Puerto Rico is rebuilding one electricity pole at a time after last year's (17) devastating hurricane, according to local hero Ricky Martin.
The singer spent the holidays back home after raising almost $5 million (£3.7 million) for hurricane relief efforts, and during an update on America's The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Ricky explained the recovery is crawling in the right direction, even though 53 per cent of the island is still without electricity.
"It's all about the poles," he said. "The only company that was building the poles went bankrupt. We need, like, seven thousand poles, and they can only make, like, two or three a week. But it's progress."
Martin used his latest appearance on the show to thank fans who have helped the relief effort: "We're smiling and we're happy and we're alive," he added. "We're grateful for everything that's been happening.
"The love we've received from people all over the world is amazing. We're doing our best. We just have to stay optimistic."
And he had a message for those who believe the island nation is back on its feet: "There are still kids without being able to go to school (sic). There's not power, there's no water.
"But I want to stay optimistic. Things are going to change for the good."
In November (17), Ricky dedicated a new award for his humanitarian efforts to all the volunteers who leaped into action in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
The Livin' La Vida Loca hitmaker was presented with the Corazon Latino Award at the iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina in California, in recognition of his work to raise money for much needed food and supplies to help his fellow Puerto Ricans recover from the natural disaster, which knocked out all power to the Caribbean island in September (17).
And he took the opportunity to thank the "real heroes" of the hurricane efforts: "This award is not for me," he told People Chica backstage at the bash. "I dedicate it to those who I believe are the real stars: to all those volunteers that have worked so hard, to all those people who have come to the light. They are the real heroes that nobody knew. Since the hurricane, they have been present and have worked hard 24 hours a day to bring comfort and hope to the victims."