Life is a journey moving you along many paths of discovery.
Five years ago I decided to retire in Cotacachi, Ecuador. I had been to Ecuador in the past but never gave a thought to it being my future home. My family was raised; I was blessed with many grandchildren and my career of 30 years as a Realtor in Florida had come to an end.
It was time for me at age 74 to think about retirement. I decided to move to Cotacachi, Ecuador, enjoy the mountains and live in a small town of about 6,000 people.
The Universe, or whatever you want to call it, had other plans for me and retirement was not in the picture.
I made a decision to get involved in humanitarian work. An Indigenous pre-school for children under the age of 5 was in very bad condition and that was the beginning of this new adventure.
The school has been totally updated and now is a safe environment for these little ones. I still stop to visit and bring books or school supplies.
Over one year ago I met a younger woman, Lulie, who was also seeking to help less fortunate people. We talked about the poor elderly, some living on the street and begging for food. We wondered what had happened to these people to be living this way.
We became aware of Unorcac/Jambi, an organization of Indigenous who had built a large building to help their people and to empower women. This was the birth of Hatu Mikui soup kitchen, one year ago to feed the poor elderly.
We moved to a temporary location last February, and are actively raising funds to add a large kitchen, enclose the carport, make some changes to return to the Unorcac/Jambi location. At our temporary location, we are able to feed the elderly in the room where the church services are held.
The Missionary in charge of this building dedicates his time in helping us when he is available. We are serving close to 40 people breakfast on Monday to Friday, and at least 10 carry out bags are delivered to people who cannot make the walk to come for breakfast.
A wonderful staff of volunteers generously serves these people and receives much love in return. We have two Ecuadorian women that receive a small salary and also breakfast, as they are the younger poor. They help the volunteers, do clean up and assist in any way possible so the daily jobs get done.
So many sad stories are translated to me and it is amazing how breakfast, a hug and attention do miracles in their lives. Breakfast is their social time to be recognized as human beings and to be treated with dignity.
On Wednesdays after breakfast, as many as 5 people are taken to our wonderful acupuncture doctor for treatment. Spinal problems are frequent, due to their hard lives and carrying heavy loads on their backs over the years. He also does chiropractic adjustments.
By October we plan to have a room to be used for medical treatment by 2 volunteer doctors one morning a week. One doctor is allopathic and the other is holistic, working together for our elderly.
Thursday mornings are a new adventure. A kind couple donated enough funds to purchase 18 Indigenous outfits. We have hot showers and a change of clothes. This additional service has been in existence just for a few weeks and so far 7 women and 1 man have participated. Luckily we had an outfit for the man!
Not all people for breakfast are Indigenous, and the rest are Ecuadorians who have been forgotten by their families.
The number of people we can help is increasing and so much joy is shared. A friend is handling the laundry and they get their clothes returned clean and ready to wear. We are always collecting clothing so we can offer a change.
Our goal is to have a shelter with a kitchen, sleeping area, medical attention and to grow our own food. Unorcac/Jambi will donate the land – but not the funds to build. Perhaps this will get your attention or you know of an organization that would love to be involved with this project.
To be Happy in Life – service to others is a requirement. The rewards are way beyond any expectations. You can serve humanity wherever you live. I have just celebrated my 79th birthday – if I can do it – so can you.
Just step out of your comfort zone and see where it takes you.
– Micky Enright
PS: All donations are applied directly to the project. No administrative fees or salaries are taken from your contributions. So you are assured your donations reach those in need of help.
For these less fortunate people even a small contribution makes a big difference in how they experience day to day life.