Francisca Castillo Carrillo was born in Matina, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, on 3 November 1906. Her father, Tomás Castillo Armas, was of Cuban origin. He was a trusted man of General Antonio Maceo y Grajales and, according to researcher Jorge Vindas, possibly even the general’s illegitimate brother. Her father had arrived in Costa Rica at the end of the 19th century, together with approximately 100 Creole families to whom the Costa Rican government provided facilities to settle in Nicoya, in the present-day district of Mansión de Nicoya. Her mother, Fabiana Carrillo, allegedly died at the age of 102.
Even though she never married, she had five children: Pablo, Ramón, Calixto, Israel and Marcos.
In January 2014, the La Nación newspaper made a report about her and her family. At the time, she had 6 generations of descendants. Her great-granddaughter, Laura, was 31 at the time; great-great-granddaughter, Marta Iris, was 17; while the youngest, great-great-great-granddaughter, Angelí, was 5 months old, and Francisca’s 169th descendant. At the age of 108, she was still lucid, and was still able to dance. However, her eyesight and hearing had already deteriorated by this time; she was deaf in her right ear, and had a clouded vision.
Her eldest son, Pablo Castillo Carrillo (29 June 1922 – 25 Sept 2020), lived to be 98. Her maternal cousin, José Humberto Carrillo Carrillo (born 20 June 1921) of Nosara, turned 100 in 2021.
Francisca Castillo Carrillo passed away in Mansión de Nicoya, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, on 20 December 2016, at the age of 110.