Gloria Estefan buys concert tickets for PR jobless

Brittni DeHart

From The Associated Press

Thousands of laid-off government employees in Puerto Rico will be doing the conga for free, thanks to Gloria Estefan.

The Cuban-born singer bought some 2,000 tickets for her weekend concert and they will distributed by raffle among the nearly 17,000 workers who learned last month that they will lose their jobs beginning Nov. 6.

Stefan bought all the remaining upper-level tickets — at $40 each — as a gift to those who were affected, said Harold Rosario, the singer’s spokesman in Puerto Rico, said Thursday.

Officials have begun distributing the tickets to various government agencies, which will raffle them.

The government announced the layoffs in late September as it tries to close the gap on a $3.2 billion deficit. The U.S. territory is struggling with its third year of recession with a 15 percent unemployment rate, higher than any U.S. state.

Tickets to hear the seven-time Grammy winner sing Saturday range from $40 to $125.

Almost 8,000 tickets have been sold so far, Rosario said.