The singer said the honor acknowledges his nearly two decades of working with kids
Ricardo Montaner
Credit: Madelyn Rodríguez

Singer Ricardo Montaner was declared a UNICEF goodwill ambassador in Panama City on Monday.

“It's a huge responsibility that strengthens my obligation to the youth,” the 50-year-old artist said after being presented with the distinction by Nils Kastberg, regional director of the organization in Latin America.

According to the Argentinean-Venezuelan singer, the honor “is the result of nearly two decades of quiet social work.” For the last 15 years, Montaner has dedicated himself to the children's cause Los Hijos del Sol, a nonprofit foundation that runs food distribution and vaccination campaigns for orphaned and underprivileged children. And two years ago, he and his wife Marlene Rodríguez founded La Ventana de los Cielos, a Miami-based organization that works with children with Down syndrome, autism and cerebral palsy.

“He is the example that it is possible to have an influence in politics, that things can change, and with that the reality of many boys and girls,” Kastberg explained when asked how a musician can help raise awareness about children's needs issues, according to Argentinean newspaper Crónica.

Montaner told Notimex news agency that his new role with UNICEF is “a door” to other service project opportunities, and that working with children has been a “vehicle” for the singer to get closer to God.