HOLA! USA/Cliff Watts
When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, Ricky Martinwas front and center to aid victims and repair his beloved island.
The 45-year-old star has been helping countless people for 14 years, but this year he felt even more of a calling with all of the natural disasters that happened all over the Western Hemisphere.
The "Vente pa' ca" singer knew had had to help the victims of the earthquakes, hurricanes, and fires—and so he did. And all of his continuous work hasn't been overlooked, HOLA! USA is honoring Martin's outstanding contribution to those in need and they're naming him Humanitarian of the Year 2017. Martin sat down with the magazine at his beautiful home in Los Angeles and gave his most heartfelt interview yet.
"The day of the hurricane I was in denial: 'It's going to turn, it won't get to us; we are alright....' And suddenly, silence. You can't communicate with your family. We were in Las Vegas when this happened, but my father and my brothers were in Puerto Rico," Martin explains. "Others were with me in Las Vegas. And the only thing I wanted to do was grab the next flight and get to Puerto Rico, and hug my father and my brothers, and that wasn't an option."
The star, who has raised more than $4 million for victims through his Ricky Martin Foundation, says he's teaching compassion to his nine-year-old twin boys Valentino, and Matteo.
"In this home, we talk about empathy. It's important for us to find out how others feel," Martin explains to the magazine.
And with a leading example like their father, it's no surprise that the twins have giving hearts.
"They are very clear on things. I asked them, 'What would you like to do?' I explained that there are organizations, that people were donating money...Then one of my sons tells me: 'Papi, I want to break my piggy bank. I want to give it all," he said.
The singer says that when he heard that he felt like, "Superman has got nothing on me because my kids gave me that perspective. They don't know what they did for me. Maybe they'll find out now and will read about it when they are big. They'll understand what they did for me. If they gave up their piggy bank, then I have to give mine."
And although 2017 presented a lot of difficult moments, it has also been a year filled with wedding planning for Martin and his fiancé Jwan Yosef.
"I can tell you that I am very much in love, more than ever. But it's difficult to imagine a wedding not on a beautiful beach in my beautiful island," the star explains. "That's why we'll have to wait a while. But it will be a big three-day party, maybe in several cities. Jwan's family is Syrian and they can't come to the United States now. So maybe we'll have a Caribbean wedding and a European wedding."