A hitchhiker was caught off-guard when a world leader offered to give him a lift.
Gerhald Acosta was looking for a ride on his way home from his job at a paper mill plant in southwestern Uruguay, earlier this month. He later explained in a Facebook post that though several cars passed him, an SUV with a government license plate pulled over, according to RT.com. Upon getting inside, Acosta realized that Uruguayan President Jose Mujica and his wife, Sen. Lucia Topolansky, were in the vehicle.
"I know this woman. It was Lucia, with Manuela the dog, and Pepe (Jose) in the front seat," Acosta told El Observador, according to Fox News Latino. "I couldn't believe it. The president was giving me a ride."
— El Observador (@ObservadorUY) January 16, 2015
The president and his wife had been on their way to their residence when they picked Acosta up, according to El Observador. The hitchhiker said that Mujica was concerned about why Acosta, who had to return home unexpectedly, needed a ride.
Acosta said that though the ride was a brief one, he was moved by the couple's gesture.
"When I got out, I thanked them profusely because not everyone helps someone out on the road, and much less a president," he told El Observador.
While Mujica's decision to pick up the hitchhiker was a kind one, the leader is widely known for his acts of compassion. During a television interview in Montevideo last November, Mujica paused to give money to a man in need.
The leader has even been nicknamed "the world's poorest president," thanks to his decision to donate 90 percent of his salary to charity. When speaking about the money he actually keeps, Mujica told El Mundo, according to Univision's translation, "I do fine with that amount; I have to do fine because there are many Uruguayans who live with much less."