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Nogales woman turns property known as a dump into dignified living

Posted at 5:53 AM, Sep 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-10 11:27:09-04

NOGALES, Ariz. - If you stop by the Art Corner in Nogales, you'll see a propery filled with vibrant colors, newly built homes, and lots of plants.

"What I've done is create a place of art, that my town can be proud of," said Maria Lopez, the property owner.

Nearly two years ago Lopez decided she wanted to completely remodel two of the properties she owned. She wanted to rebuild the homes from the ground up and ultimately give residents dignity.

"This is my way of dignifying two of the worst areas of Nogales," said Lopez.

The properties were previously filled with garbage, the homes rundown with graffiti covering the walls.

"They were in really bad shape," said Lopez.

So, Lopez took on the job of rebuilding the entire property. She hired workers to help clear the garbage and tear down the old homes. Once the foundation was finished came the fun part for Lopez, putting up different murals.

"Murals that depict what we should be most proud of which is our culture," said Lopez.

Before she remodeled the properties they were known as 'El Dompe del Kino' or the Kino Dump. Now, the property bares a different name, 'El Rincon Del Arte' or the Art Corner.

"It makes me tremendously proud," said Lopez.

Lopez said promoting literacy among the people that live in her property is something she cares about a lot, which is why she had a little library built on the property. The little library is filled with books, and her hope is people will constantly turn to it for reading material.

With the project all wrapped up, Lopez said she hopes others see what she's done and lend a hand to those who need it most.

"I hope that everybody takes note and changes that little corner that they can," said Lopez.