The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

At 96, she’s the oldest high school student in class. She tells a good joke, too.

Guadalupe Palacios Garcia, 96, at her house in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico. (Moyses Zuniga/AFP)
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At 96 years old, Guadalupe Palacios is a bit older than her teenage classmates at her high school in Tuxtla Gutierrex, Mexico.

Palacios is also “the most enthusiastic student in the classroom,” according to the news service AFP, which published a story about her longevity and dedication. Her goal is to graduate by the time she’s 100.

Apparently, her sense of humor is still on point. She made a joke to the AFP that had the Internet laughing.

Palacios, who grew up in poverty in an indigenous village, did not learn to read or write until she was 92 and enrolled in a literacy class.

Why did she want to learn to read and write at this late stage of her life?

“Now I can write letters to my boyfriends,” she said with a laugh. The Internet laughed along with her.

Some commenters on social media joked back at her: “She’s gonna ace the history tests,” wrote yourSAS on Reddit. 

Palacios, known as “Dona Lupita,” grew up helping on her family farm rather than going to school, according to the AFP. She went on to have six children and marry two times. She learned math selling chickens at a local market.

When she turned 92, she said, she decided it was time to learn to read and write, and enrolled in an adult literacy program. But when she finished and wanted to continue her studies, there was not an adult high school. So she happily enrolled with the kids.

“I feel ready to give it my all. Today is a marvelous day,” she told the news service earlier this week on her first day of school. She wore the school uniform of a white polo shirt with a black skirt, adding her own pink sweater.

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