Welcome to Reserva Ecológica Cotacachi-Cayapas
The lower reaches of the reserve are home to the indigenous Chachi, famous for their basketwork which you might be able to purchase directly from artisans. About 5000 Chachi remain, mostly fishers and subsistence farmers, living in open-sided, thatched river houses on stilts. Over the last few decades, the Chachi have been swept by an epidemic of river blindness that’s carried by black flies, which are particularly prevalent in April and May. Vaccination efforts have stymied the disease locally, but to protect yourself, use insect repellent and take malaria medication.