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Mexico: The Mayan Relief Fund (6/98)

Used car salesmen are known for their stories. But there’s a guy in Pensacola, Florida, with a line that will tear at your heart. You wouldn’t expect to be hearing about the plight of the Mayan people of the Yucatan from Ricky Long, yet in his friendly Southern drawl he’ll recount years fraught with frustration and gratification in his efforts to make life a little better for impoverished Mexican Indians.

Long’s dedication to the Mayan people began several years ago when he was vacationing in Cancun. Like most visitors to Mexico, he was fascinated by the charm of the country, but oblivious to the poverty carefully hidden from tourists. A friendly exchange with a local man ended up with an invitation to his home for a dinner of homemade tamales. Although the carefree Floridian was moved by the poverty of his hosts, he didn’t yet realize this was the beginning of a life-long commitment to help the Mayan people. read more