What Do You Say to a Yachak?

It's said that before a Yachak is born, the fetus cries in the womb.

Yachaks are shamans here in Ecuador… healers.  And, last Friday, as part of our Travel Photography Expedition, we set out to meet four of them.

I wrote about a Shamanic Spa treatment here in Cotacachi earlier this year.  See The Egg and Cigarette Spa Treatment.

But this was no spa treatment.

These Yachaks (different from traditional Shamans in both their name and location) are friends of our host here, Steve Marchant.  So they agreed to take us in and teach us about their culture.

The fetus kicks a lot and cries in the womb, they told us, because the baby is already far more advanced than normal.  It wants out.  And usually, once the baby is born, it's instantly clear that they'll advance faster than most.  It's said that by age 4, a real Yachak can identify over 50 different kinds of plants by smell alone… an important skill since Yachaks train mostly in healing energies and medicinal plants.

The thing I like best about Ecuador is how open the people are to sharing their cultural beliefs and customs with outsiders.

I told you last week that we were invited into a local nursery school where the kids sang us a song they'd been practicing since they heard we were coming.

"We want them to learn that they shouldn't fear other cultures," the teacher told us.  "Maybe, we can teach you about our culture and you can teach us about yours."

It's the same here with the Yachaks.  "They might be offended if you DON'T ask questions," Steve told us.

And I like that.  Everyone here on this workshop liked that.  And I think we all agree that what you read about Ecuadorians is true -- they really are among the nicest people on Earth.

Here are a couple pictures from our trip to see the Yachaks…

-- Lori

Lori Allen
Director, Great Escape Publishing

P.S.  I'm shooting with a new camera on this trip because I've finally decided to upgrade my equipment.  If you need camera buying advice, we have a free report online, here, that can help.

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