stripes stripes

Rosa Castrodad Meléndez

Rosa Castrodad Melendez (born 20 April 1912) is a Puerto Rican supercentenarian who is the oldest known living person in Puerto Rico. Her age is validated by the Latin American Supercentenarians (LAS).  


Rosa Castrodad Melendez was born in Cidra, Puerto Rico, on 20 April 1912. “My parents had a 56-cuerda farm. My mother was a farmer and she loved to grow tobacco, beans, sweet potatoes, bananas, plantains, celery, yams, and malangas. She had many chickens, pigs, turkeys, guineas, ducks, cows, and oxen. In addition, she was a merchant because she had a little store for many years. After leaving her little store, she sold the animals and the eggs because she collected about 100 eggs each week. She worked hard and was fast,” said Nilda Castrodad Melendez, her daughter and caretaker.

“We also had sharecroppers who worked and lived on the farm and divided their earnings equally with us. At that time there was no road and we had to walk for more than an hour to get to the main road and catch a guagüita (small bus) that would take us to town,” said Nilda.

“Now with so many advances we are billionaires and we complain. In those days we lacked what we have today, but we had values of love, respect and decency to live peacefully and happily. Happiness is not subject to progress or backwardness, but to the attitude that one assumes before what we have and what happens to us in life,” said the Cidra resident.

“My mom chewed tobacco since she was eight years old because her grandmother taught her. She was chewing it until Hurricane Maria arrived and she was 105 years old. She also lost a breast due to benign cancer that she got about 40 or 50 years ago. Her breast dried up and disappeared without feeling pain or discomfort. In addition, she is blind in one eye and the other one she has is glass and she reads the newspaper without glasses. She also doesn’t take medication or wear diapers because she fends for herself and my help Nilda pointed out.

Rosa married her cousin Pedro Luis Castrodad Meléndez and they both raised their family with dignity without food stamps, (introduced in the working island of Puerto Rico in 1974), nor Medicaid, (founded abroad in 1965), and they never resided in public housing.

“My mother always helped people. A man who had eight young children was admitted to a hospital and my mother gave his wife free purchases from her little store. When someone got sick, my mother gave them a sheet with which they he would make a hammock to take him to the hospital on foot and give him a little money in case he had to buy something,” Nilda recalled.
According to Nilda, her mother has said: “Life has taught me to share with those in need. Family and being charitable give me great happiness.”

Advertise with us

Learn More