Faustina Sarmiento Pupo was born on 15 February 1905, in Sao Arriba, Holguín, Cuba, to Gonzalo Sarmiento Paredes and Herminia Pupo Quintana. Her father, Gonzalo, joined the army on 13 January 1898 and was a veteran of the 1895-1898 Cuban War of Independence, which was the last liberation war Cuban colonists fought against Spain. She had 4 sisters: Maria, Lola, Rosa, and Nolva. Her grandmother allegedly lived to be 112.
At the age of 17, she married Rafael Rodriguez Hidalgo. The couple had five daughters. She gave birth to her first daughter, Eloina Rodriguez Sarmiento (born on 17 May 1920), at the age of 15.
Although she never attended school, she still learned to read and write in 1959, after Fidel Castro’s Cuban revolution ended.
Faustina lived in the neighborhood of 26 de Julio in Holguín, Cuba. At the age of 110, she was in excellent shape and could still walk, cook, and wash dishes, and clothes. As of February 2018, she had 30 grandchildren, 41 great-grandchildren, 67 great-great-grandchildren, and 17 great-great-great-grandchildren. At the time, two of her daughters were still living, one of whom, Esther Marina Rodriguez Sarmiento, was born on 22 August 1923. Her other living daughter was Gloria Rodríguez Sarmiento (born 14 January 1934), who was aged 85 in 2019.
When asked about the secret of her longevity, she said “doing the good things and living healthy”. Two of her sisters died at the ages of 105 and 99 respectively.
Faustina Sarmiento Pupo passed away in the city of Holguín, Cuba, on 16 September 2019, at the age of 114 years, 213 days.