Mecca, California

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Mecca
Census designated place
Location in Riverside County and the state of California
Location in Riverside County and the state of California
Coordinates: 33°34′18″N 116°04′38″W / 33.57167°N 116.07722°W / 33.57167; -116.07722Coordinates: 33°34′18″N 116°04′38″W / 33.57167°N 116.07722°W / 33.57167; -116.07722
Country  United States
State  California
County Riverside
Named for Mecca, for its climate[1]
Area[2]
 • Total 6.959 sq mi (18.023 km2)
 • Land 6.959 sq mi (18.023 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation[3] -187 ft (-57 m)
Population (April 1, 2010)
 • Total 8,577
 • Density 1,200/sq mi (480/km2)
Time zone Pacific (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 92254
Area codes 442/760
FIPS code 06-46660
GNIS feature IDs 1652751, 2408811

Mecca is an unincorporated community located in Riverside County, California, United States. The desert community lies on the North shore of the Eastern Coachella Valley's Salton Sea and is surrounded by agricultural land.

Geography and climate[edit]

Situated within the Colorado Desert, Mecca's climate is that of an arid desert, which experiences an average 90 degree temperature. Low temperatures can reach into the 20s. The community sits at less than 150 feet below sea level on the edge of the Salton Sea, formerly the Salton Sink.

Land developers intending to irrigate the desert with water from the Colorado River did not foresee excess snow melt and for two years from 1905-1906 accidentally re-routed the entirety of the river to the Salton Sink, flooding the salt mines that had been a source of salt for perhaps centuries and giving rise to the Salton Sea. Groundwater and water transported via the Coachella Canal have transformed the desert environment into large swaths of agricultural land.

Climate data for Mecca, CA
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 93
(34)
100
(38)
107
(42)
110
(43)
119
(48)
126
(52)
125
(52)
123
(51)
126
(52)
117
(47)
100
(38)
95
(35)
126
(52)
Average high °F (°C) 72.1
(22.3)
76.0
(24.4)
82.7
(28.2)
89.5
(31.9)
97.4
(36.3)
104.5
(40.3)
108.7
(42.6)
107.9
(42.2)
103.4
(39.7)
92.9
(33.8)
79.5
(26.4)
70.7
(21.5)
90.5
(32.5)
Average low °F (°C) 40.1
(4.5)
43.4
(6.3)
49.3
(9.6)
54.8
(12.7)
62.6
(17)
68.5
(20.3)
75.2
(24)
75.4
(24.1)
68.9
(20.5)
57.9
(14.4)
45.7
(7.6)
38.5
(3.6)
56.8
(13.8)
Record low °F (°C) 13
(−11)
19
(−7)
23
(−5)
34
(1)
32
(0)
48
(9)
53
(12)
51
(11)
45
(7)
28
(−2)
24
(−4)
18
(−8)
13
(−11)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.55
(14)
0.60
(15.2)
0.34
(8.6)
0.09
(2.3)
0.02
(0.5)
0.00
(0)
0.14
(3.6)
0.20
(5.1)
0.21
(5.3)
0.28
(7.1)
0.30
(7.6)
0.42
(10.7)
3.15
(80)
Source: http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/normals/1981-2010/products/station/USC00045502.normals.txt [4]

Demographics[edit]

The 2010 United States Census[5] reported that Mecca had a population of 8,577. The population density was 1,232.5 people per square mile (475.9/km²). 98.7% of Mecca is Hispanic or Latino in origin.

There were 1,854 households, out of which 1,374 (74.1%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 1,185 (63.9%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 339 (18.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 175 (9.4%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 142 (7.7%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 10 (0.5%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. The average household consisted of 4.63 persons per household.

The population was spread out with 3,372 people (39.3%) under the age of 18, 1,141 people (13.3%) aged 18 to 24, 2,353 people (27.4%) aged 25 to 44, 1,368 people (15.9%) aged 45 to 64, and 343 people (4.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 23.7 years. For every 100 females there were 111.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 110.8 males.

There were 2,020 housing units at an average density of 290.3 per square mile (112.1/km²), of which 815 (44.0%) were owner-occupied, and 1,039 (56.0%) were occupied by renters. 3,978 people (46.4% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 4,599 people (53.6%) lived in rental housing units.

49% of all Mecca residents are employed in Agricultural work. The community's population fluctuates several times throughout the course of the year with up to an additional 5,000 seasonal farmworkers coming in to Mecca to serve the Valley's winter and summer harvesting seasons.

Mecca has an elementary school, but no public high school. 1.4% of residents hold a college degree, with 17.7% continuing education after high school, ranking Mecca the 17th least-educated city in the United States.

Landmarks[edit]

The focal point of the community is the Mecca Family and Farm Worker's Service Center. In 1999, California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. filed 30 complaints of discrimination against Riverside County. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development investigated the complaints and determined that Riverside County's housing policies and code enforcement activities demonstrated a pattern of discrimination against Latino renters and homeowners. The County agreed to construct the Farmworker Service Center as part of a multi-million dollar settlement agreement entered into to avoid further litigation. The Farmworker Service Center was inaugurated in 2005 and houses a health clinic, day care facility, offices for the Economic Development Department, and provides information and referrals to government services that can be accessed by the community's largely farmworker population.

Following the construction of the Farmworker Service Center, the County committed to other investments including the Mecca-North Shore Community Library and the Mecca Fire Station, both inaugurated in 2011.

Also in 2011, the Boys & Girls Club of Coachella Valley opened its biggest unit in California. Located next door to the Mecca Community Service Center, the Club presently serves approx. 350 children from Mecca and surrounding areas.

Government[edit]

In the California State Legislature, Mecca is in the 28th Senate District, represented by Republican Jeff Stone, and in the 56th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Eduardo Garcia.[6]

In the United States House of Representatives, Mecca is in California's 36th congressional district, represented by Democrat Raul Ruiz.[7]

In popular culture[edit]

Mecca was a featured location in Roger Corman's 1966 film The Wild Angels, starring Peter Fonda, Nancy Sinatra and Bruce Dern. This film inspired the outlaw biker film genre, and marks Peter Fonda's first appearance as a biker - three years prior to Easy Rider.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Honoré, Marcel (March 25, 2012). "Proud, self-reliant Mecca 'a very united community'". The Desert Sun. Retrieved November 26, 2014. 
  2. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer File - Places - California". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Mecca". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  4. ^ NOAA. "1981-2010 MONTHLY NORMALS for Mecca, CA". NOAA. Retrieved 2011-07-19. 
  5. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Mecca CDP". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Retrieved November 21, 2014. 
  7. ^ "California's 36th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Foulkes, Cecelia (1985). Mecca: A California Desert History. OCLC 13286927. 

External links[edit]