At 110, Elpidio Wants to Keep Going

At 110, Elpidio Wants to Keep GoingGuantánamo, Cuba, Nov 25. -At 110, Elpidio Ramírez Londres, a Cuban of Chinese descent, says the secret of longevity is physical work.

Elpidio, who lives in the eastern city of Guantánamo, has many descendants: along with 15 children and 79 grandchildren, he has 141 great grandchildren, dozens of great-great grandchildren, and six "choznos", grandchildren of the great-grandchildren, reports Granma newspaper.

At his advanced age, Elpidio enjoys a healthy memory, is able to walk with the help of a cane, and needs no help to eat or bathe, though he is hard of hearing due to a traffic accident.

In an interview with Granma, the aged Cuban holds that "physical work strengthens people's muscles and the mind. I worked for many years in the countryside, then as a grocer, and for over four decades as an operator in a sawmill."

Elpidio believes that not only physical work, but also a balanced diet combining meats, vegetables and fruits, contributes to a long life.

"Of course, having good company, for mutually taking care of each other, helps too."

Born on November 16th, 1900, in Veguita del Sur, which is now Imías municipality, Elpidio says he feels like he can keep going, "as I am still in the mood to recite poems for the ladies."

His wife was wonderful, he recalls for Granma. "Her name was Petronila Martínez Aranda; she was a midwife and lived 88 years. We had 15 children. She's unforgettable. Every morning I kiss her portrait".

He inherited his Chinese traits from his father, the son of a Chinese immigrant, he says. "From him, I learned the secrets of running a grocery store and living in the countryside."

Elpidio is one of 80 centenarians who live in Guantánamo province, though with the privilege of having lived in three different centuries. (Prensa Latina)