Ohio State University Global Health Initiative, has allied with KillaWarmi to build a Women's Community Center for the women & girls of Shilla district and its communities, in Carhuaz, Ancash (Peru).


Welcome to all the volunteers & Katie and thank you all for your hard work! (Field work at site in Shilla: June 5- June 15th, 2014)

The Center: Our Vision

The Women's Center will be administered by the local "Mujeres Lideres de Shilla" Association and will be supervised and monitored by KillaWarmi (KW) to make sure the center is used for the specific ends for which it was created: it will be used for their women's meetings, training, workshops and classes in feminine health, other workshops around women empowerment, counseling and talks (for non lucrative purposes), where the beneficiaries will be all women & girls of Shilla district and its communities with no discrimination or personal favoritisms.

It will be a pilot center that serves for reference to other female community centers in the country that could be created with KillaWarmi in other provinces of Peru, with the possibility of having cultural/feminine wisdom exchanges coordinated by KW. As a women's center and demostrative community project, we plant the vision of having in the future feminine wisdom inter-community and inter-provinces gatherings & workshops, where feminine wisdom can be shared in the Center, and with the possibility of extending it to international visitors interested in revaluing and sharing Ancestral Woman Wisdom. All this will be in alignment of the purpose of promoting intercultural exchange and the strengthening of feminine wisdom in Peru.

View of the center site from below
Peaceworks has provided the funds necessary to cover the costs of all the materials that will be used for the construction of the center. Ten volunteers from the Ohio State University are coming for two weeks in June 2014 and will help in the construction process. 

Our goal for the construction work is to recover and preserve the traditional techniques and architecture used in the Andes. Most of the material used is coming from the local area. The shape of the center will be circular for several reasons: it makes a structure more stable and solid; round buildings are traditional and closer to the design of nature; and it provides for an effective use of the space; and symbolically because it represents the Feminine.

Aside from the main building, we also want to make good use of the land around the center and create gardens using the principles of permaculture. Women will have the opportunity to grow traditional medicinal plants and important crops, to maintain their health practices and cultural expression. 

 Offering to Pachamama, we all shared our prayers for this center with our MamaKoka kintus. Students were introduced into Andean Cosmovision, sacred prayer & Ceremony when starting the building process

Each one offered their Kintus and Mother Corn kernels with their prayers and intentions for the Center

Andean Adobe Making and setting the poles

Working throughout the whole process ..

Harvesting & collecting Ichu (straw for the roof): this was collected before the arrival of the students and throughout the whole building project

Shiny golden Ichu ready for the roof!

Collecting Ichu up in the Puna altitude

Building of outhouse (baño seco) for the Women's Center

Last day of work with the students ..

Circular Roof

After the volunteers left, the work continued throughout the month! The straw roof layer was finished and the glass at the top of the roof was installed. The windows and the door work was also completed!
Beautiful local made windows (June 23)
Finishing the carrizo roof (June 18)

Final pic of this Stage 1 of the Center! (June 23rd)

Sharing with Sra. Norma, the leader of Shilla's women organization, how to use the Hesperian Foundation community health books donated to the Center, both enjoying to be inside the almost finished Warmi Walli Center

Beautiful and/or unexpected building project impacts on the community
* Reintroducing Ceremony & Prayer into the community for the building process
* Revitalizing Minka & Ayni Andean concepts of community working (not income-oriented)
* Introducing circular building, with a simple adaptation in the design of the conventional squared adobes

WACHUKU (2013) Andean Birth Wisdom: sharing by a Partera from Callejón de Conchucos, Ancash Region [subt. castellano]

The Business of Artificial Infant Formulas in Peru (in spanish) / El Negocio de las fórmulas artificiales en Perú (may 2013)

International Indigenous Leadership Gathering at Lillooet, BC (June 2012, June 2013)

I had the honor to participate in this International Indigenous Leadership Gathering at Lil'wat, St'át'imc Nation (British Columbia, Canada) for the 4th annual and 5th gathering (June 21-24, 2012; June 13-16, 2013). My partner offered me the gift to let me know about this Gathering happening every Summer Solstice and encouraged me to participate. I just had to check the web by April 2012 to decide that I had to go! Since then, I have kept the prayer to keep returning every year. Thanking all the Grandmothers, Grandfathers, and Community members for opening and sharing their land, food, Ceremonies, Prayers and love with everyone who feels called to this like me.

