Their families disapproved of the marriage nearly 80 years ago, but today they are recognized around the world as a record-breaking couple.
Julio Cesar Mora Tapia, 110, and Waldramina Maclovia Quinteros Reyes, 104, have lived a combined 215 years — making them the world’s oldest married couple, Guinness World Records reported Tuesday.
There are longer marriages, but the record certifies the couple, who live in Ecuador’s capital Quito, as having the “highest combined age of a married couple,” Guinness World Records reports.
As of Saturday, the couple have lived a combined 78,654 days. The retired teachers have been married 79 years, 6 months and 22 days.
They’re both in good health, although disappointed the pandemic is keeping them from a larger celebration with their 11 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, and nine great-great-grandchildren.
Among their proudest achievements: Parenting five children who all received college degrees.
“The love and maturity that we had as a couple from the beginning of the marriage allowed us to know each other and grow emotionally to define our future,” a Guinness World Records release quotes the couple, who knew each other for seven years before marrying on Feb. 7, 1941.
“It was not easy because our relatives did not have a good relationship, but with time and patience we were able to unite them and we became an example and the best reference for the younger generations.”
They say their “secret formula” is “love + maturity + mutual respect.”
Previously listed as the oldest were an Austin, Texas, couple, Charlotte Henderson and John Henderson.
Contributing: The Associated Press