A young hitchhiker got the surprise of a lifetime when a simple 1987 Volkswagen Beetle stopped on the road to offer him a ride. Who he thought was a normal driver giving him a lift turned out to be not normal at all. In fact, the guy who picked him up just happens to be one of the most powerful men in South America.
Gerhald Acosta was on his way home from work at the Montes del Plata paper mill located in Juan Lacaze. As his place is quite far from his employment, the young man decided to “raise his thumb” and hitchhike on his way back to his house.
Around “25-30 cars had already passed him by without stopping” shared Gerhald. So when an ordinary looking 1987 Volkswagen Beetle stopped for him, he did not hesitate to enter and ride it.
Once he has seated himself in the vehicle, Gerhald thought the driver’s companion looked familiar. He thought that the lady looked very much like Sen. Lucia Topolansky, Uruguay President Jose Mujica’s wife.
It took a while before it dawned to the young man that he was inside the president’s car and that it was indeed the president and his wife who picked him up on the side of the road.
“I couldn’t believe it. The President was giving me a ride. When I got out, I thanked them profusely, because not everyone helps someone out on the road, and much less a president.”
Before he got out though, the president and his wife obliged Gerhald with some photos.
President Mujica is known for his generosity and simple lifestyle. The Uruguay leader has often donated his salaries to charities in the country and opted to live in a farm than stay at an extravagant presidential palace. He is also famous for driving his old and trusty 1987 Beetle.
Because of this, Mujica has been called the “world’s poorest president,” which he often says is untrue.
“I’m called the poorest president, but I don’t feel poor. Poor people are those who only work to try to keep an expensive lifestyle and always want more,” he once said.