01El Monte Sur is crafted from hurricane-resistant reinforced concret
02The swimming pool anchors El Monte’s outdoor recreation complex
03Resident Dolores Rodriguez
04One of a handful of El Monte’s stand-alone townhouses
05Some residents have opted for air-conditioning units to complement the island’s breezes
Maricelis Ramos & Eduardo Rolón
Both Ramos and Rolón have a long history with El Monte. Ramos lived in El Monte Norte during graduate school while Rolón would house-sit for his aunt, who was also an El Monte-dweller. Eventually, the couple bought a two-bedroom unit in El Monte Sur before upgrading to a three-bedroom home in the same building in 2006. The couple were drawn to El Monte’s integration of landscaping with the built environment. “It’s a pleasure to see that green buffer between our building and the street. It’s nice hearing the sounds of nature coexisting with the sounds of traffic,” they say.
The couple’s home is a balance between old and new. A classic Le Corbusier LC6 table, for instance, is surrounded by dining room chairs inherited from Rolón’s grandmother.
Above all, Ramos and Rolón appreciate El Monte’s rough edges and authenticity. “El Monte is well designed... but not super-polished or perfect,” they say. “There is a relaxed atmosphere, a sense of community that makes both residents and visitors feel immediately at ease.”