The term Khashtalo in Romani language refers to "wood carvers" . The Khashtalo community are a forest community  and reside in Hetea forest in Rumania between water streams for generations now. The streams and the forest are also their source of livelihoods and survival  . Sometimes the community sells forest fruits and wild vegetables to neighbours in the town .
Khashtalo are the descendants of former monastery slaves or church owned slaves that went through a process of assimilation with Roma community and as a social status group. Following their official freedom as slaves, the community returned to their traditional way of life and started to live in forests where they crafted and collected wild forest fruits and vegetables .
Many of the Khashtalo do not identify themselves as Roma  . The story of the Khashtalo is documented also in Victor Hugos novel The Hunchback of the Notre-Dame, as the character of Esmeralda was one of the Khashtalo community member, lived in the church .
In Hetea, Khashtalo are viewed by majority of non-Roma culture as a group that "lacks environmental awareness" while simultaneously being "dissociated from any timeless connections to land" but the Khashtalo community lives in the forest, collects woods, mushrooms and berries. Local non-Khashtalo and non-Roma communities alleged that because of Khashtalo environmental landscape aesthetics of the forest they live in is poorly managed .
Khashtalo are discriminated by their Romanian government and neighbours, and often blamed for unsustainable forest use just because they are considered Roma   . Romanians exclude them because based on prejudices and hard hate speech towards Khashtalo.  .
Apart from being racially discriminated, the community has not running water system, sewage, and is using open wells for drinking water, as they are not recognised by the government as Romanian citizens . (See less)