This 117-Year-Old Quechua Woman Might Be the World’s Oldest Person

Lead Photo: Photo by smolaw11 / iStock / Getty Images Plus
Photo by smolaw11 / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Julia Flores Colque’s name may not appear in the Guinness World Records, but at almost 118 years old, it certainly should be. Flores, an Indigenous woman from Bolivia, is likely the oldest living person in the world.

Born on October 26, 1900, she has seen her country change through revolutions and two world wars. She’s also seen her town, Sacaba, grow from 3,000 people to 175,000, according to the Associated Press. Nabi Tajima, the previous oldest person in the world, died recently, so it’s thought that Julia now holds this title. But for Flores, who hadn’t heard of the Guinness reference book, this isn’t a concern.

Instead, Julia is more interested in living her life to the fullest, hanging out with her dogs, cats, and roosters, eating cake, and singing folkloric songs in Quechua. “If you would have told me you were coming, I’d have remembered all the songs,” she told the wire as she played the charango.

While she didn’t provide hypotheses about why she’s lived such a long life, Julia did say that she eats healthy – mostly fruits and vegetables – and she only occasionally has a glass of soda and cake. She also never married or had children.

A few years ago, she fell, hurting her back. Doctors told her she would never walk again, but she proved them wrong. She now lives in Sacaba with her 65-year-old grandniece, and the local government has made improvements to their home.