Ancestral Rituals Heritage as Community-Based Tourism—Case of the Ecuadorian Andes

Angel Torres-Toukoumidis, Isidro Marín-Gutiérrez, Mónica Hinojosa-Becerra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research aims to describe aguacolla’s ancestral ritual in a local community in Ecuador, determining the use of ancestral medicine, the healing process, its sociological antecedents, diagnosis and treatments. A micro-ethnographic design was carried out in the local community with total involvement in the ritualistic process for 20 days, where, in addition to collecting data through participant observation and interviews, a video production of the ritual was generated. As a result, the involvement of religious and cultural syncretism in the ceremony, acceptance of the locals and strengthening of their identity by including symbolisms of the area, the different categories of ancestral medicine were analyzed: wachakhampiYachak for pregnant women and children, yurakhampiYachak for headaches and fever, KakuyampiYachak for bones and rikuyhampiYachak for supernatural diseases. Concluding, the healing experience produced by the “aguacolla” shows that in addition to the healing spectrum, there is also a touristic, historical and patrimonial repercussion in the ceremonies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12679
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by Internal funding call from 1st March 2019–1st March 2021 from Universidad Nacional de Loja. Name of the project: “Rituales ancestrales en Saraguro”.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • aguacolla
  • documentary
  • Ecuador
  • medicine
  • rituals
  • tourism


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