Daddy Yankee Donates $1 Million to Puerto Rico as He’s Reunited with His Family on the Island
Daddy Yankee has donated $1 million toward relief efforts in his native island of Puerto Rico, PEOPLE confirms.
The 40-year-old rapper, who was born in San Juan, returned to Puerto Rico Thursday, reuniting with his wife and children after being on tour, a rep for him tells PEOPLE.
The rep says it was his first time seeing the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.
On top of donating $1 million, the rapper has already given $300,000 toward local organizations, and is currently in the process of flying supplies to the island.
“As a Puerto Rican who lives on the island, I felt the call, that the rebuilding of my country has to be for a long term,” he tells PEOPLE in a statement. “In this initial phase, I want to make sure that every person has a plate to eat. In the long run, my commitment is work to ensure that the largest number of families on the island have a safe roof.”
The “Despacito” singer, who lives in Puerto Rico full time and whose real name is Ramon Ayala Rodriguez, said the $1 million will be divided among Feeding America, the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and local organizations.
Speaking to PEOPLE recently, the musician said that what is occurring in Puerto Rico is “unbelievable.”
“There’s no power and no communication in Puerto Rico,” he said. “Right now everybody is trying to rebuild the country, waiting for help. Right now, we got at least one more week for water and food, but after that it’s going to be chaos. We don’t want that.”
“Honestly, I just got up and my heartbeat was like a crazy adrenaline rush. I said, “I got to do something. I got to do something because I live there, my family’s there.” I asked myself, “Okay, what can I do right now? Gather supplies, get everybody involved and try to bring all the supplies to Puerto Rico.” That’s what I’m working on right now with the community, my fans and everybody in a position of power to donate for Puerto Rico,” he continued.
“Help is on the way. Everybody is involved right now — it’s a long process,” he added. “It’s a big mobilization of supplies. We have the government mobilizing different emergency groups in Puerto Rico, everything that we the artists are gathering as well. It takes a strategy and infrastructure to make that happen and we are organizing. But help is on the way.”
His donation is already on top of 10 trucks full of supplies donated by his fans at his concerts, according to the AP.