MIAMI (WSVN) - A South Florida boy is using his artistic talent to raise money for Hurricane Maria victims in his native Puerto Rico.
Eight-year-old Rodrigo “Dyno” Barrera is tagging for a cause. He loves to paint — specifically, with spray cans.
“Yeah, I’m going to sell these to help people,” he said.
Back in Puerto Rico, Dyno was going to art school and learning the fundamentals of art.
“The only thing that would actually ground him for three hours straight was painting,” said his father, Rafael Barrera.
Plans changed for the boy when Hurricane Maria, the worst natural disaster on the island, rolled through back in September of last year.
Dyno’s parents chose to come to the continental United States for a fresh start — not only to further his artistic abilities, but to get him away from danger.
“I got here because my parents wanted to move, because in Puerto Rico it was dangerous,” he said, “because there’s a lot of people robbing, because, like, the hurricane hit.”
Now the 8-year-old is using his talent to give back. He is now preparing for a showcase in September to help his fellow Puerto Ricans.
With the help of his family and partner, Family Dreams Fitness, proceeds from the sale of his paintings will go to help those on the island.
“They told us about their story about Puerto Rico and coming from Hurricane Maria, so we decided to have proceeds go toward the victims of Hurricane Maria,” said Family Dreams Fitness CEO Kasey Render, “and then proceeds go to the nonprofit I’m partnered with: One Voice Community Coalition of South Dade.”
Those close to the young artist said they are most proud he is doing something he genuinely loves
“No doubt you feel very proud, but more than that, it’s a relief having your kid doing what he loves to do,” said Rafael Barrera.
Dyno said he has no creative process.
“I like abstract a lot, so I have to be thinking — um, I don’t even think,” he said.
However, he does think about the impact he can have helping others.
“It feels good to help people, because we are here so blessed but other people, like, don’t have homes, so I’m trying to get everyone to have homes,” he said.
Dyno’s showcase is scheduled for Sept. 9. To check out his complete catalog, click here.
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