This East LA Pueblo is the Home of Chicano History
Credit: Nuestro Stories
El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument houses a myriad of different attractions meant to showcase the original pueblo of Los Angeles, which was established in 1781.
Originally founded by a group of 44 settlers who came from Mexico to establish a farming community in the area in September. Though these ‘original families’ came to colonize the area in the 1700s, the area was originally home to the Tongva, the Indigenous tribe who lived along the Los Angeles basin and Southern Island channels.
Pivota to Chicano culture
The Tongva were considered one of the most influential Indigenous tribes of the region, as they created an extensive trade network through the construction of te’aats, a form of plank boat they designed. The Tongva people withstood colonization for nearly 200 years from their first interaction with the Spanish in the 1500s, up to the arrival of The Pobladores, as the group of the original families was known.
Named El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles the pueblo was one of the few established in California that was not a part of the tract of missions built by the Spanish colonizers, and it is one of only two original California pueblos that has survived to this day.
The plaza, located in the center of the pueblo, was considered a cultural hub of the communities in the surrounding areas all the way through the 19th century. As the city of Los Angeles continued to grow and evolve, the area became a well-known hub for Chicano artists, activists, and communities.
El Pueblo de Los Angeles houses East LA’s world-renown Olivera Street, an open-air Mexican marketplace, a multitude of free museums meant to tell the stories of the original inhabitants of the region throughout the years, and the infamous Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles church, standing since 1822.
The area sees more than 2 million tourists on a yearly basis.
Chicano history lives on!
Read more: This Place Celebrates the End of a One-Hundred-Year Dispute
Things to know before you go:
- El Pueblo de Los Angeles is open year-round, as it is an open-air market but the varied museums, stores and restaurant hours vary. Find out more on the City of LA’s website.
- Olvera Street is not only world-renowned for its offerings, it has also been the home of a multitude of Hollywood films over the years, including Lethal Weapon 3, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and Seabiscuit, among others.
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By Liv Styler
Olivia Monahan Chicana journalist, editor, educator, and organizer in Sacramento whose sole focus is to shed light on stories on our most impacted and marginalized communities, but even more importantly, for those stories to humanize those normally left out. She is an Ida B Wells Investigative Journalism Fellow 2022 Finalist, a member of the Parenting Journalists Society, and has bylines in The Courier, The Sacramento Bee, The Americano, Submerge Magazine among others.