Antonia Gerena Rivera was born in Loíza, Puerto Rico, on 19 May 1900, to parents Jose Felix Gerena and Basilia Rivera. She was raised in Barrio Cubuy, Río Grande. She was of Canarian ancestry.
At the age of 15, she left the family’s farm and married Jose Solis Serrano. Their first daughter, Isabelle, was born in 1917. After World War I, she worked as a teacher in a rural schoolhouse in the Puerto Rican countryside. During the war, she had to work on a farm and raise her children on her own, since her husband fought in the war. The couple had nine children.
In the 1970s, she moved to Florida, USA.
Her brother, Francisco Genera Rivera, a World War I veteran, was born in 1898 and died in 2003, at the age of 105. One of her sisters lived to 103. Her family claimed how the genes of their family were one of the secrets of her longevity.
Gerena Rivera died in Kendall, Florida, USA, on 2 June 2015, at the age of 115 years, 14 days. She was survived by two daughters, aged 90 and 89 respectively at the time of her death, and 27 grandchildren.