Earlier this year, pop star Justin Bieber made headlines after he posted about his "humbling" experience with charity Pencils for Promise in a poor, rural Guatemalan village. "Today was 1 of the most powerful and humbling days of my life. Thank u Guatemala & Pencils of Promise," the "Recovery" singer tweeted, "Today I saw real happiness. So powerful."
Bieber isn't the first non-Latino to travel to Latin America for charity work. These 6 celebrities– from Angelina Jolie to Robert Duvall–have all lent their fame, their voices, and their funds to the people of Latin America:
America’s sweetheart, Kelly Clarkson, travelled to Peru to take part in Green Mountain Coffee’s Great Coffee, Good Vibes, Choose Fair Trade campaign. While visiting Chiclayo, Peru, Clarkson campaigned to help coffee farmers in the country receive higher wages. “I’ll never drink a cup of coffee again without thinking of the farmers I met,” she said of the trip. “If you’re working hard, you deserve to be compensated fairly for what you do.” Read more about her work with the campaign at Yahoo! Shine.
Angelina Jolie has made three trips to Ecuador to meet with Colombian refugees in the country. Her work with The United Nations Refugee Agency brought attention to the 56,000 refugees who have fled violence in Colombia.“It is time to celebrate the resilience of the displaced people int he region and renew our commitment to laws and policies that offer then protection, safety, and a chance for a dignified life,” she said. Read more about her work at the UNHCR website.
In 1988, Bruce Springsteen headlined the Amnesty International Human Rights Now! World Tour to increase awareness for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on its 40th anniversary. The dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile ended around the same time as the tour, and many of the musicians involved have stated that the Latin American country was a huge influence to their work during the time. “Chile was in our hearts,” Springsteen said in September 2013, after performing a tribute to Chilean folksinger Victor Jara.
Sting and Trudie Styler founded the Rainforest Foundation in 1989 after witnessing the destruction of the Amazon rainforest -- and the devastating impact it had upon the indigenous people of the area. The charity works primarily in the countries of Brazil, Guyana, Peru, and Panama, and has helped local communities protect over 28 million acres of forest. Read more about the charity at the Rainforest Foundation website.
When Amazon Watch and International Rivers teamed up to raise awareness about a harmful dam project in Latin America, they turned to Sigourney Weaver to get the message across. Weaver narrated a 10-minute long video drawing attention to the negative impacts of the Belo Monte Dam Complex on Amazon’s Xingu River. Watch the video at Amazon Watch’s website.
The Robert Duvall Children’s Fund has partnered with organization such as Todos Juntos, Pro Mujer, and HelpArgentina to improve the living conditions of impoverished children in Latin America. Their projects include building house for impoverished families, assisting single mother’s living in poverty, and providing medical access for Latin American youth with down syndrome. Read more at the Robert Duvall Children’s Fund website.