SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- An act of human kindness captured on video in Santa Ana is going viral. A young barber surprised a street vendor in his community with a free haircut and a $100 gift.
Bartolo Huate Pacheco is a popsicle vendor, also known as a paletero. He was so moved by Damian Villanueva's gesture, he was brought to tears in the video. Nearly two weeks later, he still gets emotional thinking about that day.
Pacheco has been selling popsicles in his neighborhood near El Salvador Park for 14 years. Villanueva remembers watching him work hard day after day.
"I always had in my mind: one day I'm going to do something for this guy," Villanueva said.
Now a barber, Villanueva came through for the longtime popsicle vendor. The viral video shows Villanueva cutting Pacheco's hair and the two having a nice conversation.
Pacheco has been through a lot. He's been robbed four times while working. He's lost loved ones during the pandemic, and after beating COVID-19 himself he couldn't work for two months.
But Pacheco knows his opinion matters when Villanueva listens to him and asks for his advice.
"People don't want to work forever. They want to live life after, too, so I wanted to help him," Villanueva said.
Inspired by Pacheco's reaction, Villanueva said he was starting a GoFundMe account to help other street vendors.
Editor's note: This story was originally published on July 14, 2022.