The 123-year-old man discovered in Bolivia has been accepted by Guinness World Records as the oldest man in the world.
His name is Carmelo Flores Laura, and he lives in a hut in the village of Frasquia, near Lake Titicaca. Although he can walk unaided and doesn’t wear glasses, he cannot speak Spanish, is illiterate, and has no teeth.
He told the Associated Press, “I see a bit dimly. I had good vision before. But I saw you coming.”
While talking to a reporter, he chewed on coca leaves; like most peasants in the highlands of Boliva, he has been chewing this all his life. Coca is known to act as a stimulant and hunger suppressant.
Guinness World Records says the oldest living person who can prove her birth date is Misao Okawa, a 115-year-old Japanese woman. Jeanne Calment of France, who died in 1997 was able to prove that her age was 122 years and 164 days.
Eugenio Condori, the director of Bolivia’s civil registrar, showed The Associated Press the registry that lists Flores’ birth date as July 16, 1890. But he also said that birth certificates did not exist in Bolivia until 1940.
Prior to that date, births were registered with baptism certificates provided by Roman Catholic priests. “For the state, the baptism certificate is valid,” Condori said.
How does Flores explain the reasons for his long life?
He says, “I walk a lot, that’s all. I go out with the animals … I don’t eat noodles or rice, only barley. I used to grow potatoes, beans.”
Nowadays he only drinks water, but he did drink alcohol in his youth. He eats a lot of mutton, but prefers pork: he remembers hunting and eating fox as a young man.
Edwin Flores lives next door to his grandfather together with his wife and their two children. He says his grandfather worked on a ranch until 1952.
In Frasquia nearly everyone is elderly or middle-aged. There are few young people. What constitutes ‘elderly’? Ask the 123 year-old-man; he knows the secret.
Photo Credit: Yahoo.com