Don Filo: one of the oldest men in Yucatán. Don Filo: one of the oldest men in Yucatán.

Don Filo, 110, likely Yucatán’s oldest man

Filiberto Puc died yesterday in the town where he was born in 1907

A man who was possibly the oldest in the state of Yucatán died yesterday at the age of 110.

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Filiberto Puc was certainly the oldest resident of Dzidzantún, a small town about an hour’s drive northeast of the city of Mérida.

Puc, known by everyone as Don Filo, was born in Dzidzantún on August 20, 1907 on the eve of the Mexican Revolution.

At age 14 a man took him under his wing and taught him how to harvest a regional agave variety known as henequén, an activity that kept him employed for a long time.

Puc’s remembrances of “ancient times” where quoted in countless printed interviews.

A self-made man, Puc also worked as a woodcutter, communal land supervisor, farmer and livestock breeder.

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He married Maximina May, who died 37 years ago, with whom he fathered eight children.

In one of the many interviews he gave on his birthday over two years ago, he declared that he felt blessed “to be surrounded by a family that appreciates me, because I now have 112 descendants, between children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.”

Always lucid and serene, Puc became aware of his age and the reasonable concerns it raised among those that loved him the most.

He stopped using his bicycle “because people nowadays drive recklessly,” and he feared being hit by a car or truck.

That did not keep him from going out every day and walking to the town’s park, where he met with his friends and enjoyed the shade of the carob trees.

Puc didn’t stop working until he was 102, and he only stopped because his family was worried that he would fall while tending his crops. Two years ago he declared in an interview that back pain was keeping him from tending to his garden: “That’s what I like the most, my garden.”

The man who had the distinction of being the oldest in Mexico died last month in Quintana Roo. Jesús Castillo Rangel was 121.

Source: Diario de Yucatán (sp), The Yucatán Times (sp)

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