MQC Photo Costa Rica

Living is Lifelong – Centenarians and the fear of aging


Living is Lifelong – Centenarians and the fear of aging

Eduardo Rodríguez, was photograph at the age of 102 . He lives in downtown Heredia, Costa Rica. Mr Rodríguez has been a very active member of the community of Heredia, and the oldest fan of the local soccer team.


Living is Lifelong – Centenarians and the fear of aging

Ofelia Villalobos, turned 103 years old on Nov 21st 2010. She lived in Heredia. She doesn't remember much, but she is very proud of the fact that she can sing the National Anthem with no mistakes.


Living is Lifelong – Centenarians and the fear of aging

Eduardo Rodríguez, was photograph at the age of 102 . He lives in downtown Heredia, Costa Rica. Mr Rodríguez has been a very active member of the community of Heredia, and the oldest fan of the local soccer team.


Living is Lifelong – Centenarians and the fear of aging

Jose Delgado is supposed to be the oldest Costa Rican. He's cedula says he was born in March 1900, but there are doubts about that fact. Nonetheless, he is still an icon for longevity.


Living is Lifelong – Centenarians and the fear of aging

Ramon Luciano Cambronero Villalobos turned 100 on Dec 8, 2010. He lived in Guapiles, the caribbean slope of Costa Rica but he lived most of his life in the Northern Pacific.


Living is Lifelong – Centenarians and the fear of aging

Josefina Bolanos Rodriguez was 100 years and nine months when she was photographed. Josefina loves to spend time in her garden looking at the plants or at her porch looking a people pass by.


Living is Lifelong – Centenarians and the fear of aging

Carmen Cordero Sibaja, died at the age of 101 years and two months in October 2010. All of her life she worked as a primary teacher, and one of the hardest things for her on her last days was she could not read anymore.


Living is Lifelong – Centenarians and the fear of aging

Miguel Angel Serrano Rodriguez was photographed on the day of his 100th birthday, on July 19, 2011. He was a shoemaker in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica.


Living is Lifelong – Centenarians and the fear of aging

Eduardo Rodríguez, was photograph at the age of 102 . He lives in downtown Heredia, Costa Rica. Mr Rodríguez has been a very active member of the community of Heredia, and the oldest fan of the local soccer team.


Living is Lifelong – Centenarians and the fear of aging

Antonio Artavia Díaz, Tatica, was photographed at the age of 103. He was born October 22, 1907. He was a farmer. He has 4 children, 48 grand-children, 52 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.


Living is Lifelong – Centenarians and the fear of aging

Paula Torrentes Cerdas is originally from Guanacaste, Costa Rica. She turned 100 on June 29, 2011.


Living is Lifelong – Centenarians and the fear of aging

Arcelia Gómez Gómez was born October 31st 1911. She lives in Santa Ana of Nicoya with her son and his family. Arcelia is still an independent woman, but she is just a little bit afraid of walking by herself.


Living is Lifelong – Centenarians and the fear of aging

Pedro Nolasco Fonseca Castillo was born January 30th 1910 in Pozo de Agua, Nicoya. He is 102 years old. Pedro was a horsebreaker, he said he learn everything he knew from elders around him in Corralillo, Nicoya.


Living is Lifelong – Centenarians and the fear of aging


Living is Lifelong – Centenarians and the fear of aging

Aida Chacón plays cards with her daughter a few days before her 104 birthday, in Escazu, San Jose, Costa Rica.


Living is Lifelong – Centenarians and the fear of aging

Miguel Angel Serrano Rodriguez was photographed on the day of his 100th birthday, on July 19, 2011. He was a shoemaker in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica.


Living is Lifelong – Centenarians and the fear of aging

Antonio Velasquez Velasquez was born in Nicaragua in April 4, 1909. At the age of 4 he moved to Costa Rica. Now he lives in the Nursing Home of Ciudad Neily, Puntarenas, where people call him Pianguita, a nickname he got for collecting a kind of mussel called Piangua.


Living is Lifelong – Centenarians and the fear of aging

Carmen Prado Escamilla, the photographer's great-grandmother, died at the age of 100 years and 11 months. She grew up in a wealthy family, but she had a 'mind of her own' and married a man against her father's will. She had a hard life, but she never stop smiling and enjoying her loved ones.


“Living is Lifelong” is a project that aims to help dissipate the stigma and fear around growing older. This project will document images and stories of 101 Centenarians in Costa Rica. Why 101? Because living to be a centenarian (or 100) is a paradox; it raises fears while also fascinating people, and is a birthday that grants a position of authority and respect in society while 99 is just a very old person. I therefore aim to reach the same symbolic number to capture the breadth of the centenarians’ stories and inspire respect, expectation and excitement about aging.
Ever since the book “The Blue Zones” by Dan Buettner talked about Costa Rica’s centenarians, this small country has been in the spot light for aging, and every time somebody makes it to 100 or more, they make it, at least, to the local news.
Inspired by the longevity of my own family, I started photographing 100 year-old Costa Ricans. My great grandmother turned 100 in 2006. I photographed her until she died 11 months latter. Her name was Carmen Prado Escamilla. Then, in 2010 my great-aunt, Carmen Cordero Sibaja, turned 101. I had the chance to photograph her just 2 months before she died. In June 2010, a Costa Rican newspaper published that 9995 Costa Ricans where older than 90 years, and 417 of those where older than 100 years.
This is a small tribute to the brave men and women that even when their body weakens, they keep on amazing others with their wish to live and their human warmth.