"Respect, compassion, and consideration with which we maintained our relationship was very important," the couple shared.
Seventy-nine years ago, on February 7, 1941, Julio Cesar Mora Tapia and Waldramina Maclovia Quinteros Reyes secretly tied the knot against their families' wishes. The marital vows they exchanged that day proved to be so strong that the couple has now become the oldest living married couple in the world with a combined age of nearly 215, reports the Guinness World Records. Like every married couple, this remarkable duo has celebrated many a happy moment over the years and gone through numerous challenges and difficulties as they grew their family. However, it is the mutual love and respect they've shown each other all these years that they credit for their long and prosperous marriage.
Born on March 10, 1910, Julio Cesar was alive when the RMS Titanic sunk in 1912. Meanwhile, his wife of 79 years, Waldramina, was born on October 16, 1915. Originally from Ecuador, both pre-date the creation of the television. The couple—with an aggregate age of 214 years and 358 days as of August 25, 2020—dedicated their lives to teaching and now enjoys retirement surrounded by their huge family of 11 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, and nine great-great-grandchildren. According to TODAY, Julio Cesar (110) and Waldramina (104) received the Guinness certification in mid-August in Ecuador's capital of Quito, where they currently reside.
Although there are reportedly longer marriages than Julio Cesar and Waldramina, at the moment there is no other between people so old. The couple's daughter Cecilia revealed that her parents are both lucid and active, albeit without the agility they had before. However, she added that "for a month they have been different, more downcast because they miss large family gatherings. Since March, we have not had any of that. My parents need family contact." Speaking of her parents' respective hobbies, Cecilia said that while her father enjoys watching television and drinking milk, her mother enjoys desserts and reading the newspaper every morning.
The inspiring couple's love story began during Waldramina's school vacation period when she went to visit her sister, who happened to live in the same building as Julio Cesar at the time. After meeting through her sister's husband—who was Julio Cesar's cousin—they formed a friendship that led to a loving relationship and a secret wedding seven years later. While Waldramina found a loving man with a young spirit and great literary potential in Julio Cesar, it was her beauty, big heart, strong character, and the long conversations they had that made Julio Cesar fall for her.
They got married in an intimate and secret celebration in the oldest church in Quito, La Iglesia de El Belén. The ceremony was attended only by their godparents and closest friends as the relatives of the bride and groom did not approve of their relationship. The duo went on to become the parents of five children, all of them with college degrees—something they consider one of the greatest achievements. Julio Cesar and Waldramina strongly believe this is the best legacy they could leave their family as they consider education to be the basis for a developed society. "Promoting education allowed us to map out a route for all generations of our great family," the couple said.
Congratulations to Julio Cesar and Waldramina, the oldest married couple with a combined age of 214 years!https://t.co/xcjYlEuRPp— GuinnessWorldRecords (@GWR) August 26, 2020
As for the secret to their long marriage, the pair believe that family unity is key and that life is better when familial foundations are built on love and respect. "Family unity under the rules of love, mutual respect, honest work, and proper education based on family values are the keys to healthy coexistence," they said. "The love and maturity that we had as a couple from the beginning of the marriage allowed us to know each other and grow emotionally to define our future. It was not easy because our relatives did not have a good relationship, but with time and patience we were able to unite them and we became an example and the best reference for the younger generations."
He's 110 years old and she'll turn 105 in October, making them the oldest married couple in the world with a combined age of 214 years and 358 days. https://t.co/8j6nnGGnre— CNN (@CNN) August 29, 2020
"Respect, compassion, and consideration with which we maintained our relationship was very important; we never argued or fought. There were disagreements, but they were not noticeable to any of our children who also deserved respect and love," they added. "The secret formula = love + maturity + mutual respect. For us, Julio Cesar and Waldramina, it is a great honor and pride to have a Guinness World Records title because it is the highest award that the world recognizes. It is true that at this time it is difficult because we are overwhelmed by the pandemic that affects the world and we still do not have a solution. However, the first step [is] for us to follow the rules with respect and love life."