June 23, 2021

Centenarians celebrate

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week They both smiled and nodded when the crowd of about 60 well-wishers sang “Las Mananitas,” Mexico’s version of “Happy Birthday.” “I feel like I’m not even 100,” said Larriva. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, Duran and Larriva are among 420 people in Pico Rivera who are older than 85. Julia Estrada, El Rancho’s activity director, said the two centenarians are very active. “They are both active here, Maria Duran especially. She participates in all our activities and always shows up for bingo,” she said. PICO RIVERA — – On her 104th birthday last year, Maria Duran told friends she hoped to live to be 105. She made it. On Friday, she and Maria Larriva, a sprightly 100-year-old, celebrated their birthdays together with friends, family and the staff of the El Rancho Vista HealthCare Center in Pico Rivera, where they live. “I’m happy. Everything about today is exciting,” said Duran, who along with Larriva was decked out in a silver tiara and a rose corsage. The two women dined on a traditional Mexican-style birthday cake, sang along with Michael Sinatra, an entertainer hired for the event, and received proclamations from President Bush, Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Santa Fe Springs, and state Assemblyman Rudy Bermudez, D-Norwalk. Duran who has lived at El Rancho Vista since 2002, credits her longevity to a vegetarian diet. She also has walked 3 or 4 miles a day for most of her life. Duran grew up in Mexico before moving to El Paso with her sister when she was about 15. She moved to South Los Angeles in 1924, later lived in East Los Angeles, worked as a migrant field hand and had five children. After her husband died in 1986, she lived in her own home until she was 100. Larriva’s said cooking with chili peppers was her secret to a long life. She lived in East Los Angeles until about a year ago, when she started having trouble walking and taking care of herself. Originally from Arizona, Larriva later moved to Downey and then to East Los Angeles, where she lived most of her life. Maria Ruano, one of Larriva’s two surviving children, recalled that her mother worked as a seamstress when Larriva’s five children were young. “I feel very lucky to still have her with us,” said Ruano. — Debbie Pfeiffer Trunnell can be reached at (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028, or by e-mail at [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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