Blind with diabetes, 75-year-old Don Jesus Alipio Moran thanked “life and God” for allowing him to get up every morning with the energy to look for his daily bread by singing old fashioned Spanish songs like “Carino Verdad” in the Alameda Central, a park in Mexico City’s historic center.

robot“I get up very early to get my insulin injection that they give me in the Social Protection System for Health program and then I have breakfast, get ready and take the bus to work,” the elderly man told Xinhua.
Without support from family members, Don Jesus makes his living by singing with a microphone and a small amplifier that he still has to finish paying off.

He lives in a small room that he has been renting on the outskirts of the Mexico City since his children threw him out of the house.

Mexico has 122 million people and according to National Population Council (CONAPO)’s study for 2010-2050, the number will reach 150.8 million and life expectancy in the country will be 79.42 years by 2050.

Don Jesus is just one of the 10.5 million senior citizens (people at 60 and beyond) in Mexico. And trend shows that by 2030 there will be more elderly people than young people under 18, according to official statistics.
However, living longer brings many difficulties to senior citizens in a society that is not well-prepared for aging. In Mexico, 3.5 million people aged 65 or above live in poverty, and of those, 800,000 are living in extreme poverty, according to official statistics.

Poverty, social exclusion, marginalization and the lack of family support have become serious problems for many senior citizens in Mexico, especially those who were cut out from their families like Don Jesus.
Seven years ago Don Jesus lost his sight because of diabetes and then his children threw him out of the house one day because they saw him dancing at a party, the senior citizen said.

Don Jesus saw some bad times after that but one day he decided to sing in the metro and on buses. Now he only performs in public squares as it is getting harder for him to walk and nobody squashes him in the open spaces.
With the money he earned at young, Don Jesus bought the house that his wife and children now live in but he never had any type of social insurance.

For over a decade, elderly people over the age of 68 in Mexico City have been receiving a monthly food allowance of 934 Mexican pesos (59 U.S. dollars). However, more and more senior citizens can not get this kind of help due to the rapid increase of senior citizens in the country.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development headquartered in Paris, senior citizens in Mexico live the poorest life among all its members, and only one third of Mexican old population is covered by the social insurance system. Enditem


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