Mapping Community: Monique C.


Creating personal maps is one of the first activities we do in Youth Voices. We asked the students at Mountain View High School to identify the places they spend time with friends, or places that have meaning to them as well as other key locations, people, and things. This begins the process of thinking more critically about their neighborhood along with initiating a creative freedom to express ideas that are true to their experiences. The maps provide an opportunity to put it down on paper and reflect on a personal memories that start to paint a clearer picture of their community and what they would like to see it become.

Honestly, drawing my map was so much fun and very creative. I started with my house and moved on into my city. The most important thing I added to my map was my deep personal place, the best food place ever, plus more.

The location I would love to change is the shopping center in El Monte, which I would want to include a Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, Wing Stop, and In N' Out in my city.

A beautiful place with great colors is our near by park Legg Lake. It has colors everywhere. From the tress to the birds and playgrounds. Its an amazing colorful place.

The place I picked for my deep personal place is my friend Maritrini's house. That's where I am comfortable and open. Also where I have my deep personal conversations.

A quite place is the San Gabriel River Path. That's where I can have some peace and quite, with no interruptions of any kind.

The El Monte Museum of History is a historical place in our city. It has important and valuable artifacts about El Monte back when it was originally founded.

A great place to hang out is my friends house. I have multiple places to hang out so it's difficult to choose one.

Name a place where people come together to participate in a shared activity.
My school, Mountain View High School. That's where we participate in activities and come together. Its fun, safe, and very entertaining. You meet new friends and much more.

Who is a person that defines your neighborhood for you?
Our neighborhood elotero. He has been here roaming the streets since I was small. He's very nice and always hooks it up!

Name a place or person that you are afraid to meet or cross paths with.
A place I wouldn't dare go is down my street where the cholos hang out. I won't go near there for anything!

Where is a great place to eat in your neighborhood?
Best food in our city is Tacos Del Chino. They have the BEST burritos. Also they serve tacos, tortas, and much more.

I added my house and my boyfriend's house to my map. These two places our my safe zone, where I can go and be me. :)

The first layer of Monique's map.


The second layer of Monique's map featuring more details about her community.


Now you know a little bit of my hometown El Monte. Thank you for your time!

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