Madrid’s taxi drivers provide a special Christmas journey for the elderly

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By Carlos Marlasca
Taxi drivers take the elderly for a drive through Madrid to show them the lights
Taxi drivers take the elderly for a drive through Madrid to show them the lights   -   Copyright  Euronews

Wednesday is a special day for Tamara Rivera. She is going to decorate her taxi with Christmas motifs, and her clients will be elderly people to whom she will give a free ride for a few hours around Madrid to see the Christmas lights.

The initiative is called Taxiluz and is a charitable organisation. Hundreds of drivers take part in the annual event.

"Emotions run high on this day,” Tamara said. “It is a day of excitement for them and even more for us. Just seeing their satisfied faces, how they dress up with their best clothes. They are lovely, the gift is for me".

Adolfo Martin and Lucia Perez are neighbours and friends and are part of the 900 elderly people who will benefit from the activity in the capital.

Taxiluz also allows them to break the barrier that separates them from the city centre.

"Since my husband died 10 years ago, I haven't been going to the centre of Madrid because I can't use the metro nor the bus," Ms Perez said.

In 2017, when the idea of Taxiluz was born in Madrid, only twenty taxis took part. This year there are more than two hundred volunteer vehicles and the initiative has spread to 12 cities across the country.

This is most beautiful drive of the year.
Juan Ramon Rodriguez
Taxi driver

Juan Ramon Rodriguez is also a taxi driver and looks forward to the day each year.

"This is the most beautiful drive of the year," he said. 

Lucía, Adolfo and Tamara start the two-hour ride through the main streets of the capital, something that is a novelty for the elderly.

They then all gather for a cup of hot chocolate for a bit of Christmas magic.

Watch Euronews' report in the video player above to learn more.