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El Monte, CA

El Monte, California, is an independent city in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, 12 miles east of downtown LA. The San Gabriel and Rio Hondo rivers form the city's eastern and western borders.

Spanish soldiers and missionaries were the first non-indigenous visitors to El Monte, in the late 1700s and early 1800s. They gave the area its name, which means "the wooded place" in Spanish. The first settlers came at the height of the California gold rush in 1849; they found good land but little gold.

El Monte's population is just under 116,000; about 72 percent of that population is of Hispanic or Latino descent. The median income in El Monte is well below the California average, although the cost of living is still high, like it is elsewhere in Southern California.


El Monte is situated at a major traffic hub in the San Gabriel Valley, at the intersection of the San Bernardino and San Gabriel River freeways (I-10 and I-605).

Some distinct areas within El Monte include:

These three districts were chosen as the focal points of a concerted philanthropic effort spearheaded by the California Community Foundation, called the El Monte Community Building Initiative. The foundation has given grants to community-based nonprofits for projects such as health outreach, graffiti cleanup, youth programs and public art installations.


Historically an agricultural community, El Monte industrialized during and after World War II, with the aviation industry leading the way. The city now has a mixed economic base, with manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, health care services and administrative financial services among the leading industries. Some of the top employers in El Monte include:



El Monte has no colleges or universities of its own, but residents often take classes at nearby colleges, including:


El Monte is within the nation's second-largest media market, Los Angeles. The region's main newspaper is the Los Angeles Times, the second-largest metropolitan daily in the United States. La Opinion, an L.A. daily, has the highest circulation of any Spanish-language newspaper in the United States.

Some local television stations include:

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