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Ricky Martin will be expanding his philanthropic work by opening a new Prevention Center in Puerto Rico, to help fight human trafficking. Having founded the Ricky Martin Foundation in 2000, Martin works to defend children’s rights and promote awareness efforts to enable children to be, quite simply, children.

Martin’s current initiatives in Puerto Rico include the ‘Se Trata’ community program, run by the Ricky Martin Foundation and Doral Bank, which aims to protect children and youth in Puerto Rico from human trafficking. The Ricky Martin Foundation has also granted 12 scholarships to provide financial support to low income students, enabling them to attend the School of Medicine at the University of Puerto Rico.

Set to open early 2012, the Child Development and Prevention Center will allow children and youth at risk to receive an emotional and educational alternative that will maximize their potential as dignified human beings, and be proud of their culture and heritage. The center will be situated in Loiza, Puerto Rico, but Martin has said that it is just the start of a project which will spread across the rest of the island, and on to the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Latin America.

The center has a budget of $4 million, and will consist of ten classrooms, a library and a recreation area. It is a part of Martin’s plan to “make a difference for the children and young people of Loiza… to give them support and the tools they need to guarantee them a better future”. The center will also highlight the importance of values such as music, sports, meditation, health and the arts.

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