Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
The world’s oldest man – who turned 113 yesterday (27th May) – says the secret to his long life is a daily glass of sugarcane liquor.
Venezuelan Juan Vicente Mora was declared the planet’s oldest man by Guinness World Records on 17th May.
Mora has 41 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and 12 great-great-grandchildren.
He said that as well as starting every day with a cup of coffee, he also drinks a daily glass of strong aguardiente – a liquor made from sugarcane.
The booze – which translates into English as firewater – has a minimum of 29 per cent alcohol and some brews go up to 60 per cent.
Dr Henrique Bujan – of a clinic in San Jose de Bolivar in the Venezuelan state of Tachira – confirmed that apart from slightly high blood pressure and age-related hearing problems, Mora really is in excellent health and does not need any medication.
Dr Bujan said: “He looks totally fine.”
And family friend Juan Rojas confirmed that “he is lucid”.
Mora – the ninth of 10 siblings – was born to dad Eutiquio del Rosario Perez and mum Edelmira Mora in El Cobre, Tachira on 27th May 1909.
He moved with his family to the village of Los Pajuiles in San Jose de Bolivar in 1914.
He only attended school for five months but fortunately learnt the basics of reading and writing thanks to a notebook given to him by his teacher.
Hailing from a family of farmers who planted coffee and sugar cane, he enjoyed a long, successful career as a farmer himself and sold his last remaining plot of land aged 104.
Alongside his career in agriculture, he started working as a sheriff aged 34 and would solve land or personal disputes within the community.
Mora, a devout Christian, met Ediofina del Rosario Garcia after weekly Catholic mass and the pair married in 1937.
They went on to have 11 children together before her death in 1997 – a year that he says was one of the hardest in his life.
His daughter Nelida Perez said: “The most beautiful thing is to see him full of health every day.
“He does not have any disease that requires medical attention, or medicine or anything.”
Mora – Venezuela’s first known male supercentenarian – says his secret to a long life is to “work hard, rest on holidays, go to bed early, drink a glass of aguardiente every day, love God, and always carry him in your heart”.