LA PAZ – Bolivian President Evo Morales presented on Sunday a public housing unit to 118-year-old Julia Flores, considered one of the longest-lived people in the world. She lives in the central part of the country.
The house is located in Sacaba, the city in central Cochabamba department where Flores lives, a woman affectionately called “Mama Julia” by those who know her.
Morales said he had asked the Cabinet minister to handle the donation “of a small dwelling” to Flores, who turns 119 on Oct. 26.
“By chance we were born on the same date, Oct. 26,” said the president, who on that day will turn 60.
“We’re donating a small home to Bolivia’s longest living sister, a small contribution,” Morales said.
Flores, born on Oct. 26, 1900, lives in Sacaba near Cochabamba city with a niece, since she no longer has any children.
On her birthday last year, it was proposed to Guinness World Records that she be recognized as the oldest woman on the planet.
The Gerontology Research Group (GRG) does not include the Bolivian on its list, which is topped by the Japanese woman Kane Tanaka, 116, out of a total of 33 people in the entire world over the age of 112.
Flores, who only speaks the Quechua language, is known in Bolivia and elsewhere for her good humor and is typically seen playing the charango, an Andean instrument similar to a small guitar, while surrounded by her cats and dogs.
The centenarian, though she loves soft drinks and candy, sticks to natural foods like potatoes, meat and corn, and normally enjoys very good health.
Morales asked the relatives of Flores to take care of her, since the woman “is a symbol of the family.”
“It’s important to know what she eats to make her live so long. Some in-depth research needs to be done,” the president said.
The dwelling she was given by the government was built as part of a state program to provide public housing units to the poor of the country, Morales said.
The program is basically conceived to help large families, above all single mothers with more than two children, he added.