His grandfather was a great healer of that time, as were his brothers.
Juan first drank Ayahuasca at the age of 13; he now has some 48 years of experience. The first few times he drank it had no effect; later he drank with another curandero ( healer ) and experienced very strong effects having drunk only a fraction of what he had drunk before. He saw his whole life, from his birth to his death. The experience of drinking Ayahuasca in a ceremony depends heavily on the power of the curandero.
Don Juan has been trained as a curandero since adolescence and by now has healed countless people. He has a lot of experience in treating all kinds of illnesses.
He is familiar with a great deal of the Amazon region, as well as with the Andes, and not only in Peru. He has studied and learned about Ayahuasca with many indigenous peoples and with various teachers, so his knowledge and power incorporate those of all these others as well.
Don Juan has lived and traveled in many places around the world and has great experience of life. He returned to live in Iquitos, Peru, because that is where he feels most at home and wanted to raise his children.
Since 1990 he has a house near the airport of Iquitos. His family is now very large, with many grandchildren. He is also visited regularly by his onetime patients and their friends, who are referred to Don Juan for visiting, studying and healing.