Things That Matter

People Have Packed Puerto Rico’s San Juan Airport And Are Standing In Hot, Humid Conditions So They Don’t Lose Their Place In Line

Credit: CBS This Morning/ YouTube

“The food is not enough, the gas is not enough, so everyone is fighting to get at whatever is available.”

CBS reporter David Begnaud is in Puerto Rico painting a picture of the total disarray the island is in after Hurricane Maria. From the lack of food and water to floodwater-submerged houses, electricity still out, spotty cell service coverage at best, and a flood-damaged dam ready to burst, Puerto Rico is facing the largest disaster and humanitarian crisis of its modern history.

Off-air, Begnaud was a little less buttoned up about what was happening, showing how desperate the situation at the airport actually is.

Begnaud spoke to some people who have been sitting in the airport for up to five days in abysmal conditions. According to some who were waiting in line, people who were able to afford ticket prices of $1700 and up to $3000 were able to board some of the earlier flights off the island.

Flights off the island are starting at $1,500.

Parents are stuck inside the airport where it’s the hottest, so they don’t lose a spot in line, while their children sweat in their strollers.

Governor Ricardo Rossello is aware of the situation and is planning on sending relief to the airports…

But for some that relief isn’t coming fast enough.

Some Puerto Ricans are trying to use their celebrity status to motivate action.

Infuriated with a government that isn’t doing enough, Marc Anthony called on the president to focus on issues more important than sports.

Ricky Martin has partnered with YouCaring to raise funds for Puerto Rico.

Even superstar Luis Fonsi couldn’t keep it together when asked about the crisis.

Fonsi in an interview with Telemundo said “We want to help and we’re looking for every way to do that. We haven’t forgotten about them” as he pushed through tears.


READ: As The Federal Government Argues With The NFL And Debates Healthcare, J.Lo And New York State Are Helping Puerto Rico


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Bad Bunny And Marc Anthony Will Rebuild Baseball Parks In Puerto Rico Destroyed By Hurricane María

Entertainment

Bad Bunny And Marc Anthony Will Rebuild Baseball Parks In Puerto Rico Destroyed By Hurricane María

badbunnypr / marcanthony / Instagram

While it’s been two years since Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, the recovery efforts aren’t finishing anytime soon. Many people on the island are still trying to put their lives back together, which includes rebuilding homes, churches, and schools. What many might not know is the recovery efforts have also included revitalizing baseball fields on the island where Puerto Ricans once played. 

Among the destruction that both Hurricanes Irma and Maria left in 2017 is more than 300 small league baseball parks that were found inoperative. As a result, many community ball programs were essentially eliminated and youths on the island were essentially left in the dark without fields to play the sport.

Leading the revitalization efforts are Puerto Rico’s own two native sons: Bad Bunny and Marc Anthony. The duo, along with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a U.S. community development non-profit, has teamed up for a new program called Play Ball Again. The purpose of the initiative will be to help rebuild some of those damaged baseball fields and facilitate local programming for 17,500 youth. It is expected that in total, about 300 facilities will be impacted by this initiative. 

The duo hopes the contributions play a huge role in bringing not only baseball back to the island but a place where people can escape from their worries. 

Credit: @laguerradelbsn / Twitter

The initiative is special to both of them not only because they’re helping youth but they hoping these recovery efforts go a long way in bringing back a sense of community. Maestro Cares Foundation, which Anthony owns, is putting money towards the program with a goal of restoring “normalcy” in Puerto Rico.

“Sports and recreation activities help restore a sense of normalcy, in the wake of disasters,” Anthony, who is among the program’s earliest supporters, said in a press release.” Baseball isn’t just a game in this context. It helps young people do better in school and improves family life and health in difficult circumstances.”

Maestro Cares, along with the Good Bunny Foundation and UNICEF USA, will all be putting forth $300,000 of what LISC expects to be more than $1.6 million in baseball field renovations. Joining the efforts is Chicago Cubs second baseman Javi Baez with his Cubs Charities, which will donate an additional $100,000 in support. This also includes the Kohler Company, which made a donation to fund bathroom fixtures for onsite facilities.

“Two years after these devastating storms, the need to rebuild the island remains strong,” Báez, whose family is from the Bayamón area, said in a press release. “Cubs Charities understood the need and has stepped up to the plate to help restore baseball fields and give kids throughout Puerto Rico the opportunity to play the game. This rebuild will make a big difference for the community, and I am proud to continue my efforts to restore the island.”

The recovery efforts in Puerto Rico have been long and tiresome but the fuel behind the revitalization has always been the people. 

