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About Us


Somos Sanctuary is a diverse community that is deeply committed to personal transformation and spiritual growth. Somos Sanctuary bridges tools and tribal wisdom traditions of Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil, incorporating their prayers, ceremonies, and teachings as the fundamental foundations for retreats and trainings. This allows individuals to connect, experience, witness, and integrate all in a nurturing and supportive environment.

To connect directly please use the contact me page to schedule a phone call, or sign up for our newsletter to hear about our current events and retreats.

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Somos Sanctuary envisions a community rooted in our collective ancestral wisdom traditions that provides a nurturing home for safe ceremonial experiences and training. We foster individual manifestation of our unique selves as interdependent creators with authenticity, integrity and coherence. Collectively one, we are committed to empowering alliances rooted in mutuality that serve nature, local, global and indigenous communities.


Through ceremony, prayer, and community support, we aim to activate our best selves, celebrating human experiences at every stage. Committed to global guardianship training, we empower individuals to be stewards of our planet, promoting a deep earth connection and sustainable practices. Our dedication lies in awakening the self into sovereignty, fostering interconnectedness, and building a world of harmony, justice, and sustainable coexistence.

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Our Team

We are a diverse team from an array of spiritual traditions, beliefs, skillsets, superpowers, and global walks of life. We are woven together by tied visions and values, and we work co-creativley in family and in service.

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Maya Martinez Gomez

CEO . Clergy . Lead Facilatator

Maya Martinez, founder of Somos Sanctuary, was raised in both Colombia and New York City, and has been on a life-long journey studying with indigenous teachers from Colombia, Mexico, the United States, and Brazil, where she was recently given the name Sakakatwa ‘Rainbow,’ by the Fulniô Tribe. As a dedicated student, she continuously deepens her studies with the sacraments, and has learned many traditional ceremonial practices that help raise the vibration of the planet. It is with great honor, permission, and care, that she shares the weavings of this knowledge with those who are ready to answer the call and receive the wisdom and downloads that come.

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José “Akiba” Portuondo-Dember, Esq. (he/him or they/them) has been on the Somos Sanctuary team since 2020. He currently lives in Massachusetts with his husband and dog, though he also calls Puerto Rico, Cuba and Israel home. He began his formal training in 2019, when he received his authorization to serve Kambô from Maya Martinez and Claudia Costa, and continued training with Nainawá, master Kambô healer of the Yawanawá, in 2022. He is a lover of languages, speaking English, Spanish, Portuguese, Hebrew, and Aramaic. Akiba is a sefaradí Jew and also studies with the Templo Umbanda São Sebastião in Itú, Brazil. Since 2022 he has also been active in developing the alliance with Somos Sanctuary and the Fulni-ô tribe in Aguas Belas, Brazil. He received the honorary Fulni-ô name “Xyxyá” in 2023.


Akiba Portuondo Dember

COO . Clergy . Guardian

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Samantha began serving Somos Sanctuary 2019, although has always heard the whispers of this spiritual path from the living world of nature’s cabinet of curiosities. Diverse skillsets have been gathered, from her farming roots, learning Amish herbal tinctures and home remedies, botanical wine potion alchemy, to culinary arts, and even ceremonial tool crafting from foraged discoveries. She enjoys co-creating ritualized acts of service and sacred place making that draws upon her experience of many years in hospitality development, innovation consulting and project management. 

As an empath and clairsentient, Samantha carries the medicine of sound, frequency, and vibration though her work with cymatics, and light language as a healing modality across many aspects of the physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies. Her work as a channeler, physic, and remote healer, lends itself useful to ceremonial prayer.

Her love for travel, and sacred sites; inspires Samantha to performs planetary gridwork alignments as one of many earth guardians. 

Early childhood travels to tribal lands in the American West and Cherokee, NC created a fascination with ancient wisdom traditions, storytelling, and song circles. She honors these indigenous ways, bringing her continued studies with the Fulnio Tribe in Brazil and Andean cosmology studies, from the tree of life and Ayllu Tiqsi Muyu in Colombia.

Samantha Starr


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An avid student in a variety of spiritual schools. Samson started his personal practice and study of Buddhism at 16 years, entered formal residential Zen training in his early 20s, and has a profound spiritual home in the indigenous traditions of the Americas and wisdom traditions of Eastern Asia, including Tibetan Buddhism. Always up for a conversation on Mahayana sutras, esoteric practices, and all manner of mysticism. Outside of the so-called "spiritual world" Samson plays the role of scientist and researcher in water resources and climate change.


Samson Zhilyaev


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