The Tsachila Indians
During your stay at Arasha, you will have the unique experience of meeting the Tsachila Indians from Santo Domingo de los Colorados. The Tsachilas are survivors, having battled plagues and diseases brought by the Europeans to the Americas. Their population was almost exterminated by small pox, a sickness for which indigenous peoples from the "new world" had no antibodies. However, this pre-Hispanic culture managed to survive diseases and a cultural clash and still resides in the Western part of the Pichincha Province in Ecuador. Their home is a tropical cloud forest area crossed by several rivers.
The Tsachilas are also called "Colorados" (reds) because the men of this culture have painted their hair red for centuries, with a vegetable dye taken from the seed of the "achiote". Originally both Tsachila men and women wore long hair. After the small pox plague, men cut their hair short with a mineral rock called obsidian and then dyed it red as a symbol of life which is still the tradition to this day.
We will receive an energy "cleansing" by a Tsachila Shaman who believes in the spiritual powers of his natural surroundings. The Shaman will "clean" both your body and spirit mixing the power of medicinal plants, tobacco, and alcohol in order to invoke the spirits of the forest. You will leave this ceremony feeling a sense of renewal.