SACABA, Bolivia — Julia Flores Colque nonetheless sings with pleasure in her indigenous Quechua tongue and strums the 5 strings of a tiny Andean guitar generally known as the charango, regardless of a recorded age of just about 118 years. In her lengthy life, she has witnessed two world wars, revolutions in her native Bolivia and the transformation of her rural city of Sacaba from 3,000 individuals to a bustling metropolis of greater than 175,000 in 5 a long time.

Her nationwide identification card says Flores Colque was born on Oct. 26, 1900, in a mining camp within the Bolivian mountains. At 117 and simply over 10 months, she can be the oldest lady within the Andean nation and maybe the oldest dwelling individual on the planet.

However a spokeswoman for Guinness World Information says she’s not conscious of receiving any utility for her and Flores Colque does not appear to care that her document hasn’t been confirmed. She hasn’t even heard of the reference guide.

Lately, she enjoys the corporate of her canine, cats and rooster. She is lucid and energetic, and he or she loves a very good cake and singing folkloric songs in Quechua to anybody who comes to go to the dirt-floor adobe house she shares together with her 65-year-old grandniece.

Bolivia Centenarian

On this Aug. 23, 2018 photograph, 117-year-old Julia Flores Colque performs with “Chiquita,” one of many household pet canine, whereas sitting exterior her house in Sacaba, Bolivia. Flores Colque, who by no means married or had kids, enjoys the corporate of her canine, cats and rooster.


“For those who would have instructed me you have been coming, I would have remembered all of the songs,” she mentioned jokingly whereas taking part in the diminutive guitar. She then dipped a finger right into a cake, and smiled whereas she licked the frosting.

“She’s all the time been lively, easygoing and enjoyable,” mentioned the grandniece, Agustina Berna.

Rising up, the now-centenarian herded sheep and llamas within the Bolivian highlands till she moved in her teenage years to a valley, the place she started promoting fruit and veggies. The produce grew to become her foremost supply of sustenance, and he or she nonetheless maintains a nutritious diet although she does indulge within the occasional cake and glass of soda. She by no means married and has no kids.

The beforehand world’s oldest individual, a 117-year-old Japanese lady, died earlier this 12 months. Nabi Tajima was born on Aug. 4, 1900. Her passing apparently leaves Flores Colque because the world’s oldest dwelling individual.

Beginning certificates didn’t exist in Bolivia till 1940, and births beforehand have been registered with baptism certificates supplied by Roman Catholic monks. Flores Colque’s nationwide identification card, nevertheless, has been licensed by the Bolivian authorities.

Her longevity is placing in Bolivia, which nonetheless has considered one of South America’s highest ranges of mortality, in keeping with the Financial Fee for Latin America and the Caribbean, the U.N.’s regional arm.

The Sacaba mayor’s workplace has named Flores Colque a dwelling heritage. The workplace and a personal basis have improved her house, constructing a brick path the place she walks, and a bathe and bathroom with a railing so the centenarian can safely make her strategy to the lavatory at night time.

Sitting within the solar on a country bench, she appears everlasting or like an historical statue carved in stone. She is tough of listening to, however she stays sharp and scolds her smallest canine each time Blanquita tries to enterprise out into the road.

Just some years in the past, she nonetheless walked briskly. However then she fell and damage her again. The physician mentioned she would by no means stroll once more. She proved the physician unsuitable.

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