Ricky Martin and Habitat for Humanity International’s CEO travel to Haiti in support of recovery efforts

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti– Ricky Martin traveled to Port-au-Prince with Habitat for Humanity International’s CEO Jonathan Reckford to visit one of the earthquake-ravaged neighborhoods in the capital city. Martin was moved by the massive devastation caused by the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck last week and just as he did following the Dec. 2004 Asian tsunami, traveled as quickly as possible to the affected region.

ricky-martin-picture-2“The only words I can think of to describe what I’ve witnessed here
today are that this is a living nightmare. The images that are now in
my head will be impossible to erase,” said Martin. “Children and
families impacted by this disaster will need long-term help restoring
their lives, in every sense of the word. Every family is a family in
need. I’m asking each of you to think about the future of the
children. What they will need to survive after they are properly fed
and have received appropriate medical care is a safe and decent home.”

The Ricky Martin Foundation (RMF) continues their ongoing partnership
with Habitat for Humanity (HFH) by creating the RMF/HFH Haiti Recovery
Fund. Both organizations are encouraging supporters to visit
www.habitat.org/rmfhaiti to donate now for immediate and long-term
efforts in Haiti.

“What we see after a disaster is that families want to return to their
homes and begin rebuilding their lives as quickly as possible,” said
Reckford. “Habitat for Humanity will help as many families as we can
in this recovery. We are grateful to Ricky Martin and the Ricky Martin
Foundation for their support of Habitat over the years and in this
effort. We also are grateful to all of Habitat’s partners and
supporters who will join us during this critical moment.”

logohabitatHabitat for Humanity’s Disaster Response team in Haiti assessed the
damage to low-income neighborhoods impacted by the earthquake and will
work alongside Habitat for Humanity Haiti in the response and recovery
efforts. Habitat for Humanity offers a three-fold response that
includes clearing debris from home sites, providing Habitat for
Humanity Shelter Kits, and repairing and rebuilding of homes through a
transitional housing method.

When families return to their homes from temporary shelters, Habitat
will help them remove debris and identify what materials can be reused
for rebuilding.

Habitat for Humanity Shelter Kits will be provided that include
building materials and tools to make immediate repairs to damaged
homes. The kits typically include items such as hammers, nails,
buckets, rope, crowbar, a tarp, trowels and handsaws.

Habitat for Humanity will help families repair homes where possible.
For homes that are beyond repair, Habitat will help families build new
houses that are stronger and more resistant to earthquakes and
hurricanes.

“We want to provide the widest range of resources available to get
families back into their homes,” added Reckford. “We know from
previous experience that giving families the tools and working
alongside them is the best way to improve their housing conditions
after a disaster.”

Habitat for Humanity has been at work in Haiti for 26 years and has
provided more than 2,000 families with housing solutions through a
variety of initiatives including new home construction, progressive
building, home repairs and improvements. Habitat also builds capacity
in construction skills, disaster mitigation and financial literacy,
and works in coordination with community and government agencies.

“I think the last thing any of us wants is for a child to be without a
home. Together, we need to protect the children and families displaced
by the earthquake in Haiti. Please donate now to the RMF/HFH Haiti
fund and help us keep the children safe,” added Martin.

Through his ongoing philanthropic endeavors in conjunction with the
Ricky Martin Foundation, Martin continues to be one of Habitat for
Humanity’s most visible supporters. Martin’s relationship with the
organization began in early 2005, when the Ricky Martin Foundation
partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build 224 homes in Thailand in
response to the Asian tsunami in Dec. 2004. Martin personally assisted
in the building of the home and has said that handing over the keys to
the homeowners was one of the most impactful moments of his life.

Martin shared about his first two visits to Thailand on behalf of
Habitat for Humanity on the Oprah Winfrey show, as well as at
Habitat’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project in Los Angeles, where
he spoke to the assembled Habitat families and volunteers from around
the world.