The word Cohoba derives from the Taino word for a psychedelic snuff ceremony. The snuff originates with the plant Anadenanthera peregrina, a large tree in the legume family native to the Caribbean and South America. The Anadenanthera peregrina produces beans and leaves that contain psychedelic compounds that played an important role in the spiritual ceremonies of the Taíno peoples, indigenous inhabitants of the Caribbean. Cohoba refers to both the finely ground, cinnamon-colored snuff as well as the ceremony itself. The Cohoba ceremony was associated with a deity of the same name.
Our logo showcases the cohoba leaf in honor of the psychedelic practices of the indigenous Caribbean. As a cultural steward, Cohoba is dedicated to preserving practices of collectivism and inclusivity, as well as a healthy respect for the potency of altered states. We are guided by the idea that celebration and joy can be cornerstones of resistance for marginalized communities.
Our organization has its roots in January 2015, when Laura Camilo and Daniel De La Cruz met at an East Charlotte house party. Their meeting was encouraged by mutual friendships fostered through service at a local immigrant rights nonprofit, the Latin American Coalition. At the time, Daniel was attending UNC-Charlotte’s Master of Social Work program and researching the positive effects of psychedelic-assisted therapy on mental wellness. Daniel and Laura became fast friends as they discovered a shared passion for advocacy and equity in the re-emerging world of psychedelic research, as well as a mutual love of their Dominican-American heritage. Laura enrolled in the MSW program and also focused her capstone research project on psychedelic-assisted therapy and local mental health needs. Their research allowed them to expand on the idea of how social workers could carry forth micro, mezzo, and macro interventions with psychedelic-assisted therapy. Together, they discerned the need for a model of accessible psychedelic-assisted therapy, one that prioritized communal bonding while offering educational resources and healing support services, particularly to Charlotte’s marginalized communities.
Over the next few years, Cohoba’s team evolved to include other BIPOC leaders and advocates who helped develop our core values and challenge our initial goals. While we still seek to offer innovative strategies in psychotherapy, Cohoba has shifted its focus to envision a venue whose primary purpose would be to bring people together. Cohoba seeks to provide event space and services to promote communal well-being through the sharing of joy as well as the healing of pain.
In December 2019, Cohoba was officially registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We are tremendously grateful to have acquired offices and event space in the Visual and Performing Arts Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our location allows us to work closely with the OBRA Collective , a partner organization of interdisciplinary Latinx artists and advocates.
Since our conception, Cohoba’s clinicians have received training in psychedelic therapy from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies and Fluence. Our members’ backgrounds cover a variety of specialties: we are psychedelic-positive therapists and social workers, bodyworkers, and artists. Together, we seek to advocate for the prosperity of the global majority and celebrate the human experience.
To meet the needs of our community, we will continue to expand our connections and partnerships. We hope this site will inform you about our staff and vision, as well as provide information on our current events and opportunities to provide support. This site is also a source for learning, including educational resources, blogs and Frequently Asked Questions.
We welcome you to Cohoba! Please explore and enjoy our resources.