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Longevity advice from a 102-year-old Yucateca

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On her 102nd birthday, Martina Dzib Xuluc shares her secret for a long life. Photo: Desde el Balcón

Mérida, Yucatán — On her 102nd birthday, Martina Dzib Xuluc has a birthday present for the rest of us: her secret for a long life.

A diet with lots of garlic, onions, vegetables, growing your own fruit and rearing your own hens. And steady habit: to bed by 8 and up at 6. That’s how Dzib Xuluc has lived since she was born in Valladolid in 1915 — the year of the Mexican Revolution’s Battle of Celaya.

She celebrated her birthday in Mérida with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

One of her granddaughters, Geny Castro Tuyub, told Desde el Belcón that life wasn’t always easy for the matriarch who was married at 15 and widowed at age 48. She has outlived three of her six children. She was strict with her family, emphasizing education and not tolerating tantrums or disobedience.

She once traveled often, but today she has been immobilized by a hip fracture. Still, she has the blood pressure of a young woman, Castro says. She has no heart disease or diabetes. She is the eldest of six sisters, of whom only one lives today, at 96.

To celebrate her 102 years, her family organized a Mass, a family luncheon and an afternoon of conversation and shared memories, wrote Desde el Balcón. 

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