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My name is Shyamsunder Tripathi. I am here with my wife Pramila for one month visiting this beautiful country and assessing if I’d like to retire here. What we’d like to do is give back to society and so apart from teaching English to local children in Cotacachi we are also visiting to different places in the community.

Through Micky Enright, another guest here at El Meson, and Doctor Vaca we were able to visit the local nursing home for the elderly. In Cotacachi, people, well especially the women, seem to be very long-lived. Many of the residents at the home are more than 90 years old. They are looked after by a group of nuns who work voluntarily and apart from a small monthly pension that the residents pay every month the rest of the costs are met from donations by the local Cotacacheñans.

As you can see from the pictures below the home is virtually spotless and most of the residents are in good spirits. They do some manual chores to stay dextrous and are checked weekly by Doctor Vaca. His visits are a special pleasure for all the residents as apart from being a GP he also is a natural entertainer. He whirls the more able ladies out of their chairs for a quick twirl on the lounge floor which serves as the dance floor and when we visited he and his teenage daughter sang ‘La Bamba’.

We took some large colorful dolls for the residents, many who have outlived all their relatives or have lost touch with their children. The big surprise is to see such a well run home in a so-called ‘third world’ country.

Enjoy the photos:-