It’s snack time and a social worker brings five servings of yogurt with a side of bread and cream cheese into the television room where a group of elderly ladies are watching a Colombian soap opera called La Nocturna.
Other participants in this Círculo de Abuelos (Grandparents’ Circle) at Nuestra Señora de la Merced church in Old Havana stop their games of dominoes or pause from reading the newspapers to get their cups of yogurt. After their snack, many sit in rocking chairs catching the breeze that comes in from the balcony or go back to their board games.
Such círculos, or adult daycare programs, are part of the government’s response to an unprecedented demographic shift: the graying of the Cuban population. By 2025, the percentage of Cubans over age 60 is expected to grow to 30 percent. Already 20.1 percent of the Cuban population is over 60, making Cuba the oldest country in the Americas.
Read more from our news partner, The Miami Herald.