Mexican Abuelito Vows To Give Kids Free Sleigh Rides In His Santa Claus Mototaxi Until He Dies
For the last seven years, a Mexican abuelito has been rigging his motorcycle taxi to look like a Santa Claus sleigh, to the delight of children in his Oaxaca neighborhood, and is vowing to offer free sled rights to children for “as long as God gives me life,” he told a local outlet. Jerónimo Flores, 75, and his generosity have gone viral after a relative shared images of his mototaxi to Facebook, further spreading his Christmas cheer even beyond Juchitán, Oaxaca, the southwestern Mexican state that gave birth to the modern-day sleigh. Over the course of many years, Don Flores has been using his own savings to deck the halls of his mototaxi, purchasing materials, and constructing the design himself so that the front of the taxi looks like a giant Santa Claus head. The taxi’s headlights appear as glowing cheeks, while the driver’s windshield is protected by bushy white eyebrows and a pair of makeshift giant Santa Claus glasses.
This year, he had the idea to tow a sleigh behind the mototaxi and is vowing to let children right in the sleigh for free for as long as he lives.
Over the last couple of months, Don Flores emptied his savings account to pour 12,000 pesos ($628) to rig his mototaxi to be able to tow a sleigh full of children for free.
Don Flores has been elevating his Santa Sleigh game every year since 2012, becoming an instant classic in his neighborhood’s Christmas celebrations. Complete with a larger-than-life Santa hat, a pink nose, and scruffy white beard, Don Flores’ Santa mototaxi is well known in his neighborhood. This Santa doesn’t retire to the North Pole all year long, however. The glowing-cheeked Mr. Claus also makes an appearance for Mexico’s Independence Day and on Halloween. This year, however, Don Flores had an idea that would require the help of his adult children and much more money.
Don Flores built this two-row “floating” sleigh so that children could hop aboard for a ride in Santa’s sleigh for free.
Even though Don Flores is well beyond retirement age by most folks’ standard, he continues to have to work for a living, driving his mototaxi around town. In his older age, Don Flores doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Once the idea to build the sleigh came to him, he couldn’t let it go, enlisting his sons and daughters to help him build the magical sleigh. The way they rigged the neon lights at the bottom even offers the optical illusion of a floating sleigh! “This year it occurred to me to build a sled to ride my children and children for free, without charging anything. I will continue this until God gives me life,” Don Flores told La Republica.
You better believe that the inside of Santa’s sleigh is decked out, too.
What’s a Mexican sleigh ride without the most miniature of nativity sets anyway? Don Flores makes sure that his patrons and their children feel the magic of Christmas at every step on his mototaxi. Christmas lights line nearly every border of the taxi, from the sleigh to the brim of the Santa hat, to the seat cushions. Don Flores has become a beacon of light in every sense of the word in his community.
Santa may even need to build another sleigh to meet the demands of Juchitán’s children!
“Beautiful ride with the mototaxi sleigh! Congratulations Abuelito Fito Flores,” Don Flores’ grandson, Arturo Garcia, posted to Facebook last week. Since then, the photos have been shared over a thousand times. “How beautiful! I already imagine the beautiful memory he is leaving his grandchildren. They will remember him forever,” one fan comments. Don’t even think about uttering, “OK, Boomer,” to this abuelito. “The most beautiful technology,” commented another fan.
Today, Don Flores is known as the “Santa Claus de Juchitán.”
For good reason, too. Flores has made it clear that he’s invested his money and energy into offering a little bit more magic to kids at Christmas time. “It gives me this pleasure, this joy of seeing the children,” Flores told Sopitas. If you’re in the neighborhood, you can support the good cause by becoming a paying customer of Don Flores. Every paid ride is a free ride for the children to have a big dose of Christmas magic.