RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico – Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin announced that he will expand construction of institutions like his foundation’s Child Development and Prevention Center, expected to be completed in Loiza, Puerto Rico, in 2012, to the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and the rest of Latin America.
Martin and his foundation held Friday the third edition of a golf tournament aimed at collecting funds for the children’s center that will combat the exploitation and trafficking of children in Puerto Rico.
“This is just the start of a project that is going to spread across the rest of the island and on to the Domican Republic, Mexico and Latin America,” Martin said after winding up the event held at the Trump International Golf Resort in Rio Grande, a town on the east coast of Puerto Rico.
The Ricky Martin Foundation Child Development and Prevention Center, with a budget of $4 million, will begin construction this year and its inauguration is expected for 2012 or early 2013.
The center will consist of 10 classrooms, a library and a recreation area.
The institution will care for children from infancy to high-school age and will operate, in alliance with the philanthropic organization SER of Puerto Rico, the Our School and Community Initiative.
Martin said that the center will promote the arts, music, meditation, yoga, sports, martial arts, health, personalized education, culture and ethical values.
“We need to and we want to make a difference for the children and young people of Loiza. We will be there to give them support and the tools they need to guarantee them a better future,” Martin said.
The center’s design was entrusted by the Ricky Martin Foundation to the director of the Community Design Workshop of the University of Puerto Rico’s School of Architecture, Elio Martinez Joffre.
The artist said that the project to help the kids of Loiza and the rest of Latin America is “really powerful,” and thanked the 208 people who took part in the tourney, whose entry fee was $250.
Martin joked that he will be sure to play in the 2012 tournament, because if he had done so on Friday he’d have made a fool of himself due to his lack of practice.
The Puerto Rican singer took up the fight against this scourge after his 2002 trip to India, where he saw at first hand the immensity of the trafficking and exploitation of minors in the Asian country.
Martin will resume his European tour on June 23 at the Atlantico Pavilion in Lisbon, the following day at the Municipal Auditorium of Malaga, Spain, and on June 25 at the Murcia Bullring.
The Puerto Rican singer will also appear in Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, London, Holland and Finland.