Maximina García Canales‘ story is a pure inspiration for how important it is to shape your life according to your own ideas instead of aligning it with social norms. The 104 year old has been single all her life. Marriage was never an option. However, this does not mean that Maximina García Canales has no family – quite the opposite. She gave birth to five children and already has 15 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. She had four of her own children with a lover whom she visited regularly at night. Although her father, with whom she lived, was not enthusiastic about this, she did not let this stop her. The only thing she did not have a say in at that time was her choice of career. Her dream was to become a teacher or a dressmaker. After this wish was denied, Maximina García Canales worked diligently as a cook all her life. At home, she prepared traditional Central American dishes, such as tamales or chicharrones, and sold them at the market. Maximina García Canales even took care of the pork slaughter and meat preparation herself. Even today, pork and tortillas are among her favourite dishes. She lives together with her daughter Grace, her husband and her granddaughters Sabrina and Jennifer. The 104 year old would no longer like to have a husband, she says: „Men are only there to cause problems.“



photos: René Schwerdtel for Wissner-Bosserhoff