 Credit: UNICEF / MAESTRO CARES

While time may have passed, many on the island of Puerto Rico are still trying to get back on their feet. For Bad Bunny, he knows firsthand the power that activities like baseball have on youth. Growing up, baseball was part of his life and much of his time was spent at many of the ballparks that were destroyed in 2017. 

“Growing up on the island I spent a lot of time in some of these parks that are now destroyed,” says Bad Bunny, whose Good Bunny Foundation is part of the initiative. “In parks similar to these, a lot of great athletes like Roberto Clemente, Yadier Molina, Roberto Alomar, Edgar Martinez, and Ivan Rodriguez grew up. Our commitment is to rebuild these parks so that we can help new athletes grow. This is the first step for the rebirth of sports within the island.”

The rebirth of Puerto Rico is taking time but in that process, there is a sense that an even stronger community will come out of this disaster. While simple things like baseball may not seem significant, it’s a part of the fabric of Puerto Rico and displays the love that is shared playing on a field. This rebirth has already started as construction on the baseball field is underway and most field renovations are set for completion by the 2020 season.

READ: The Death of Four-Year-Old Noah Cuatro Has Rocked the Los Angeles Community As They Come to Grips With the Failure of Child Protective Services

Ricky Martin, A Fan Of Big Families, Announces He And His Husband Expecting Fourth Child

Entertainment

Ricky Martin, A Fan Of Big Families, Announces He And His Husband Expecting Fourth Child

Ricky_martin / Instagram

Global music icon Ricky Martin continues to soar in his third decade as an entertainer. Since the release of his first solo album in 1991, the singer has sold over 70 million records and has won multiple Grammy and Latin Grammy awards. A multi-talented artist, Ricky is also a New York Times Best Seller and a passionate philanthropist and humanitarian. The pop star and actor most recently starred as Antonio D’Amico, Gianni Versace’s long-time partner, in the multi Emmy nominated FX Drama Series, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story which earned him a nomination for an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor. The hitmaker was also recently publicly involved in the protests against the former governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, who used homophobic and other bigoted language in private conversations. 

The Human Rights Campaign honored his trajectory and passionate work last Saturday in Washington D.C. with an award for his advocacy of LGBTQ rights and philanthropy. And Ricky took advantage of the setting to announce his family’s big news. 

While attending the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner, Ricky Martin announced that he and husband Jwan Yosef are expecting.

Ricky Martin was awarded the National Visibility Award during the HRC’s 23rd Annual National Dinner last Saturday for his commitment to the fight for equality. “With his unique voice and passionate activism, Ricky Martin has used his international stage to advocate for LGBTQ people around the world,” said  HRC President Alphonso David. “Ricky is an artist, an advocate and a philanthropist, and we look forward to celebrating all of this important work by honoring him with the National Visibility Award at the Human Rights Campaign’s National Dinner.”

 The singer announced the happy news in the middle of his acceptance speech.

“My family is here. Jwan, I can’t see you but I love you, My beautiful twins Valentino and Matteo are here too. I love you with all my heart, you are my strength, you are my inspiration every day, you are my motivation to keep doing what I do, you are incredible, amazing kids. I love you. Lucía, my baby girl, is not here with us, she’s at home with granny, but she is the light of my life.” With a big smile on his face, Ricky continued, “By the way, I have to announce we are pregnant. We are expecting. I have to admit it, I love big families!” he said drawing applause and cheering from the audience. 

Ricky is not ‘Living La Vida Loca’ anymore, but rather ‘la vida feliz’. 

“The Assassination of Gianni Versace” star has a solid career and a wonderful family with husband Jwan Yosef and their three children; twins Matteo and Valentino and baby girl Lucia. Just last month the couple shared the first photo of baby Lucia, who was born on Christmas Eve of 2018 —coincidentally, Ricky Martin’s birthday too.

“La Luz de mis ojos #Lucia”, “The light of my eyes”, was the singer’s caption for the photo of his baby sitting on Yosef’s lap. Artist Yosef, shared the same image on his Instagram, captioning it, “Baby Lucia Martin-Yosef being the LIGHT she is”.

Ricky has been outspoken about how much he loves big families, “I want four pairs of twins”.

Ricky_martin / Instagram

Martin never hid the fact that he loves big families and has always wanted one for himself. Ahead of the 2019 Golden Globes, the star opened up about wanting a big family. “I want four pairs of twins. I would love to have a big family, but there’s a lot going on at this moment, a lot of work,” he told People. “It’s a lot going on so we’re going to put things in order first and then we are going to get ready for many more kids.”

The pair’s twin boys were born through surrogacy, as reported by People, and Ricky inferred his plans to do the same with future children while chatting with Cohen on “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen” in 2017. “It’s funny because the way we do babies, I get to choose the sex,” he said.