Upon arriving in this populous part of Laos, one comes into contact with several ethnic groups: lowland Lao, Thai dam, some small groups of Mon-Khmers, and several Vietnamese and Chinese communities, who have been present in this region for a long time.

In Savannakhet, in the provincial capital, the Sisters of Charity open the doors of the Mary Immaculate Institute every morning, which fills up with kindergarten and elementary school children within minutes.

It was the children, in their traditional, colorful dresses with elaborate lace inlays, who welcomed the Superior General and the two Councilors.

The welcoming ceremonies, in Laos, are characterized by kindness and peace and convey a great sense of respect. They also result from a deep religiosity.

The Mary Immaculate Institute is a joy for the eyes, mind and body. Children, teens, teachers, and nuns live part of their day in a well-maintained educational environment, full of stimulation and educational opportunities, including religious ones.