Alvaro Padilla can see that change is afoot in his neighborhood. Maybe it was the time one summer afternoon when a pack of 20-somethings on bicycles made a pit stop at his father’s Mexican restaurant, El Nacimiento.
Or perhaps it was during the World Cup last year, when the place filled not just with your typical Mexican diehard futbol fans, but with folks of all backgrounds who were searching for a more welcoming place to watch the televised broadcast.
For Padilla, 32, whose immigrant family from Guadalajara, Mexico moved to Southwest Detroit 18 years ago, the changes taking place around his neighborhood are inviting, and not just for business. “There’s more life here than before,” Padilla says. “I think it’s good for anyone to come and make it a better place.”
What they don’t want, however, is for an organization to come in and leave the existing community out of the conversation regarding the neighborhood’s future.