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As Journey Director, Manoela Saldanha strives to actualize an experience that is organically meaningful for all participants. Her devotion to healing and love of plant medicine makes this role a perfect fit.
Manoela has been passionate about environmental rights since the 2nd grade. After watching an Inconvenient Truth, she was inconsolable and made it her mission to visit the Amazon before it was destroyed. She finally fulfilled this dream during her gap year after high school. On her visit, she was introduced to different indigenous uses of plant medicine. Empowering these communities, she discovered, is a powerful tool for protecting the rainforest’s ecosystems and its rich heritage. During this year off, she also spent a lot of time at her home in Rio de Janeiro and backpacked across Peru and Myanmar. Her heart, however, remains in the Amazon, where she returns twice a year and will soon found her first NGO.
A recent Columbia graduate, Manoela majored in History and Business. She wrote her senior thesis on peyote regulation in the United States—an intersection of her interests in Native American rights and religious use of plant medicine. She has a deep reverence for indigenous culture and is an advocate for plant medicine’s legalization. In her free time, Manoela seeks any form of adventure, be it trying new vegan restaurants, impromptu day trips, or, if she’s lucky, backpacking across unfamiliar terrain.
Favorite Quote: “Let everything happen to you. Beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.” – Rainer Maria Rilke