February 25, 2006

Secret to a Long Life? Chew Coca Leaves!

Original: Ana Briceño, Trome, 25/02/06.
Link to original Spanish article here.

107 Year Old Granny Happy Chewing Coca Leaves

How many of us would like to have her vitality?

Rebeca Rua Alva, a grandmother originally from Ayacucho, celebrated her 107th birthday yesterday, blowing out the candles on a cake given to her by family members.

She may be the oldest living person in Peru, and according to her, the secret to a long life lies in a healthy diet and chewing coca leaves in the traditional Andean manner.

"For breakfast she eats boiled lima beans, quinoa grain, and she drinks kiwicha (Andean amaranth) with milk. Then she chews her coca leaves so she doesn't fall asleep. My mother doesn't suffer from either high cholesterol nor diabetes," commented her daughter Eulogia Rojas.

The mamai as the grandmother is referred to affectionately, only speaks Quechua and lives in the San Martin de Porras district of Lima. She is a mother of 14 children and had her last two children at the age of 51.

During the years of the Sendero Luminoso terrorism, Rebeca Rua lived in Vilcahuamán, in the Department of Ayacucho.

"During that time, I had to pretend that I was deaf and mute, so that the terrorists wouldn't do anything to me, and by the same token, I had to tell the military forces that my son was in the Army so that they wouldn't do anything to me either," the grandmother commented in Quechua.




Anonymous said...

Good little story. Wonder if there is any other 100 year olds who can boast fourteen kids?
Long live coca and women!

Anonymous said...

It can be discussed infinitely..