Latino Neighborhoods in Need Benefit from Beautification Boosts

Latino Neighborhoods in Need Benefit from Beautification Boosts

Valley Toyota dealers kick off Barrios Bellos Program with weekend event starting Saturday, May 19


Phoenix, AZ–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–May 18, 2007–Concerned volunteers from across the Valley will roll up their sleeves this weekend to lend a hand in the beautification efforts of Latino neighborhoods in need. The Valley Toyota Dealers Association has teamed up with Chicanos Por La Causa for Barrios Bellos (Beautiful Neighborhoods), a clean-up and beautification program designed to strengthen Latino neighborhoods in Phoenix. The program begins on Saturday with an inaugural cleanup event that will benefit Nuestro Barrio (Our Neighborhood), one of Phoenix’s oldest Latino districts. The family-friendly event will be held at Sylvestre Herrera Elementary School located at 1350 S. 11th street in Phoenix.

The goal of the program is to provide Latino families in need with the necessary tools and information to help beautify their own front yards. The Valley Toyota Dealers Association will distribute more than 2,000 gardening items—including tools, gloves, seeds, shrubbery and how-to brochures—during Saturday’s inaugural event to help the community kick off their own beautification efforts. The Valley Toyota Dealers will also donate a 2007 Toyota Tundra to aid CPLC in their ongoing revitalization projects.

“Participating in a movement like this allows us to have a lasting impact on our community while helping the customers who support our business,” said Bob Staup, president of the Valley Toyota Dealers Association. “We are committed to the Hispanic community, and Barrios Bellos is a way of giving back that benefits all of us in the end.”

CPLC has long been a champion in the restoration of the low-income neighborhood known as Nuestro Barrio, and welcomed the support of the Valley Toyota Dealers in their efforts.

“The residents of this community deserve to have a beautiful, safe and healthy neighborhood to call home,” says Pete Garcia, president/CEO of CPLC. “We appreciate the Valley Toyota Dealers Association’s support in making Barrios Bellos a reality.’’

Located in south central Phoenix, Nuestro Barrio is home to more than 3,600 residents. Because the neighborhood lies in a noise-abated area near Sky Harbor International Airport, private investment has been in short supply. Yet the neighborhood is home to several buildings of historical significance for Latino residents, such as the Santa Rita Cultural Center, where in 1972 civil rights activist Cesar Chavez drew attention to an Arizona law that banned farm worker strikes during his 24-day fast.

It was this combined need for community advocacy and historical preservation that drew the Valley Toyota Dealers Association to the Barrios Bellos effort. Toyota and CPLC are both quick to tout the potential global effects of Barrios Bellos beyond beautification. Residents of Nuestro Barrio, they believe, will also reap health and safety benefits from the initiative.

Research shows that individuals living in run-down, noisy neighborhoods are three times more likely to develop physical disabilities than residents of cleaner, better-maintained neighborhoods. And a study published in the Archives of Pediatrics last year revealed that parents who keep their children indoors to avoid the hazards of a dangerous neighborhood are setting up their kids for another kind of trouble—obesity.

“Helping to clean up a neighborhood sends a message of pride, that your home and community will not tolerate crime,” says Garcia. “And when your community is clean and safe, you’re more likely to spend time enjoying it, being physically and socially active.”

Individuals are encouraged to volunteer for Barrios Bellos by calling (602) 417-0656 or visiting Volunteer registration begins at 7 a.m.

Founded in 1989, Valley Toyota Dealers is the Toyota Dealer Association consisting of all nine Toyota dealers in the metropolitan Phoenix area: Avondale, Bell Road, Big Two Camelback, Earnhardt, Larry Miller, Power, Right, and Scott. To learn more, visit

Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. (CPLC) is a statewide community development corporation committed to building stronger, healthier communities as a lead advocate, coalition builder and direct service provider. CPLC promotes positive change and self-sufficiency to enhance the quality of life for the benefit of those we serve. To learn more, visit

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Latino Neighborhoods in Need Benefit from Beautification Boosts