¡Que viva Puerto Rico! While her Hollywood peers hit the Golden Globe Awards, Jennifer Lopez visited her family’s home island with boyfriend Alex Rodriguez by her side.
Four months after Hurricane Maria hit the U.S. territory, doubling down on the destruction created by Hurricane Irma days earlier, nearly half of Puerto Rico is still without power and struggling to repair crucial infrastructure. The Bronx-born megastar and the former New York Yankees slugger made the trip primarily to launch the Puerto Rico Federally Qualified Health Centers Disaster Recovery Fund, but they did make time to bond with the people of the island, and even show off their dance moves.
A-Rod shared some of the lighter side of the trip on Instagram with a video of him and Lopez, whose parents are both Puerto Rican, dancing to the native percussion-based bomba y plena alongside Puerto Rican musicians.
The people of Puerto Rico were excited to see the superstars, who led efforts to raise more than $30 million in recovery funding, brought renewed attention to the devastation with the trip, and also interacted with those in remote areas hardest hit. Journalist Lynda Lopez, Jennifer’s younger sister, joined the duo to cover their tour.
The world famous couple visited a senior citizen who’d been living under a tarp, without power or a front door, and informed him that money from their October telethon would be used to rebuild his roof. Rodriguez used the occasion to give a shout-out to Puerto Rican resilience.
The visit was emotional for the Shades of Blue star, who waited six days to hear from her family after Hurricane Maria made landfall September 20. “I would wake up… she would be crying looking at social media,” Rodriguez said of Lopez during the aftermath. “I mean one thing is to raise money. The other thing is to actually fly down here, feel the warmth of the people, see the beauty of this island.”
“You do what you can do and you hope it’s going to help,” Lopez added.
The Latin power couple, together since May 2017, have been hard at work helping Puerto Rico over the last couple of months. With the assistance of Lopez’s ex-husband Marc Anthony, they put together a star-studded benefit concert that included such luminaries as Camila Cabello, Demi Lovato, Maroon 5, Ricky Martin, Gwen Stefani, Chris Martin, Jamie Foxx, Mary J. Blige and others. Lopez and Rodriguez also donated money that included $1 million from the proceeds of the singer’s Las Vegas show. “We need to do as much as we can to help the people of Puerto Rico,” Lopez told PEOPLE.