East of East

East of East: Mapping Community Narratives

A Project of the South El Monte Arts Posse

Home > History, Community and Life in El Monte & South El Monte

History, Community and Life in El Monte & South El Monte

A Brief History (and Geography) of the San Gabriel Valley

by Wendy Cheng - An ancestral home of the indigenous Gabrielino/Tongva people, San Gabriel Valley today is the largest majority Latina/o and Asian American region in the U.S.


The Rebellion Against the Mission of the Saintly Prince the Archangel, San Gabriel of the Temblors, 1785  

By Eric Frith - The San Gabriel Mission has endured now for centuries. But in its first years it may not have seemed so fixed, so permanent, or so necessary.


Toypurina: A Legend Etched in the Landscape of Los Angeles

by Maria John - The story of the Tongva medicine woman that helped lead a revolt against the padres and the communities who continue to claim her legend.


Here Come the Monte Boys: Vigilante Justice and Lynch Mobs in 19th Century El Monte

by Karen Wilson and Daniel Lynch - Southern pioneers and confederate sympathizers once sought to establish a new racial order in El Monte, CA.


Ricardo Flores Magón and the Anarchist Movement in Southern California

by Yesenia Barragan and Mark Bray - As an anarchist-in-exile, one of the many stops during his stay in "El Norte" was none other than El Monte, California.


El Monte's Hicks Camp: A Mexican Barrio

by Daniel Morales - From the 1910s until its demolition in 1972, Hicks Camp was one of the most vibrant neighborhoods of El Monte


Bittersweet Fruit: El Monte's Berry Strike of 1933

by Melquiades Fernandez - It is difficult to characterize the El Monte Berry Strike as a tangible victory for the Mexican and working class communities; yet it served to awaken the class consciousness of a ...


A Community Erased: Japanese Americans in El Monte and the San Gabriel Valley

by Andre Kobayashi Deckrow - Today, there is almost no evidence of the Japanese American community that played such an important role in the early twentieth century development of El Monte and the San Gabriel ...


Memories of El Monte: Art Laboe's Charmed Life On Air

by Jude Webre - Laboe came to El Monte because regulations in the city of Los Angeles did not allow public dances for patrons under 18, who formed the core of Laboe's audience.


City of Achievement: The Making of the City of South El Monte, 1955-1976

by Nick Juravich - Residents of the area fought to found their city against the expectations of regional planners, and they worked tirelessly to bring the benefits of postwar metropolitan growth to South El Monte.


¡La Lucha Continua! Gloria Arellanes and Women in the Chicano Movement

by Juan Herrera - Gloria Arellanes story challenges the male-centric narratives of the Chicano Movement and helps us better understand both the scope and breadth of this large-scale mobilization, in ...


1181 Durfee Avenue: 1983 to 1986

by Michael Jaime Becerra - A memoir of love, bmx bikes and arcades with South El Monte's Golfland as the setting.


Punk and the Seamstress

by Apolonio Morales - Punk's impact and longevity in El Monte continues to be a source for creativity and is deeply rooted in the immigrant experience of youth that sought an alternative to a very disma ...


Punk Flyers from El Monte and the Greater San Gabriel Valley Scene

by Alvaro Parra - For many youth east of the L.A. punk scene the suburban backyard became the ideal venue for a neighborhood gig.


Rush Street, South El Monte

by Carribean Fragoza - Rush Street is hardly a destination or scenic route; and yet for me, this street has marked itself upon me, silently engrained its name in phantom scars. It started as an unlikely ...


10911 Michael Hunt Drive

by Toni Plummer - For me, Epiphany Church was the first place in which I was part of a larger community that extended beyond my family. It was youth, and it's still my South El Monte.


The Starlite Swap Meet

by Jennifer Renteria - The space occupied by Starlite Swap Meet in South El Monte can best be described as a void in the urban landscape, only becoming a place upon the arrival of the people who occupy i ...


Whittier Narrows Parks: A Story of Water, Power and Displacement

by David Reid - Whittier Narrows Parks is an oasis in the heart of Greater Los Angeles with a complex history tied to California's water sources and politics and community displacement.


All the Zumba Ladies: Reclaiming Bodies and Space through Serious Booty-Shaking

by Carribean Fragoza - Women who practice Zumba in El Monte have developed and embodied a kind of barrio feminist aesthetic that helps them reclaim their bodies and public space.


The Trees of Chico Avenue

by Jennifer Renteria - These photos reveals the widely varied landscape found along the approximately mile-long street in South El Monte, and situates Chico Avenue as a kind of microcosm of the city's co ...


Murals at El Monte Station: Vincent Ramos

by Carribean Fragoza - Artist Vincent Ramos narrates the legacy of El Monte Legion Stadium in a four-panel mural at the El Monte Bus Station. With bold graphic qualities of a concert poster, and the inti ...


Murals at El Monte Station: Phung Huynh

by Carribean Fragoza - Artist Phung Huynh's El Monte Bus Station mural tells of cross-cultural, Asian and Latino history and the importance of engaging local community with sensitivity and relevance.


Murals at El Monte Station: Martin Durazo

by Carribean Fragoza - Sometimes it's the energetic feel of a place that characterizes it, rather than its physical landmarks. Artist Martin Durazo captures El Monte's vibrancy in his abstract public mur ...


Murals at El Monte Station: Eloy Torrez

by Carribean Fragoza - Artist Eloy Torrez invites viewers at the El Monte Bus Station to venture out of their ordinary daily life into unexpected territories as he also pushed himself to explore new aspe ...


In Search of Buried Histories in El Monte and South El Monte

by Romeo Guzmán - Armed with a desire to insert the voices of Mexican migrant families into the official narrative, we set out to construct an archive for and with the communities of South El Monte ...


Train Versus Pedestrian on Valley Boulevard

by Alex Espinoza - The mournful train whistle along Valley Blvd. brings back memories of his father's mysterious death for author Alex Espinoza.


Migrant Dreams and Soccer Journeys

by Romeo Guzmán - If life is like soccer, then its many lessons are to be found in the journey as well its destination, especially for Juan Sanchez, who grew up in the working class neighborhoods of ...