According to his Chilean ID card, Celino Villanueva Jaramillo is the world’s oldest man – 4 years older than the current Guinness-listed oldest person, Nabi Tajima. He was born in 1896, and this year he makes his entry into the 121st year of his life.
His renewed ID card was personally delivered to him by the President and the Justice Minister of Chile, and he is the talk of Chile as the oldest person in the world.
His life is one that someone could write a book about, filled with struggles and turning points which he succeeded in overcoming.
Born in the town of Rio Bueno in the year of the first modern Olympics, Victoria’s ascension on the British throne, and Utah’s recognition as the USA’s 45th state, Jaramillo, or better known as Don Celino, has lived to see the world change so much.
Although not much could be said about his youth, as communication with him is nearly impossible due to his impairments, it’s known that he had been an agricultural laborer until his 80th year of life, when the landowner Ambrosio Toledo informed him that he was being replaced by a younger field hand.
He had to vacate the estate house where he had been living for 30 years and move to the coastal village of Mehuin, renting a rundown shack with a dirt floor and a fireplace in the middle.
He would dry fish on that fireplace and the people from the village remember him from their childhood as an elf-like figure, walking around the village with a dangling sack over his shoulders.
It was the fireplace in the shack which caused a fire that would leave him destitute and in need of shelter. So, at the age of 99, he was taken in by Marta Ramirez, who thought he wouldn’t be around that much longer.
Now 85, Marta is still taking care of the 121-year-old legend that has managed to beat all the odds that life brought to him. However, his current health state doesn’t allow him to function much, being 90% blind due to his cataracts, 85% deaf, and toothless.
As the Guardian reports from their visit, Jaramillo cannot walk on his own, and his disabilities make conversation almost impossible, with him breaking into chat occasionally.
Jaramillo never married or had any children.
Source: The Guardian