Christina Aguilera returned to her país for the first time ever.
The multiplatinum-selling artist touched down in Ecuador, her father’s native country, during a trip with Yum! Brands’ World Hunger Relief, which she’s been a volunteer for since 2009, to offer support to struggling and hungry children in the region, reports the Associated Press.
While she also visited Haiti, Rwanda and Guatemala during her efforts, the stop in Ecuador was especially touching.
“This particular trip was sort of extra-special for me because it was my blood and heritage,” she told the AP. “My father was born in Ecuador and my grandfather was born in Quito, which is the city I stayed in. And we would drive out in the fields which were hours away by car and into the farmland and sort of refugee areas where people are struggling.”
Although Aguilera could have basked in the beauty of the country at any exclusive resort she instead gave back to the Ecuadorians that needed it most.
“This was a really interesting and raw way to go about it,” she explained. “It wasn’t like I vacationed there in one of the more beautiful spots such as Galapagos Islands or things like that. I went into the fields and got to meet the women and children there who are really trying to survive.”
The former “Voice” coach admitted to not having a close relationship with her father, but she still had a yearning to get to know the country he came from.
“I definitely had always wanted to go visit where my dad comes from, the culture, you know, not having sort of a consistent relationship at all in my life with him and not really knowing him as I’ve gotten older through the years as well,” she said. “But … it is a part of my blood and a part of my heritage and a part of my people.”
The “Beautiful” singer added, “I think it’s important and I think it’s good to know where you come from and sort of get to know your roots.”