Filomena Taipe Mendoza, considered to be the oldest woman in Peru, has died at the age of 117 in the southern town of Pucuto, informed the development and social inclusion ministry, or Midis. Official figures reveal that Taipe was born in 1897 and lived along in a little adobe house in Pucuto, which is in the Andean province of Huancavelica. She enjoyed surprisingly good health and lucidity for her age.
Taipe was a widow and the mother of nine children. She raised her children as a single parent, and was still in contact with the three of her children who are still living. Taipe had previously said, "The secret of my long life was 'natural food' and I never eat anything from cans, or envelopes and refuse to drink carbonated beverages."
Midis said, "The residents of Pucuto and populated centers in the area remember her walking through the small farms with her cane, receiving the respectful and loving greetings of children, young people and adults whom she encountered on her way. They, her neighbors, visited her every day. When she turned 117 last December, she was feted by her entire community who saw in her an example to follow because of her fortitude and advice about nutrition that she gave to the children."
Taipe began receiving benefits under the government's Pension 65 assistance program in March 2014, whereby people over the age of 65 years who live in extreme poverty get 250 soles ($83.30) twice a month. Midis said, "As occurs with many elderly adults, in extreme poverty, Filomena Taipe was undocumented practically her entire life. She recently registered and obtained her national identification document to be able to receive Pension 65. The benefit enabled her to improve the quality of her food even more, adding fruits, which she liked a lot, to her diet. Taipe's life story is included in the book Vidas
, which was published by the Pension 65 program."
Official figures indicate that more than 400 people over the age of 100 years are currently on the Pension 65 roles and 51 of them live in Huancavelica, one of Peru's poorest regions.