Happy birthday, Casilda Benegas-Gallego. The Paraguayan-born Argentine supercentenarian celebrates her 115th birthday on Friday (April 8). According to the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group (GRG), Benegas-Gallego, pictured below on her birthday in 2021, is the oldest living Latine in the world.
Born Casilda Ramona Benegas de Gallego in Trinidad, Itapua, Paraguay, on April 8, 1907, Benegas-Gallego was a stay-at-home mother who raised two children. She married Benigno Gallego Cuenya in Trinidad, Paraguay.
Benegas-Gallego moved to Argentina in 1945 where she lived for 55 years. She then emigrated to Spain in 2000 at the age of 93. At the age of 106, she moved back to Mar del Plata, a resort city on the Atlantic coast of Argentina, where she currently lives today.
On December 10, 2020, Benegas-Gallego contracted COVID-19. Less than two weeks later, she had fully recovered. She was vaccinated in early 2021.
“She was always a very happy woman,” her great-granddaughter Mayra told La Capital last year. “I never saw her angry. It is not that she maintains a strict and healthy diet, she always ate and drank what she wanted. She has an iron stomach that not even coronavirus could rip out of her.”
The only other living Latine who is currently at the supercentenarian mark is 114-year-old Sofia Rojas from Colombia. She will turn 115 on August 13, 2022. According to the GRG, the oldest Latine to ever live was Francisca Celsa dos Santos from Brazil. She was 116 years old when she died on October 5, 2021, a little more than two weeks before her 117th birthday.