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Yucatan WHE Trip 2018 & One-Day Level I Training

October 30, 2018 - November 10, 2018

This trip is full.

Mayan Traditional Healing and Day of the Dead Celebrations together with the Five Elements of Chinese Medicine

October 30 to November 10, 2018

Trip size is limited to 11 participants plus trip guides, so please register early to hold your spot.



Trip offers:

34 PDA Points–NCCAOM Approved, Pending FL, TX approval

21 PDA Points in AOM-BIO
2 PDA Points in Safety
2 PDA Points in Ethics
1 PDA Point in PE-CW

8 PDA Points in PE-AT (for clinical application)

and Pending approval for 30 CEs, CA Category 1, Provider # 0619

One-day version of the Level I Training IN YUCATAN on October 30 offers an additional 7.5 CEUs.
(It is required for those who have not previously taken either this class or the complete Level I training.
Those who have may choose to review at half price.)

Our Guides
Sarah Gress, Yucatan Tour Expert and Intuitive Healer,
Melanie Rubin, M.Ed., AWB Special Programs, AWB Trainer
Stacey MacFarlane, M.Ac., L.Ac., Five Element Acupuncturist, AWB Trainer

Our home-away-from- home in Izamal, Hotel Macan Che

AWB is thrilled to announce a World Healing Exchange Program in Yucatan, México this fall, 2018. It will combine immersion in Mayan tradition at the time of the visually and culturally dramatic Day of the Dead celebrations, with ceremonial experience of the Five Elements of Chinese Medicine. We will explore how Mayan philosophy and the Five Elements overlap in profound ways, will provide trauma relief clinics for several communities, and take away deep personal and professional enrichment and nourishing.

The Yucatan peninsula in southeastern Mexico separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico and is home to the ancient Mayan people. The area is known for its tropical rainforests and jungles, underground caverns with freshwater, swimmable pools, called cenotes, and powerful ruins of ancient civilizations. It has extraordinary beaches, culture, delectable regional cuisine, birds, wildlife, and more. In November, temperatures will range from lows in the mid-60’s to highs in the low 80’s.

Our accommodation in Valladolid, Hotel Quinta Regia

Our trip will provide an unprecedented opportunity to work and study directly with Mayan elders and herbalists, as well as visit ancient sites and receive spiritual initiation. The destination is Yucatán, but the goal is the personal and group journey into ourselves as practitioners and healers. We will explore Mayan history, philosophy and tradition, together with the Five Elements, as a way of renewing that which is most vital in each of us personally, and in our role as healing facilitators for others.

Archaeological ruins we will visit at Ek Balaam

Like many Mexican states, notwithstanding its power and beauty, the Yucatan has a significant portion of its population living in poverty and extreme poverty. These people lack basic necessities and have inadequate access to health care. Those who suffer the most are the indigenous Maya, where the deepest levels of social and economic marginalization prevail. Additionally, natural disasters, in particular hurricanes, exacerbate these existing social vulnerabilities. Participants on this AWB trip will offer community-style acupuncture within four towns and villages. As with our other introductory World Healing Exchange trips, this is an opportunity to reciprocate for all we are being given and taught, with the intention of coming back at a later time if invited to do more in-depth training.

AWB clinic offered in Yucatan for local community members

Our travels will include: many wonderful meals prepared in homes as well as restaurants, visits to several archaeological sites, both world famous, like Chichen Itza, and less known, like Uxmal; a visit to a museum that chronicles the history of the Mayan world; and a stay at a beautiful hacienda. The journey will end on a pristine beach of the Mayan Riviera, known for its turtle hatching grounds, snorkeling, and seafood. Here we will bring the trip full circle on a Friday morning with closing ceremonies for the water element.

Preparation of a traditional Day of the Dead feast for AWB group in Yucatan

The schedule is designed such that travelers can add a couple of days for pure vacation at the beach if they wish, and still return to the United States by the end of the weekend.

Akumal Beach, where we will stay at the end of the trip

As we all know and have personally experienced, traditional healing methods sometimes seem to be fading out of existence.  One of our hopes with this trip is to support and keep alive the local Yucatecan healing practices and strengthen our own. How can traditional healers around the world compete with strong and powerful “modern” medicines that seem so intriguing and immediate? It is with this awareness that AWB’s World Healing Exchange Program is developing partnerships with local healers for cross-cultural exchange and training that will support indigenous practices.

Mayan Elder Don Pedro Pablo Chuc teaching AWB volunteers about Mayan philosophy


Sarah Gress is a German intuitive and spiritual healer who is fluent in Spanish, and has led numerous successful trips in the Yucatan. She is excellent at trip logistics, and will help create an experience that is well organized and smooth. Sarah will serve as our translator for this journey, and will co-lead many of the ceremonies with Stacey, Melanie, and local healers, using crystals and other tools. She will also be available for private sessions during free time.

Melanie Rubin is former Associate Director of Acupuncturists Without Borders and has co-facilitated AWB World Healing Exchange trips in the Yucatan and Oaxaca, Mexico. She has had a deep love for the Mayan people and culture for decades, and welcomes this opportunity to co-create a unique and powerful trip experience. She is working with Sarah, Stacey, and local organizers and healers to plan, coordinate, and lead all aspects of the trip.

Stacey MacFarlane is a five-element acupuncturist who serves as the Clinical Foundations Division Chair of the Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Program at Maryland University of Integrative Medicine. She is also a veteran AWB trainer, and has assisted on several AWB World Healing Exchange trips in Mexico. Stacey will work with Melanie and Sarah on the Five Element program components of the trip, will co-lead ceremonies from a Five Element perspective, and support the group in many other ways.


Please read the trip packet for details about refund policies for all payments.

$1750 is required to hold your spot.
The remainder of your trip fee is paid according to the following rates and schedule.

Early Bird:
Complete payment is due by August 15, 2018

$3495.00 total including deposit (cash or check price)/ AWB Member/Double Occupancy
(add 3% for credit card payment)

$3595.00 total including deposit (cash or check price/ Non-member/Double Occupancy
(add 3% for credit card payment)

Regular Rate:
Complete payment is due by September 15, 2018

$3695.00 including deposit (cash or check price)/ AWB Member/Double Occupancy
(add 3% for credit card payment)

$3795.00 including deposit, (cash or check price)/Non-member/Double Occupancy
(add 3% for credit card payment)

$400.00 (please add to total payment)
For those who would prefer a single rather than a double room, please add $400 to your trip fee.

ONE-DAY Level I TRAINING: Healing Community Trauma

One-day version of the Level I Training on October 30 offers an additional 7.5 CEUs.

The one-day training is required to attend a WHE program for those who have not previously taken either this class or the complete Level I training. Those who have taken either the 1-day or 2-day Level I Training previously may choose to review at half price.

This training will include a field clinic practicum with practice of AWB’s clinical protocols. It will not address all aspects of the community service clinic model, trauma and secondary trauma, group dynamics, and other topics presented in the 2-day Level I training. For details on the 2-day training, please visit: http://www.acuwithoutborders.org/15-ceu-training-level-i-healing-community-trauma/

$150 for those who have never taken either the one-day training or the two-day Level I before.

$75 for those who are reviewing the one-day training or have taken the two-day Level I before.



October 30, 2018
November 10, 2018
Event Categories:


Melanie Rubin and Stacey MacFarlane