Who is José Luis Matos, the homeless man who moved millions by celebrating his dogs’ birthday

Days ago, it went viral the video starring a man from the street who was caught celebrating the birthday of their dogs with a cake and cardboard hats. The scene, captured by a witness on a street in Bucaramanga, Colombia, went around the world and moved millions of Internet users. The clip caused such an impact that local media contacted him to get to know him better and to share details of the episode that changed his life.

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Thank you for all your support and all your nice words. Those are messages of support so I can get ahead, He said Jose Luis Matos, better known as ‘Choco’ among his friends, who is usually seen accompanied by Nena and Shaggy, his faithful pets.

“They had shown me the video, the same January 7. They told me ‘Choco, Choco, you are famous, you have more followers than a concert (…). When I wake up, I see a lot of people around. And I thought I had done something, but I had not done anything “, said the man in conversation with the media Semana.

Then, he told the story behind the viral video that popularized him on social media: “I was bored because my dog ​​was having a birthday, and I wanted to give him a chicken quarter as a gift, but I didn’t have one for that. But I saw a lady who was going to throw away a cake and I told her to give it to me. She handed it over to me saying: ‘Here, mijo, you take better advantage of it than I do’. Then I went to a miscellany and asked the owner to sell me some candles for 500 pesos, which was the only thing that accompanied me. I told him: ‘Give me the candles, I’m not going to ask you for anything more’ “.

Later, he looked for a place where he could be alone with his pets. Thus, he found some stairs that served to start the celebration for Shaggy’s birthday. With a cake, two plates and a knife that he found on the ground, and which he disinfected after using, he proceeded to sing “Happy Birthday”.

“Thanks to the person who recorded me because it changed my life and I hope to be able to make foundations for animals around the world”Choco stated, quite moved by all the attention he has received since the video was published.

A difficult life

For Jose Luis Matos, life has not been easy. Years ago he decided to leave his home, because he was constantly mistreated. Since then, he has been surviving without anyone’s help.

“Despite the mistreatment my mother gave me, I love her and think about her every day, because I learned to fend for myself. Thanks to her I learned to wash the dishes, to sweep, to work “, He said.

Despite how difficult life on the streets can be, ‘Choco’ assures that he is a good person since he has never liked stealing and has always preferred to fight for his things. He was thrown out of a substitute house where he was living, where he was treated as a thief, and after several years of touring different cities in Colombia he arrived in Barrancabermeja, where he got a job as a fisherman.

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One of the few relatives with whom he is related is Maira Alejandra Castro Esquivel, his younger sister, whom he advised to study, “Because to be someone in life you have to study”.

Over the years he came to Bucaramanga, where he has worked as a builder and even as a glass cleaner. Laughing, he comments that he can be seen working “at any traffic light he can find.”

Nena and Shaggy, their dogs

“La Nena arrived at a time when I had no hope. I met her in a park (…) there she changed my life, ”she recalls. Four years later, he rescued Shaggy from a neighbor who gave it to him.

Despite how difficult it was to accustom the dog to its new owner, with great patience and affection the man managed to become one of his best friends.

“They are my family, my love, my castle. Dog food first, before mine “, he assured, adding that thanks to his pets they gave him a place to live thanks to the viralization of the video. Now, you no longer need to sleep on the street.

‘Choco’ invited those who wish to know about his life to follow him on Instagram, a social network where a profile was created in 2019, but given the fame he gained thanks to the viral clip, he saw how his number of followers skyrocketed to surpass the 86 thousand in a matter of hours.

It also has different contact numbers, through which it is possible to give you help.

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