Earlier this year, an Instagram video went viral, featuring a homeless man hosting a birthday party for his beloved dog. The heartwarming scene was captured by a passerby in a local park in Bucaramanga, Colombia. The video, lasting about three minutes, shows the homeless man seated on park steps alongside his two dogs.
Despite the absence of clear audio or subtitles, the video’s message is crystal clear. One of the dogs is celebrating a birthday, and the homeless man is throwing a heartfelt party for his loyal companion. It was a touching moment, but what unfolded next melted the hearts of viewers.
Intrigued by the man in the viral video, local media made efforts to contact him and learn more about his story. According to park regulars, the man in the video, known as Choko, is a longtime resident of the streets, always accompanied by his two furry companions, Shaggy and Nena. Local journalists and bloggers eventually located him for interviews. Unaware of his newfound online fame, Choko woke up one morning to a surprise, with many people gathering around him, seeking interviews.
Initially, Choko was puzzled, thinking he had somehow committed an offense for this sudden “interrogation.” However, when they showed him the video, he understood the importance of sharing the heartwarming moment that would ultimately transform his life.
Choko Jose Luis Matos had left his home years ago, seeking refuge from the constant abuse and mistreatment inflicted by his mother. Since then, he had been living on the streets of Colombia, facing the harsh realities of homelessness. Despite the immense challenges, Choko maintained his integrity and never resorted to theft or illegal activities.
His inspiring story resonated with people worldwide, resulting in an outpouring of donations for Choko and his dogs from various corners of the globe. Choko now has an Instagram page, and following the viral video, his number of followers skyrocketed to 182k at the time of this writing. Choko expressed deep gratitude to the person who recorded the birthday celebration and shared it online.