LA PAZ – The oldest woman in Bolivia, and perhaps the world, celebrated her 118th birthday on Friday.
Julia Flores – better known as Mama Julia was born on October 26, 1900 in the town of Japo in the north of the department of Potosi. She now lives in Sacaba, 18 kilometers from the city of Cochabamba, with her grandniece Agustina Berna and Berna’s children.
Saludamos a nuestra abuelita Julia Flores Colque, conocida como Mamá Julia, que hoy cumple 118 años en Sacaba, #Cochabamba. Junto a nuestro abuelo Carmelo Flores, que nos dejó a sus 123 años, han sido las personas más longevas y queridas de #Bolivia. ¡Muchas felicidades! pic.twitter.com/kVVgtFSEAN
— Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) October 27, 2018
Dressed in traditional Quechua clothes, complete with white sombrero, Flores played the charango — a type of Andean lute — at her party and tucked into a birthday cake.
The local mayor presented her with a birth certificate that it’s hoped will help get her feat of longevity recognised by the Guinness book of records.
"Mamá Julia" cumplió 118 años y lo celebró tocando el charango
Julia Flores Colque, nacida el 26 de octubre de 1900 en la región minera de Potosí, festejó su cumpleaños junto a su familia, vecinos y autoridades de Sacaba, poblado de los valles de Cochabamba. pic.twitter.com/wAQrjF5kSs
— LOS ANDES (@LosAndesDiario) October 26, 2018
In a country where the average life expectancy is 71, Flores is an exception to the rule.
If her age was officially recognized, she would be the oldest living person and third oldest of all time, but she hasn’t been confirmed by the Guinness Book of Records.
The oldest ever person, as recorded by Guinness, was Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who was 122 years, 164 days when she died in 1997.