Montebello (Spanish and Italian for beautiful mountain) is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States, located in the southwestern area of the San Gabriel Valley on 8.4 sq mi (22 km2) 8 mi (13 km) east of downtown Los Angeles. It is considered part of the Gateway Cities, and is a member of the Gateway Cities Council of Governments. In the early 20th century, Montebello was a well-known source for oil reserves. At the 2010 census, the population was 62,500. The estimated population as of July 1, 2013 was 63,495.
Before the arrival of the Spaniards in the area known today as Montebello, the land along the Rio Hondo River was populated by the Tongva (Gabrielino) portion of the Uto-Aztecan family of Native Americans. The Tongva occupied much of the Los Angeles basin and the southern Channel Islands – Santa Catalina, San Nicolas, San Clemente and Santa Barbara; when Spanish explorer Juan Rodrigues Cabrillo arrived off the shores of Santa Catalina in 1542, he was met by the Tongva people. Because the language of the Tongva was different from the neighboring tribes it was called “Gabrielino” by the Spanish.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Montebello had a population of 62,500. The population density was 7,464.7 people per square mile (2,882.1/km²). The racial makeup of Montebello was 33,633 (53.8%) White, 567 (0.9%) African American, 634 (1.0%) Native American, 6,850 (11.0%) Asian, 58 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 18,431 (29.5%) from other races, and 2,327 (3.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 49,578 persons (79.3%). Non-Hispanic Whites were 8.5% of the population.
The largest percentage of residents who reside in Montebello are Mexican-American. Montebello is the neighboring city just east of East Los Angeles, and is well known for its Mexican-American history and culture. Montebello also has a significant Armenian-American community. 38.3% of Montebello residents are foreign born with 75.6% speaking a language other than English in the home.
The Montebello Parks and Recreation Division provides recreational services for all age groups, from small children to the growing senior citizen community. Their Mission Statement is: “Creating Community Through People, Parks & Recreation”.