Lin-Manuel Miranda used Puerto Rican town names for the lyrics.
Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico was personal for Lin-Manuel Miranda and millions of Puerto Ricans worldwide. As relief efforts from the federal government dragged at a disappointingly slow pace, several celebrities used their platform to send assistance to those on the Caribbean island. Pitbull sent a plane to assist cancer patients, Jennifer Lopez has worked to raise funds (she also donated $1 million of her own money) and Bethenny Frankel sent planes with supplies. Now, Miranda, along with 25 other artists, have created a new song to raise money for the Hispanic Federation called “Almost Like Praying.” The song, which is mostly in Spanish, features J.Lo, Fat Joe, Gina Rodriguez, Camila Cabello, Luis Fonsi, Rita Moreno, Marc Anthony and so many more artists singing about Puerto Rico. The lyrics focus on all the different cities and towns throughout the island, like Isabela, Maricao, Fajardo, Dorado.
“Well, the only lyric that really unites us and that makes the most sense for a fundraising song is if I can somehow write a lyric that includes all 78 towns in Puerto Rico so that no one feels left out and no one’s town feels forgotten,” Miranda told NPR about how his social media timelines were filled with people searching for family from different towns. “There’s been a lot of heartbreaking stories coming out of Puerto Rico. But one of the ones that broke my heart was actually not the story but the headline. The headline in The [New York] Times on Sunday was, ‘Many Towns In Puerto Rico Feeling Forgotten,’ and that broke my heart.”