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September 4, 2018 | Latin America & Caribbean

Almost 118 Years Old: Bolivian Woman Is Probably The Oldest Person In The World

Almost 118 Years Old: Bolivian Woman Is Probably The Oldest Person In The World

The South American Julia Flores Colque has lived through the entire 20th century, she was born in 1900 and will celebrate her 118th birthday on the 26th of October. This makes the Bolivian a record holder. But that does not seem to interest her.

Colque lives in Sacaba, one of the fastest growing cities in her homeland. When she moved there about 50 years ago, about 3,000 people were living in the village, now Sacaba has over 175,000 inhabitants.

The 117-year-old is a member of a Quechua people and grew up in the mountains of Bolivia, where she protected sheep and lamas. Later, she moved to the valley and started selling fruits and vegetables. She has since kept a healthy diet, which she rarely interrupts for a piece of cake or a glass of lemonade. She never married and does not have any children. Pets keep Colque busy.

In the identity card of Julia Flores Colque her date of birth is 26 October 1900, although birth certificates were not introduced in Bolivia until 1940, baptismal certificates provided information about the age of the Bolivian inhabitants. This makes Julia Flores Colque the oldest known person in the world.

But that does not boarder...as a spokeswoman for "Guinness World Records" told Associated Press, the Bolivian did not apply for an official record entry and probably does not intend to so. According to the news agency she has even no idea whatsoever about the Guinness Book of world records.

In her 117 years on earth, Julia Flores Colque has witnessed two world wars and several revolutions in her homeland. Her old age is particularly astonishing, as Bolivia is considered the poorest country in South America and life expectancy is currently 70 years.

Up till today, the 117-year-old still plays the folkloric Quechua music.

Today, the Bolivian lives with her 65-year-old grandniece, several cats, dogs and a rooster. She likes to sing Quechua songs and plays the Charango, a small traditional plucked instrument. To ensure that she can live so easily for a long time, the administrative office of her town, Sacabas has ensured that her home is appropriately taken care of.

The former record holder of the title "oldest human in the world", Tajima Nabi, died in April this year. The Japanese girl was born on August 4, 1900 and became 117 years old.

Francis Tawiah (Duisburg - Germany)

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