Julio César Mora and Waldramina Maclovia have been married for 79 years and Julio says he’s enjoyed almost every day of it. “There are a few days I would like to forget but there aren’t many,” he adds.
In June, the couple was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for being the world’s oldest married couple. Julio is 110 and Waldramina is 104.
Their love story began in 1934, Waldramina says. “He came to visit his sister who lived in the same building in Quito as my relatives and we became friends. Then, a few years later, he started sending me poetry and that’s what started the romance. I thought he had great literary talent and decided to marry him.”
The couple had to fight off family resistance to the marriage. “Her folks thought I wasn’t good enough for her and mine thought she wasn’t good enough for me but we didn’t listen to them,” Julio says. “Some things, never change, do they?” They were married February 7, 1941 in a small ceremony in Iglesia El Belén, the oldest church in Quito. “Our parents refused to come so we were married with our godparents and friends in attendance,” Waldramina says.
The keys to their long marriage, Julio and Waldramina agree, is a strong foundation of love and respect. “The love, respect and maturity that we had from the beginning allowed us grow emotionally together and to define our future,” says Julio. “It was not always easy because our families were not on good terms at first. It took time and patience to unite them and we used the example of this to teach our children how to live good lives.”
What is the best legacy the couple left their children? “A good education is the most important thing you can give after family training and the love for God,” says Waldramina.
Today, the couple’s greatest joy is their large family of four living children, 11 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and 9 great-great-grandchildren. “They really like having the family around and hearing what we are all doing,” says daughter Aura Cecilia. “We have wonderful visits and fabulous meals together.”
Aura Cecilia says the couple remains active and independent. “They still go out to the movies, the theater and entertain close friends at home,” she says. “They also like to work in the garden.”
What’s the secret to living a long life? “Eat good food and don’t drink too much,” is Julio’s short answer. And what’s the secret to a long, happy marriage? “Do what she says.”