Before his inescapable hit “Despacito” won huge at the Latin Grammys, Luis Fonsi had already won this week with the news coming out of Puerto Rico. The San Juan-born singer teamed up with local activist group Por los Nuestros to convert a ruined building into a solar-powered laundromat for the La Perla neighborhood, according to Metro Puerto Rico.
“I want to thank, with all my heart, the Puerto Ricans that compose the group Por los Nuestros. With the opening of this laundromat, we bring a bit of relief to the community, and we contribute to the healthcare that is key in these times,” said Fonsi. “I’ll continue to look for ways to help the residents of La Perla and my beloved Puerto Rico.”
To help supply the laundromat, certain worldwide brands were brought in to donate equipment and labor. Whirpool donated six high-efficiency laundry machines, while Germany energy company Sonnen provided the solar panels and batteries that will provide power to the laundromat. Procter & Gamble also pitched in, donating large shipments of detergent, while local company Pura Energía did the solar panel installation.
Fonsi, who is currently in Europe on his world tour, helped bring La Perla into the mainstream even further this year, as the “Despacito” music video was filmed in the neighborhood. He’s been committed to the cause of helping Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria hit the island, and his YouCaring page has over $43,000 in donations.
Thanking him for his involvement in the laundromat project, the president of the Junta Comunitaria in La Perla, Yashira Gomez had this to say: “We want to profoundly thank Fonsi and the companies that teamed up to completely this initiative, one that’s so useful in these critical moments. We love the idea that we’re a platform to try alternatives with solar energy, which will contribute to the quality of life in our community.”