Living in Ecuador’s ‘town with no kids’ is a choice for residents


La Cienega is a vanishing community in the southwest part of Ecuador known as “the town with no kids.” The 13 people who live there are between 60 and 100 years old.

The residents live on less than three dollars a day, raising goats, pigs and cattle.

The town’s population ranged from 300 to 500 people until 1974, when a severe drought drove away many of the young people.

The teachers left, and families followed them into the city, shrinking the town’s population.

Most of the 64 houses remaining are weathered structures on stilts.

Many of those who still live in the town could move to the city to be with their families, but instead they choose the quietness of rural life.

A quote on a tacky calendar hanging in the home of one of the La Cienega residents captures the essence of the town and its people: “Life is not the life you get to live, but the life you remember and the life you get to tell.”

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