The Longest-Living Person in Guatemala?

In an emotional ceremony in the community of San Andrés Sajcabajá, Quiché, President Alejandro Giammattei personally delivered the notification to 117-year-old Juana Ixcuná.

by Domenika Reyes

Guatemala City, -AGN- Juana Ixcuná is a Guatemalan citizen of 117 years of age, from the village of Xabaj I, in the municipality of San Andrés Sajcabajá, Quiché, who was benefited by the Guatemalan government with the Economic Contribution Program for the Elderly, becoming the longest-lived person to receive this benefit.

On September 26, 2022, President Alejandro Giammattei traveled to San Andrés Sajcabajá. He delivered the special announcement in person while she was surrounded by six of her children, ten grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

This program allows senior citizens (65 years or older) to receive monthly financial assistance to support their basic needs. 


On behalf of Mrs. Juana, her son, Pedro Cabil Ixcuná, thanked the government of Guatemala for its support. Over the years, he has become his company and is in charge of ensuring her health and well-being.

Pedro emphasizes that it has been essential to accompany his mother to medical consultations, purchases  food and other supplies, and, among her most important tasks, accompany her on daily walks close to home.

“I want to thank God and you for this support. We waited more than 15 years for this aid that today becomes a dream come true”, Pedro Cabil Ixcuná told President Alejandro Giammattei.


For Juana Ixcuná, life depends mainly on planting cornfields and beans, a task that she has done for more than 100 years and that her children, and grandchildren have learned.  Soon, her little great-grandchildren will too. 

Her son, Pedro, describes her as a “very charismatic, pleasant, healthy, and cheerful woman.” Since she was young, she has loved embroidering, sewing, reading poetry, and keeping an eye on her harvest. 

“She is always smiling and  watching out for us even though it is hard for her to walk,” said Pedro Cabil Ixcuná. 


The Economic Contribution Program for the Elderly -PAM- is promoted by the government of Guatemala in compliance with the Law of the Economic Contribution Program for the Elderly.

This program is executed through the Ministry of Labor and Social Security -Mintrab-, which grants USD$ 65 per month to the beneficiaries. During President Giammattei’s administration, more than 67,200 new beneficiaries have joined this program, which currently benefits more than 142,700 people.

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