The following is a self-written biography by Ecuadorian Shaman Santiago Ayala.

 

Spanish Version

I close my eyes and travel to the Ecuadorian Amazon of my childhood. I remember the majestic rivers, the exuberance of the forest, remember feather crowned men, women and children tattooed with ancient symbols. It is the Ecuador of the seventies of the last century when life vibrated and everything was harmony.

I have seen the oil companies in the Jungle and with them the dramatic change of the environment from year to year. I am a witness of the life and death of the garden of origin.

I grew up among the original villages of Secoya, Siona, Cofan, Quichua and Huaorani. So many memories, so many sounds, and so many rumors.

The jungle lulled me in my nights and the rivers were my friends in the days. Ceremonies, marriages and indigenous festivities are part of my memories.

And it was there and only there that the spirit of the forest tattooed my heart forever. It marked my destiny and my return to the source of life in my adulthood. The memory of the horse of thunder in a night of lightning and wind echo every day of my life within my heart.

I lost my way in my youth. The night, the city, they nearly took my life. I became gravely ill with shame and frustration. I know the darkness and its most secret corners, full of demons and shadows that feed on the human soul.

My teacher and friend Celso Fiallos -shaman of La Calera Cotacachi- saved my life and reminded me of the reason behind my existence. Suddenly I found myself on the way back home to my mother earth's house.

Thus I finally surrendered my heart to the service of life and took responsibility of my destiny.

Several teachers have crossed my path, each one of them marking my soul with various aspects of endless "teachings and teachings".

At the age of 30, in the midst of a storm in the high Andes, lightning struck me, and I woke up in another reality. Thus I am a dreamer of thunder and lightning, guardian of the sacred pipe, vision seeker, dancer of the sun and pampamisayoq of the lineage of the Children of the Sun; medicine man of the Sacred Fire of my ancestors.

I carry a message of peace and dignity for all the villages, with the conscience that we are one with Mother Earth, we depend on her and for that reason we must take care of her and respect her for the future Generations.

I walk with responsibility, I walk with a heart, celebrating life in all its forms. I pray for all my relationships, I pray for LIFE, I dance and sing with her. She is my best friend, my faithful and flourished companion.

Mother Earth, how much I love you.

 

Spanish Version

Cierro mis ojos y viajo a la Amazonia ecuatoriana de mi niñez. Recuerdo los majestuosos ríos, la exuberancia del bosque, recuerdo a los hombres coronados de plumas, a las mujeres y niños tatuados con símbolos ancestrales. Es el Ecuador de los setentas del siglo pasado, cuando la vida vibraba y todo era armonía.

He visto entrar a las petroleras a la Selva y con ellas el dramático cambio del ambiente año a año. Soy testigo de la vida y la muerte del jardín del origen.

Crecí entre los pueblos originales Secoya, Siona, Cofán, Quichua y Huaorani. Tantos y tantos recuerdos, tantos sonidos y tantos rumores.

La selva me arrulló en mis noches y los ríos fueron mis amigos en los días. Ceremonias, matrimonios y festividades indígenas acompañan mis memorias.

Y fue ahí y sólo ahí donde el espíritu del bosque me tatuó el corazón para siempre. Marcó mi destino y mi regreso a la fuente de la vida en mi edad adulta. La memoria del caballo del trueno en una noche de relámpagos y viento hacen eco cada día de mi vida dentro de mi corazón.

Perdí el camino en mi juventud. La noche, la ciudad casi me quitan la vida. Enferme gravemente de pena y frustración. Conozco la oscuridad y sus más secretos rincones, poblados de demonios y sombras que se alimentan del alma humana.

Mi maestro y amigo Celso Fiallos -chamán de La Calera Cotacachi- me salvó la vida y me recordó la razón de mi existencia. Me encontré de pronto en el camino de vuelta casa, a la casa de mi Madre Tierra.

Así finalmente entregue mi corazón al servicio de la vida y tome responsabilidad con mi destino.

Varios maestros han cruzado en mi camino, cada uno marcando mi alma con aspectos diversos “enseñanzas y enseñanzas” sin fin.

A la edad de 30 años, en medio de una tormenta en los altos andes, el rayo cayó sobre mí, y desperté en otra realidad. Así soy un soñador del trueno, del rayo y del relámpago, guardián de la pipa sagrada, buscador de visión, danzante del sol y pampamisayoc del linaje de los Hijos del Sol; hombre medicina del Fuego Sagrado de mis ancestros.

I carry a message of peace and dignity for all peoples, with the awareness that we are one with Mother Earth, we depend on it and that is why we must take care of it and respect it for future generations.

I walk with responsibility, I walk with my heart, celebrating life and life in all its forms. I pray for all my relationships, I pray for LIFE, I dance and sing with her. She is my best friend, my faithful and flowered companion.

Pachamamita how much I love you.