Santa Clara celebrates long-time resident Esperanza Castellanos' 107th birthday

Photo by Pop & Zebra on Unsplash
By Laila Weir - Published on January 14, 2021.

When Hope Castellanos was born, the First World War had not yet started, automobiles were still new, and the age of airplane flight was only just looming.

Thanks to KPIX 5 and KGO for this life-affirming story: Esperanza “Hope” Castellanos of Santa Clara celebrated her 107th birthday this week with help from family, friends and city officials.

Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gilmore even declared January 13th "Esperanza's Day."

“Everything is beautiful for me today!” a pleased Castellanos told the crowd, according to KPIX. 

Castellanos’s granddaughter Mandy Santos organized a car caravan to mark her “nana’s” big day. The parade kicked off with a Santa Clara fire truck and included city police cars along with a steady stream of friends and well-wishers.

“Congratulations on turning 107! Cheers!” could be heard from one truck’s PA as 15 minutes’s worth of vehicles paraded past.

The St. Clare Parish choir also sang to Castellanos, the Mercury News tells us. “She is still over the moon about it,” Santos told that paper. “The community came out in droves.”

Her son, 88-year-old Daniel Castellanos, told KPIX that Castellanos is the best mom. “I tell Mom ... ‘Mom, I don’t ever remember you scolding me!,’” he said. “I only say that to get her laughing, you know?”

Castellanos, whose family calls her “Hope” — the meaning of her first name, Esperanza, in Spanish — was born in Eagle Rock, Texas in 1914.

She has lived in Santa Clara with her family since 1945, during which time she has amassed 10 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren and 6 great great grandchildren, according to Santos via KPIX.

The outlet reports on the oh-so-COVID-era drive-by celebration: “You have lived the most eventful century of the world’s history and you are a gem!” the mayor reportedly told Castellanos.

“I feel fine," KGO quotes Castellanos as saying. "I feel find and happy!"

She also told her secret to living such a long life, KPIX shares: “Oatmeal every day for breakfast.”

It seems to be working. The adventurous centenarian reportedly still loves to travel, and granddaughter Santos took her to Hawaii — and on a helicopter ride, no less — for her 100th birthday seven years back, the Mercury News reports. “She said, ‘Let’s do it again,’” Santos said. “She has absolutely no fear.”

We know what we’ll be putting in our Instacarts this week.

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