Meet Us

Meet Us

Anthony Esposito

In early 2013, the Spirit of Iboga called Anthony to heal the root causes of his depression, anxiety, addictions, and PTSD from sexual trauma. His experience was so powerful and profound that it became immediately clear he would serve the sacred medicine and spread the teachings of the Bwiti tradition.

Just weeks after his initial life-changing ceremony, Anthony returned to Costa Rican and began working with the medicine both on a personal level and in a training capacity under a 10th generation Bwiti shaman. In December of 2013, he traveled to Gabon, Africa, and completed a Full Initiation into the Bwiti tradition. In July of 2015, he returned to Gabon and underwent a Rites of Passage, a journey the Bwiti use as a passageway from childhood to adulthood.

Through his dedication to finding peace within himself, and by facing his own truth, Anthony has unveiled his innate ability to help others access their own healing power. He maintains deep gratitude for all of his experiences—the challenging and the beautiful—which have shaped his path and led him to harness his mind and connect to his heart, passion, and purpose.

He has developed a deep relationship with the Spirit of Iboga, and has extensive experience leading ceremonies, serving the medicine, guiding the guests on explorations of spiritual self-discovery, and assisting them through the transformations that follow.

Today, Anthony spends his time between Costa Rica and Austin, Texas with his wife Amber (known as the chief of the village). Anthony’s deep connections to Self, and to the Spirit of Iboga, allow him to guide others through sacred ceremony and through the integration of these teachings. Read more about Anthony…

Amber Antonelli

Amber found her spiritual path quite by “accident” when her husband Anthony was seeking relief from depression, anxiety and addiction. Initially it was their work with Ayahuasca in Thailand and Peru that began to open her heart and her mind to a new way of looking at her life and the world around her. One of the first and most profound shifts was in Amber’s approach to food.

Since she was very young, Amber has found immense joy creating in the kitchen. This passion and awareness for cooking grew quickly into a lifelong career, guiding her through phases of her life on many levels. Very shortly after returning from Peru in 2011, Amber created her conscious culinary business, The Naked Bite, cultivating a presence and connection with food in a whole new way. She began to channel her teachings with the medicine into her passion for healing foods, educating others to change their approach the health of their body, mind, spirit and the world around them.

Through Amber’s work with Ayahuasca and The Naked Bite immense internal shifts had begun, but it wasn’t until years later that the opportunity to explore herself more deeply through Iboga, that some of the deepest teachings fell into place. She has been able to heal on multiple levels through her own connection to spirit and the infinite wisdom of this incredible teacher plant.

Amber has spent significant time in various retreat environments, providing both food and emotional support for the guests. Working with Iboga has heightened her strong intuition even more to understand how to best serve those during their healing journey. She currently shares her time between Costa Rica and Austin, Texas, and feels deeply honored to have an opportunity to support others through their own heroic internal process. She works personally with Iboga consistently and holds the highest reverence for this gift that continues to set her free. She will be traveling to Gabon in November 2017 for her “official” initiation into the bwiti tradition. Read more about Amber…


Nyla Simjee

In early 2014 Nyla began working with Ayahuasca to begin healing trauma from childhood, severe anxiety, and depression. After two years of consistent work with this medicine, Nyla received an undeniably strong call to begin exploring herself through Iboga.

She sat with Iboga for the first time only a few months after receiving the call. After  that first ceremony, Nyla walked away with an overwhelming and deeply resonant understanding and love of self. From that first communion with Iboga, she understood that the path to providing the medicine for guests to transform their lives was in her future.

Nyla then began to etch out a deeper and more practical relationship with the Spirit of Iboga.  Through her explorations she was able to integrate the subtler teachings of this sacred medicine and the wisdom of the Bwiti tradition into her life to further catapult her on the journey of one day serving the medicine. She will be traveling to Gabon in November 2017 to become a Bwiti initiate and her subsequent training will follow.

Nyla’s connection to the spirit of Iboga and contribution to the holding of space for guests is centered around her strong intuition, psychic abilities, and capability to see and work with different kinds of energy. She works in the retreat facilitating all aspects of what is needed to help create the deepest and most effective impact on the Awaken Your Soul guests.

Deena DiBacco

Raised on the East Coast of the United States, Deena navigated a career in Journalism until Iboga’s presence helped her heal a 10-year addiction to opiates. Through Iboga, the crumbling of her former life—as an addict and a professional navigating an unfulfilling career—became the shining light that illuminated a life she never dreamed possible. Since her initial Iboga experience, she has dedicated her work to spreading this plant’s healing message to the world, through both written word and ceremonial practice. In July of 2015, she journeyed to Gabon, Africa, where she completed her Full Initiation into the Bwiti tradition and her Women’s Rites of Passage.

Deena facilitates aspects of the website and content creation for AYS.