Chewed and sometimes blended with fruit juices amongst the indigenous across Peru and Bolivia, Coca plant is not only highly valued for providing energy, vitality, vitamins and minerals to the human body but considered a sacred plant by the Andean people for thousands of years.
Under Incan rule, the largest and most successful empire to ever exist, coca was used for numerous purposes, including ritual, social, and physiological uses. In different parts of Bolivia and Peru, Coca is still used for the same purposes.
From the 16th to the 19th century, part of Spanish Conquest of South-America was to forcibly convert all Natives to Catholicism. From the Spanish perspective, any Native resistance to conversion was seen as the work of Satan.
When consumed in safe containers, held and supported by practitioners, a powerful alkaloid that acts as a stimulant in coca can be utilised as an effective healing agent improving cognitive function, concentration and mental health.
Coca ceremonies are an integral part of the healing work carried out by Paititi Institute; a community in Peru, between the Amazon and the Andes dedicated to preserving the Environment and Indigenous Culture.