The Main purpose of the Gathering is to bring together sacred knowledge to be shared and for the healing of the people and Mother Earth.

The Gathering has brought together elders, ceremony keepers, and mandated leaders from the four directions including: Asia, Africa, the America’s (including the Arctic), Australia, & the South Pacific to discuss issues of common concern, based on territory, as well as visions for honoring our shared responsibilities. The four critical issues addressed include:
1) Sacred Knowledge- Embracing the guidance of our ancestors and elders, to live in balance.
2) Sacred Lands- Respecting the rhythms and warnings of Mother Earth to choose wisely.
3) Sacred Children- Nurturing the young ones, both near and far.
4) Sacred Generations- providing for future generations, the grandchildren and for all humanity.

Special thanks to Grandmother Christine for giving me a formal invitation to participate in coming Gatherings as a carrier of Andean tradition and values.

Urpiyay sonqoyay for making me feel truly at home, and Blessings to the St'át'imc Nation!

* For upcoming KillaWarmi visions and projects aimed to bring Andean & Native-American Woman Medicine together please e-mail: bridgingthesacred@gmail.com

Pregnancy and Bodywork with Zen BodyTherapy

by Charles Kise
Over the last 14 years of practice, I have been honored to work with many pregnant moms to help them be more comfortable throughout their pregnancies and beyond. I have also had the privilege of working with some women who were preparing for pregnancies and were seeking to have their bodies at “optimum” level to become pregnant.
Depending on each individual, a different “recipe” of bodywork is tailored to assist each woman achieve her goal/s. Some worked with me on simply seeking relief from the discomforts of their changing, aching bodies. Others wanted the full spectrum of aligning and reintegration of the body to the changes that were occurring. However, at each stage, from preconception through post delivery, I have found most women benefited most working on specific areas according to the changes occurring in their bodies.
During the preconception stage, we would generally concentrate on softening, lengthening and positioning the soft tissue of the body to function better within the field of gravity. During this time, it is important to get rid of all the kinks in the body and to develop more awareness within the body. To recognize old habits and conditioned patterns that contribute to unwanted symptoms of pain and discomfort in each area and reprogram the way the body carries and holds itself. We learn simple conscious movement exercises that can be done in the comfort of the home everyday to help facilitate in the preparation of carrying a fetus in the body. Also, we focus on reducing or ridding any pain and trauma of old injuries that may be in the body so that it does not incur further stress on the person.
During the pregnant stage, we continue to work on getting the body to adjust and flow comfortably with the changes that are occurring within. At this stage, there are many hot-spots, triggerpoints of pain that the mother-to-be feels. If these areas are not worked on, they may become accumulated trauma later in the person’s life.
Another area we focus on is the breathing and posture. Breathing has to be “learned” now, to prepare for the birth process. We work on opening up the ribs gently and to the fullest capacity so that each breath becomes deeper and more nourishing to the mother and child. Breathing the right way also assists in the birth process with less pain and stress.
As the pregnancy wears on, posture becomes an important focus as well. When the body gets heavy and the different parts start to ache, a good posture will easily ease the discomfort. We go into another set of simple exercises at this stage as well, to assist in relieving any discomfort in the body during this period.
Lastly, the post delivery stage. During this recovery process, we work to encourage the body to realign itself back to its natural structure. At this time, many mothers forget about their bodies and devote all the time they have to their baby.
The first 6 months after birth is when the body works to heal itself and all the cartilage and soft tissue will start to tighten and work their way back into place. It is the perfect time for the new mom to work on aligning her body to an optimum level with gravity, to achieve a new body of minimal stress and strain. Many women develop slouched positions after giving birth because they do not pay attention to the posture, especially whilst carrying the baby.
The entire process of how a body changes from conception through post delivery is miraculous. The potential of the body is immense when you consciously work with it and nature.
It is an honor and privilege that I have been able to share and be a part of the beautiful process of preparing for a new life with so many mothers through body therapy.
* You can contact me(Cynthia)for more info about Zen Bodytherapy thru my email