|In this photo taken June 13, 2012, Avelino Chavez, wearing his signature Superman costume, waves and greets riot police walking in formation toward a plaza where a protest is expected to take place in downtown Lima, Peru.|
Meet Avelino Chavez. The 52-year-old “Superman” doesn’t have any superpowers to speak of, but he sure is busy. He can’t stop speeding bullets, but he’s always present at political rallies and speeches. He doesn’t save damsels in distress, but he makes wedding appearances, like at Peru’s famed opera tenor Juan Diego Florez’s nuptials. He can’t fly, but does work with a travel agency in the central Plaza de Armas.
“Hola Superman!” people shout on the streets. “Hola, Superamigo!” he yells back. I’m not making that up.
Chavez has had the gig as Superman for about 15 years now, and earns $160 a month for his caped-crusader-related appearances. Prior to being Superman, he was a bullfighter, a craftsman, and even a brothel security guard.
“I lost my job but realized that I could be Superman. I went to the store and bought a blue shirt and a cousin of mine who is a seamstress sewed the cape, the boots, the belt and the red tights,” said Chavez.
The gig earns him enough to keep going and support his night-job of “maintain(ing) order in the city.” He doesn’t get many opportunities to save the day while on patrol, unfortunately. He said that he recovered a stolen purse for a woman back in 2002, but didn’t mention any other crime fighting.
[NBC Los Angeles]