Cuba Graying Population
In this picture taken Aug 2, 2012, women dance at a senior center, that provides retirees with medical attention, meals and social activities, in Havana, Cuba. Cuba grapples with having the oldest citizenry in Latin America, a phenomenon fueled by low birth rates and long life expectancies, plus the migration of young people and women. The government has already postponed the retirement age and is trying to create more homes and programs for the elderly, but still will have to handle the economic consequences of its increasingly graying population. Photo: AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa

Costa Ricans and Chileans have the longest life expectancy in Latin America, reaching 80 and 79-years-old respectively, according to a new report.

Cuba and Panama are the second highest-ranking at 78-years-old, while Guyana and Suriname follow at 72.

Good news for Bolivia, where people now live nine years longer than the average life expectancy registered 25-years-ago.

Deadly diseases on the wane

Highly infectious diseases, such as HIV and tuberculosis, no longer present such a risk. In particular in Cuba, where HIV has practically been eradicated.

However sexually transmitted diseases are still one of the main causes of death in Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay.

Cancer and heart-related illnesses are the biggest global causes of death.

Living longer? Look to Brazil..

Despite not making the top five for Latin America’s longest life expectancy, Brazil could be home to the region’s oldest woman.

Eurides Fagundes, a 120-year-old from the state of Bahía could be just that. Born in 1894, the retiree only married once, leaving no children.

Photo: Youtube

Photo: Youtube

When asked how much longer she expected to live, Fagundes responded “Jesus is the only one who knows.”

Fagundes has outlived previous Brazilian Guinness World record holder, 144-year-old María Gomes Valentim from Brazil’s Minas Gerais state.

Known as “Vó Quita” or “Grandma Quita”, left behind four grandchildren, seven great grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren.

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Argentina Gaucho Festival
A man sells "empanadas," a snack that is made of meat wrapped in corn flour, during the National Festival of the Calf and Cattle Branding in Ayacucho, Argentina. Photo: AP Photo/Pablo Aneli

Feeling peckish?

This new creation from foodie blogger “Fran Eats” takes the concept of Latin American quick eat recipes to a whole new level.

Fran Bastias is a self confessed Chilean foodie: to date she has visited Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia.

The spectacular “Gloriosa Pizza Hamburguesa Empanada” contains two beef patties, smothered in cheese, before being baked in pastry and topped with salami.

Foodie fun

Fran’s creation has humble beginnings: “a little more than a year ago, my friend Luciano (the director who uploads videos to my channel every week) sent me a photo that he had found on the internet. We were all wowed by the beauty and seductive gluttonous aspect of the photo. I accepted the challenge, and we created a recipe to emulate this photo: it was the birth of the Pizza Hamburguesa Empanada, signature dish of this humble production team.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 08.38.25

The talented Chilean chef is undertaking a culinary odyssey, visiting not just Latin America, but other great gastronomic countries from around the world, creating her own unique versions of favorite recipes.

Check out her delicious video recipe for “Nachos Supremos”:

Fat facts

Obesity has been on the rise across Latin America since the 1980s.

Today, around 45 percent of men and 38 percent of women are either overweight or obese in various populations across the region.

Mexico, Venezuela and Guatemala were listed as the countries with highest obesity rates in 2013.

So what is Latin America’s favorite fast food?

Could it be the humble hotdog or “perro”?

Guatemala even hosts its own festival dedicated to the “Shuco” (hotdog).

But, bad news for Venezuela, as rationing and rapid inflation rates have seen hotdog sales drop. The price of a hotdog has soared from 70 ($11) to 90 bolivars ($14) in the country during the past three months.

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