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Ecuador nuns go public for first time in 150 years - and 1,500 people sign up for tours

Published on Aug 31, 2014 12:15 AM

QUITO (AFP) - A group of Ecuadoran nuns opened the doors of their convent to the outside world on Saturday - a first since the order arrived in the South American country 150 years ago.

The nuns of the Mothers of Augustine were expelled from Colombia in 1864 and subsequently settled in the centre of Quito, where they have lived a secluded lifestyle ever since.

Currently, only seven nuns - two of them octogenarians - live in the cloister surrounded by thick white walls and accessible by way of heavy wooden doors.

Now, at long last, they decided to give the public a glimpse to mark the 150th anniversary of their arrival in the Ecuadoran capital.

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