Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda said that all of his musical projects are on hold to devote himself completely to helping in the reconstruction of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.
“I have a couple of things, shows and songs, but everything is on hold,” said Miranda, who is of Puerto Rican origin, at a press conference announcing the Federation of Hispanics delivery of $100,000 to seven local non-profit organizations to continue with their social missions.
Miranda said that although he has scheduled to continue writing other musical works and songs, during his vacation – which coincided with Hurricane Maria hitting Puerto Rico – he composed the song “Almost Like Praying,” which has been downloaded more than 100,000 times and seeks to raise funds to rebuild the island.
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“We are in the moment of reconstruction, we have received money from all over the United States and even from more than 30 countries, the effort has been incredible, I know that sometimes here on the island people feel lonely, but they are not alone. A lot of people worldwide are supporting them,” Miranda said.
He explained that part of the economic efforts come from digital downloads.
“I’m going to keep shouting; our job is to put Puerto Rico in everyone’s conversations. I came now and a month later we’re going to continue talking about Puerto Rico and that’s the job for the future,” he said.
He recalled that he wrote “Almost Like Praying,” a song to raise funds for the island, the day after the passage of Hurricane Maria, in order to include the 78 municipalities of Puerto Rico which features prominent artists, including Jennifer López, Marc Anthony, Luis Fonsi, Juan Luis Guerra, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Tommy Torres, among others.
“I felt that the title of the song was very appropriate, because when a tragedy happens, ‘thoughts and prayers’ are not enough,” explained Miranda, recalling the messages he read on the social networks of Puerto Ricans in the U.S. asking about their relatives on the island with whom they had no communication.
“In that silence, everyone wanted to do something. I went to Miami, Los Angeles and New York to record, all that money goes directly to Puerto Rico,” said Miranda, who included in the song a piece of the award-winning film “West Side Story. “
Miranda also announced that he will participate on March 19 in a Washington DC rally, which will march from the Capitol to the Jefferson Memorial, and where the attendance of at least 5,000 Puerto Ricans are expected.
The seven non-profit organizations that will receive the aid of $100,000 are Beta Local, the Centro de Microempresas y Tecnologías Agrícolas de Yauco, Sor Isolina Ferré Centers, the project Enlace Caño Martín Peña, Para La Naturaleza and the program Programa de Educación Comunal de Entrega y Servicio y Protectores de Cuencas.
The award-winning composer and lyricist will take his hit show Hamilton: An American Musical to the University of Puerto Rico’s campus in San Juan for a limited three-week run in January 2019.
This story has been translated from Metro Puerto Rico’s Spanish edition.