Music has been called “the universal language” – and La Banda contestant Luis Gamarra is doing what he can to make sure it stays that way.
“When I was 18 years old I won the U.S. visa lottery so I came to this country to make my dreams come true,” the Bolivian says in a La Banda preview clip exclusive to PEOPLE.
When Gamarra, 22, arrived at Berklee College of Music, he was shocked to discover he was the only Bolivian in the entire student body.
“That made me realize that I needed to do something. It was then that I decided to create a non-profit organization whose main goal is to offer scholarships and opportunities so that young Bolivian students can attend the best artistic universities in the world,” Gamarra explains on the show, which premieres Sunday night on Univision with English subtitles available via CC3. “It’s gratifying to see the faces of the students and knowing I had something to do with the opportunities they receive to change their lives the way mine changed.”
And now Gamarra hopes to change his life again by competing on La Banda, which boasts Ricky Martin as a judge and is produced by Simon Cowell‘s production company Syco Entertainment. Contestants will perform in both English and Spanish during the musical competition.
“My future and my dreams are in your hands,” Gamarra tells the audience in the clip. “So I ask for your vote.”
La Banda premieres Sunday, Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. (ET) on Univision.