It started in 2011 with a visit by Marc Anthony to an orphanage in Dominican Republic. The home, Fundacion Niño de Cristo, which housed 50 boys, had long been a pet project of Anthony’s good friend and longtime concert promoter, Henry Cárdenas -- owner of CMN, the leading Latin concert promotion company in the country -- and his wife Elena Sotomayor.
Their involvement led them to take Anthony there during a Christmas holiday. He was enchanted.
“We would always talk about this orphanage that Henry had supported for over 10 years,” Anthony told Billboard in 2014. “And I came for Christmas, I had a staff party, and my whole staff was here, and they bought all kinds of toys and sneakers and stuff for the kids. And I walked into the orphanage and saw those kids and I was just shocked. It impacted me. I instantly looked at Henry and said, ‘We need to do something.’ We built a five-acre compound for the kids, and they each have their own bed, their own closet. It’s so important for their dignity to have their own things. So we built this orphanage. We did it. We built it in less than a year.”