LAST STOP: The late Victor Perez Cardona, propped up inside his taxi in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico. Cardona joined the unusual tradition of wakes to honour his profession. Image: AP / Ricardo Arduengo
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Rican taxi driver Victor Perez Cardona's final fare was highly unusual: himself, with a floral wreath, to own funeral.
Honouring his final request, the body of the 73-year-old, who had cancer, was propped in the seat of his taxi, hands locked on the wheel, as if to drive himself to his funeral. The wreath was in the back seat of the vehicle parked at the funeral home.
Friends and colleagues mourned the man who had driven a taxi for the last 15 years of his life.
His daughter, Generosa Perez Torres, explained: "This is a funeral of the people. People have come from all over the island. Some climbed in the taxi with him."
Since 2008 Puerto Rico has developed a tradition of odd wakes, including a young man mourned while seated on his motorcycle, a boxer standing in the ring and an 80-year-old woman sitting in her favorite rocking chair and wearing her wedding gown.