SACABA, Bolivia – Julia Flores celebrated on Friday her 118th birthday, as she enjoyed salutations from Bolivian officials, gifts and a family party attended by those who wish Guinness to recognize her as the oldest woman on the planet.
Born on Oct. 26, 1900, the woman known as Mama Julia resides in Sacaba, near the central city of Cochabamba, with her grand-niece Agustina Berna.
The Sacaba town government prepared a party for Mama Julia on Friday morning, which included a band and a birthday cake with her photograph.
“She is a message of life in our town. She is the oldest woman in the world and we are proud to celebrate her birthday,” town administrator Juan Carvajal told EFE.
Carvajal said that the town government is working with Mama Julia’s family to nominate her for a Guinness world record.
“The town’s people have urged us to nominate her as the eldest woman after we comply with the requirements that Guinness demands,” he said.
Mama Julia’s home was filled with her family and friends, and even the governor of Potosi province, Juan Carlos Cejas, attended the party to personally congratulate her and offer his support.
The previous holder of the record as the world’s oldest woman, Japan’s Nabi Tajima, died in April at the age of 117, according to the Gerontology Research Group (GRG), which maintains a data base of centenarians.
Mama Julia is not on the list kept by the GRG, according to which there are currently 36 people in the world that are older than 112, of whom 34 are women.