Is the South Caribbean of Costa Rica a "Blue Zone"?

Photo 1 of 4. Click to view slideshow.
Mr. Dudley Waite, photo courtesy of his family

Blue Zones are those areas of the world where people live much longer than average. Residents of these places produce a high rate of centenarians. Researchers identified 5 areas in the world where some combination of genetics, lifestyle and environment seem to have come together to produce this effect which included the Nicoya Penninsula in Costa Rica along with locations in the Mediterranean and Japan.

But three recent 100th birthdays in our area have us wondering if "there's something in the water" here too? At least among the men of Afro-Caribbean descent as all of the recent birthdays have been this community.

The most recent man to reach this milestone is Mr Dudley Waite of Puerto Viejo who today turns 100. Sadly, as reported in this La Nación article yesterday, his house just burned down. We will be following up this post on community efforts to help when we have more information.

Mr Dudley was born in Jamaica but then his family moved first to Cuba then they arrived in Costa Rica when he was 6. By fifteen they were living in Puerto Viejo and he has spent his long life working in baking, in farming cacao and then by working as a musician. He raised three children with his wife Ms Evelyn Hines and has many grandchildren and some great grandchildren. This interesting bio was written by Mr Dudley and his family.

Mr Cleveland from Cocles also turned 100 this year and earned his living as a fisherman.

The most well known of the centenarians is Walter Ferguson of Cahuita. He is known as the father of Calypso in Cahuita and has been composing and singing his songs for over 70 years. The annual Festival International de Calypso Walter Ferguson is held each year and was named in his honor. There's much more info about him and his career on his Wikipedia page and you can listen to many of his songs on YouTube.

None of these men would have had easy lives but they managed to live and thrive despite the hard life and very basic medical and other facilities available in the area for most of their lives. There's definitely something here should researchers want to visit our part of the world!

Dec 15 2019

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