Our Team

Jeanae White

Jeanae is a co-owner of New Life Ayahuasca. Her involvement with plant medicine began in 2014 with ibogaine treatment to address a 5 year long opiate dependency. Shortly after she drank ayahuasca for the first time and has been on a journey to self-improvement every since. Jeanae is our web manager, yoga instructor, cook and Kambo practitioner.

Matthew Mormello

Matt is our co-owner and ayahuasquero. His introduction to plant medicine was documented on HBO's VICE in 2011 when he underwent his first ibogaine treatment. Shortly after he drank ayahuasca and felt a strong connection to the medicine. Since 2014 he has been training in Peru under world renown shaman Don Ron Wheelock. Matt leads all our ayahuasca ceremonies.

Drew Blackwelder

Drew joined the NLA staff in 2018. He also comes from a background of addiction and tried ibogaine in 2014. After still struggling for a few years, he reached out to Matt and spent a month at NLA participating in ayahuasca ceremonies. The ceremonies had a huge impact on him and he decided to change his life. He moved to Costa Rica with his wife and 2 children. He now is a sitter for ceremonies.

Val Blackwelder

Val joined us in 2018 with her husband Drew. Shortly after Drew arrived back in the U.S after his time at NLA, he and Val found out that they were going to once again be parents. Together they took a huge risk by selling all their belongings and moved to Costa Rica with their 2 young children. She gave birth to a beautiful boy in late 2018. Val helps us prepare for each retreat by cleaning and assisting with meal planning and preparation.


Fernando is our massage therapist. He is a Costa Rican living in the nearby town. He is very intuitive and applies just the right amount of pressure to the areas that need it. He has a very gentle demeanor and most guests walk away declaring his massages are the best they have ever experienced!


Luis is our landscaper and everyday handyman. Born and raised in San Ramon, he has been working on the property of NLA for over 20 years under various owners. He keeps all 20 acres of our property immaculately manicured and works extremely hard. He always has a smile on his face and can always lend a hand.

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​© 2019 Jeanae White & New Life Ayahuasca Costa Rica