Community Development through Trade
- The Forest Gyspies... Khashtalo -
The Forest Gypsies (Khashtalo) are found living between the stream (their water source) and forest (their gardens). While Europeans cultivated the valleys the marginalized Roma harvested the forests where they scavenged their daily meal and incomeThe sad - lonely Forest Gypsies - known in Roma society as "Khashtalo" - linger at the very bottom of Roma hierarchy.
Visiting the Forest Gypsies of Hetea is a virtual journey back in time... It’s a horse and wagon community, where automobiles do not come, Where water is hauled out of a single well shared by all and their daily meal comes from the blessings of Mother Nature. While Europeans cultivated the valleys, the Gypsies freely gather their needs from the backyard forests. The wild, dark and mysterious forests act as their gardens. They gather mushrooms, berries and wild greens that are sold or bartered in the village and city markets.
Their archaic culture is a combination of antiquated Romanian traditions and marginalize life of the forest.
Tzigania Project and the Forest Gypsies of Hetea invite YOU into the community of outcaste to meet the families and break bread (the Khashtalo bread" Koka" ). Learn about the life directly from the source (the people) and experience this rare view inside the community where outsiders don't come .
Mushrooms: the hidden-away Khashtalo have been harvesting the
forest for centiries. Like forest gnomes they know the dark, mysterious
forest like the back of their hands...
Learn mushroom collecting from the people who survive scavanging the forest for a 1000 years
Forest Health Benefits (interesting article) - Forest Bathing
Tzigania Project offer various choices designed to meet the budget and interest of everyone
"universal affordability is our mission"
Our Various Options
with the Experts
|Community / Family |
|Gypsy Folk Music||The Trades: |
Workshop program in development
MUSHROOM COLLECTING with the EXPERTS
Day Out With the Forest Gypsies (Khashtale wagon ride)
Time Duration 2-3 hours
unique authentic experiece of a day with the Forest Gypsies (a slice of
real life - Khashtalo style) … Wagon ride with Forest Gypsy family
Vasile and Donna
into the forest collecting mushroom (and other eatable / sellable
produce). Sense the serenity of the sacred forest that is both
pristine and frightfully dangerous (the Forest Gypsies back yard)…
Khshtalo of Hetea is more than just mushrooms. Learn first hand the
styles and customes of these severely marginalized people
Visit includes humble guide ChuckTodaro offering objective insight to Khashtale and Roma culture...
making the most of your time
Budgeted Family / Community Visit With the Forest Gypsies (Khashtale) inlcudes wagon ride
Time Duration 1-2 hours
Day begins with a wagon ride along the long lonely road to the community... ride into the community... See the life: architecture, style and decor, occupations, severe poverty (reality) from inside. Then to the hillside home of host family Vasile and Donna for a sit down chat and the making of some freshly made "koka" (Gypsy bread) and (if a available) taste of some freshly picked mushrooms made by the Gypsies in Gypsy style... Mmmmmm – so good....
Include your humble guide ChuckTodaro offering objective insight to Khashtale and Roma culture...
Family / Community Visit Additional Option
"making the most of your time"
Contact us with ANY questions
(+40) 758 55 66 70
|Our Location and Directions|
Village Valcele county Covasna. |
25 km east of Brasov
(Brasov – villages SanPetru – Bod - Araci – Valcele – Sf Gheorghe (11 km west of city Sf Gheorghe)
departing from BRASOV|
Bus to Valcele departs at bus station at Brasov “gara de north” (main train station). Bus departs Mon-Fri: 7:30 AM / 4 PM / 7:30 PM. Sat and Sun: 7:30 / 4 PM (40 minutes – 6 lei). Step down at Valcele (last stop).
Continue along the main road in the direction of the bus, pass the village center, then up the hill, pass a church on your left, followed by communal well (on left). About 20 meters after the well is a small bridge. Take the left hand turn just before the bridge and follow the stream… We are the 1st house on the right. Cross at the iron bridge
BUS from BRASOV via SF. GHEORGHE
At Brasov “gara de north” (main train station): On left hand side facing the train station is a single bus stop to Sf. Gheorghe. Bus departs every half hour.. (30 minutes: 10 lei)Bus from Sf, Gheorghe to Valcele departs 1 PM and 4 PM. Bus can be met at the main bus terminal (near train station) and city center bus stop (in front of park. In front of row of flower shops)