Known for his good looks, sensational stage presence, sexy voice and great acting abilities, Ricky Martin has made a name for himself globally with his exceptional talents.
While the 46-year-old international superstar has quite the in demand career and several projects in the works, he has another passion–giving back. His cause is ending human trafficking and to give vulnerable children a voice, he launched The Ricky Martin Foundation , which The Voluntourist recently talked to him about.
“We’re fighting human trafficking. We’ve been fighting human trafficking for more than a decade now and it all started with Penelope [Cruz]. Many years ago we sponsored an orphanage and I’ve been trying to create laws and reinforce laws,” [to help children] he said.
“With everything happening with Puerto Rico, now is when the traffickers take advantage of the children. After an incident like the hurricane in Puerto Rico because there are kids that end of being orphaned and that’s when they come and seduce them into child porn and prostitute. It’s crazy like that,” he explained.
In addition, he said, “There are countries where you become an adult at the age of 12 and prostitution is tolerated. So if the child is being forced into prostitution, it’s not committing a crime because prostitution is tolerated at the age of 12.”
It was when he saw the problem first hand that he knew he had to do something.
“I went to India because this friend of mine was building an orphanage. From the airport he told me, ‘no let’s go straight to the streets. Let’s rescue girls.” When I found out these girls were five-years-old, six-years-old, seven years-old, and they were lured into prostitution, I went crazy,” he revealed.
“I came back home and educated myself on the subject and I went to talk to Congress. Then I went to Cambodia, I went to Thailand and went to Haiti right after the earthquake and we keep fighting. It’s very difficult.”
“It’s important to keep talking about how 53 percent of the island is still without power. We’re talking about four million U.S. citizens that right now live in extreme isolation. We’re being forgotten and things are very tough now on the island,” Martin told The Voluntourist.
But there’s something you can do to help. The Ricky Martin Foundation is now accepting volunteers and welcome your inquires.
“You can send us emails and now more than ever we have an amazing program for volunteers if you’re willing to come to the island and help children,” he told us.
In addition to donating his time on the island, the Grammy Award-winning artist helped raise a substantial amount of money that will go directly to the people in need.
“We did a telethon for the victims of Puerto Rico. We did it with Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez. So many people were involved and we raised almost $40 million. I have another fund that I did with YouCaring/Ricky Martin Foundation, and we’ve already raised about $4 million. We have to keep raising funds because it’s going to take at least for Puerto Rico to be anywhere near where it was.”
For more information, check out The Ricky Martin Foundation.