San Antonio’s Southside is home to a very special community of creators, hard workers, and people that inspire–many of which own small businesses in and around the Southside. Our Southside Makers and Shakers blog series is all about highlighting the people making their mark on SA’s Southside. Each addition to the series offers new insight into the community and the gente that make the Southside so unique. In this blog, we meet April Monterrosa, publisher and editor-in-chief of Live from the Southside Magazine and a tireless force in elevating stories of the Southside.
Interview With April Monterrosa
Tell us about yourself.
My name is April Monterrosa, I am an author, speaker, radio personality at KLMO 98.9 FM, and community advocate. I am also the publisher and editor-in-chief of Live from the Southside Magazine, the first Latina-owned publication in Southside San Antonio, which seeks to elevate community voices and news coverage of the Southside community. One of my proudest accomplishments as a Latina civic leader has been being honored by the 87th Texas Legislature.
What inspired you to become a business owner on the Southside, and what keeps you motivated to continue your work?
Prior to Live from the Southside, I had been the owner of a spa for 13 years, but sadly I had to close the business due to COVID. Live from the Southside began as a COVID venture, initially serving as a creative outlet for me to share stories about my upbringing in Southside San Antonio. To my surprise, the community showed immense support, because nothing like it existed in the area. I had to think fast to keep the momentum and Live from the Southside going. When it all happened, I felt a mix of emotions, but most of all I felt inspired. At the time, I was focusing on highlighting small Texas cities and small businesses. What motivated me to continue storytelling was all the great things small business owners, civic leaders, and innovators are providing for the part of town I hold near and dear to my heart; where I still reside.
How do you give back to San Antonio, foster collaboration, and build partnerships with other organizations and leaders?
When I began Live from the Southside, I reached out to many others in the community to share their stories. A combination of networking and creating events that were nonexistent in the area have led to solid relationships on the Southside and beyond–including the team at VIDA San Antonio.
Looking to the future, what initiatives or projects are you most excited about, and how do you believe they will benefit our city and its residents?
I’m currently partnering with Lone Star National Bank to offer more financial literacy resources to the Southside community. I’m also exploring an initiative to bring more home buying and ownership resources to the community.
This year, LFTSS celebrates its third anniversary at Mitchell Lake Audubon Center. It has been a goal of mine to team up with the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center team to offer education programs for students to learn about nature and preservation.
What makes the Southside unique compared to other parts of San Antonio?
The Southside is like one big family. We have a rich culture, cuisine, traditions, and sites that do not exist in other parts of town. The Southside is truly where our city began. Even when I travel and meet other Southsiders, they don’t feel like strangers but rather family because the Southside is a close-knit community; it’s genuine and grounding.
Where can folks find more about Live From the Southside?