jaggy Bio ( Juliana)

Juliana Castaneda was born in Colombia, where from an early age she was introduced to ancient Vedic wisdom through her aunty who had decided to become a Hindu nun. Juliana’s love for animals was solidified with her now deeper understanding of the spiritual equality of all beings, as taught in the famous Bhagavad-Gita

 
At age 5, Juliana adopted a vegetarian diet and at age 9 was already cooking meals for the family under the guidance of her mother. She visited and lived in many Bhakti yoga temples in South and Central America as a young girl, and was fascinated by the idea of cooking with devotion and purifying her meals with mantras.
At 18, she traveled to Montevideo, Uruguay to get her BA in Physics, however, with her natural love for animals and a desire to help others, Juliana looked for any chance she could to provide food and shelter to humans and animals, volunteering for the local Food for Life (FFL) project.
At age 23, Juliana return to Colombia and with the help of her long time friend Ekala Isvara, she founded the first and only vegan animal sanctuary in the Andes Mountains called Paramatma, in which 34 animals are cared for, including a cow and an ox, making it the only animal shelter in Colombia that protects cows.
 
Ekala Isvara encouraged Juliana to direct her passion for making new and tasty meals in starting a company called Madhurya, where she distributed vegan cakes, cookies and Indian gourmet sweets throughout Bogota.
At age 24, she was initiated into Bhakti yoga, a spiritual path of devotion to God, and received the name Jagannatha Priya dasi, which means she was the “servant of and dear to “the Lord of the Universe.”
Today, Juliana and Ekala still manage the Paramatma Animal Sanctuary.
Along with giving public talks in South America on animal protection, Juliana continues to develop her culinary skills as she visits different countries and is currently a student Australian born, Paul Rodney Turner, the “Food Yogi.”
Juliana has held regular gourmet vegan cooking courses in Colombia for the last 6 years and through her teaching, she also tries to instill in her students the importance of food in one’s spiritual development.
Juliana is now a certified animal reiki and aromatherapy healer and has been a student and practitioner of bhakti yoga for more than 26 years. She is currently the coordinator for FFL in South America and assistant to the director of Food For Life Global, the world’s largest vegan food relief.
 
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