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Mel Gibson Donates Aid to Mexico's Poor

Mel Gibson, about to wrap up the filming of his new movie "Apocalypto" in the jungles of Mexico's Veracruz state, is donating money to build houses for poor people in the region to thank them for their help and hospitality, government officials announced.

Gibson will give the money through the Rotary Club and Mexico's family-welfare agency.

It will be used to construct homes for poor residents of the port city of Veracruz and the city of San Andres Tuxtla, according to a news release issued late Thursday by state officials.

Gibson began filming "Apocalypto" last fall. The movie, set 500 years ago in Central America, will be spoken in an obscure Mayan dialect, in the same way Gibson used Aramaic and Latin for his religious blockbuster, "The Passion of the Christ."

This is not Gibson's first demonstration of generosity in Mexico: Last October, he met with President Vicente Fox to announce that he would donate US$1 million (euro790,000) to help Mexico recover from Hurricane Stan.

Hurricane Stan and related storms left more than 1,500 people dead or missing in Central America and Mexico.