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Friday, January 29th, 2016  |  USD: Buy 531.29 / Sell 543.92
20 years

123-year-old man found living in hut in Bolivia believed to be world’s oldest

By Juliana Barrera / VOXXI

A 123-year-old living in a hut in Bolivia is thought to be the oldest man ever recorded. Carmelo Flores Laura, a Bolivian cattle and sheep herder, was born in 1890 according to Bolivian public records.

Carmelo Flores Laura’s secret to longevity is simple, he says.

He avoids eating sugar and pasta, takes long walks and dines on skunk and fox meat.

“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,” Carmelo said “We only ate what we found in the wild, I’ve never been lazy – and I still go on long walks every day.”

The water Flores drinks originates on the snow-capped peak of Illampu, one of Bolivia’s highest. He says he doesn’t drink alcohol, but imbibed some in his youth. He’s eaten a lot of mutton, and though he likes pork it is hardly available.

His gums bulge with coca leaf, a mild stimulant that staves off hunger. Like most Bolivian highlands peasants, he has been chewing it all his life.

The native Aymara lives in a straw-roofed dirt-floor hut in an isolated hamlet near Lake Titicaca at 13,100 feet, is illiterate, speaks no Spanish and has no teeth.

Is Carmelo Flores Laura the world’s oldest man?

The father of three – who has 16 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren – was born on July 16, 1890, the civil registry reveals.

Birth certificates didn’t exist in Bolivia at the time of his birth but a document for his baptism states his date of birth. While Guinness World Records do not list Flores as the oldest man, the Bolivian government insists his 1890 birthdate is valid.

“For the state, the baptism certificate is valid,” said the director of Bolivia’s civil registrar, Eugenio Condori, adding that government birth certificates did not exist in Bolivia until 1940.

Currently, the oldest living person listed by Guinness World Records is Misao Okawa, a 115-year-old Japanese woman.


Originally published by VOXXI as “World’s oldest man, Carmelo Flores Laura discovered living in Bolivia

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  • mhogan

    If that’s his secret for longevity, what hope do Costa Ricans (or the rest of us) have — not lazy, take long walks?

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