Kitzia Esteva is a community organizer based in Los Angeles. She was born in Mexico, and left when she was sixteen to live in the Bay Area. She and her family have devoted their lives to the struggle for immigrant rights.

“My name is Kitzia Esteva. I’m undocumented, I’m queer, and unafraid.”
from an interview with The Rumpus:
 So, my family actually came to the U.S. before I did. My mom, my two nephews, and my sister came to the U.S. seeking treatment for my older nephew, Chuy, who was diagnosed with leukemia in Mexico.
We did some research much later when we learned about environmental racism through community organizing, and realized that it had to do with the factory we lived near by. Every once in a while there were toxic chemicals that were released into the air, and they said it was accidental. This factory actually belonged to a U.S. company—I don’t remember the name of it, but it was located in Cosoleacaque, Veracruz, where my nephew lived. And we now we know that it was the cause of his leukemia. It was a big deal, especially for my mom, who was doing social justice work in Mexico, and for her to know that it was the U.S. who was responsible for my nephew being poisoned.

Most of us are still undocumented in the country. For me, there are a lot of things to say about the idea of the American dream and what that means. When I first got here, we lived in Oakland in a really small apartment. I was used to a bigger home and more of a safe community in Mexico. I came to a community that was ridden by police brutality and poverty. Our apartment had such small living quarters. Four months after I arrived, my mom lost her job and we landed up at a shelter. So we didn’t have this ideal situation where immigrants come and they find fortune and get rich, and buy a house and get dogs. That’s really a fantasy for most people. For us it was definitely rougher than we had it in Mexico. Yet, the only reason why we had to go through this and move to the U.S. is that we wanted my nephew to get better, and we wouldn’t have been able to get that treatment in Mexico.

I had a conversation about this on the UndocuBus with a few folks there, and specifically people that came to the U.S. when they were younger. I think it’s both a status and an identity. For some of us it’s an identity, because it’s the only identity we’ve known for most of our lives. It becomes an identity when you present it and introduce yourself with it at every point during your struggle because of what you’re fighting with. It becomes an armor of really representing yourself with a fierceness of what it takes to be who we are. On the UndocuBus we’d introduce ourselves as,
“My name is Kitzia Esteva. I’m undocumented, I’m queer, and unafraid.”
To say “undocumented” and “unafraid” and is a part of our identity. The undocumented part might not be our choice, but we’re not afraid of saying it. It’s something that we’re struggling with, but it’s also something that we shouldn’t be struggling with.

Kitzia Esteva is a community organizer based in Los Angeles. She was born in Mexico, and left when she was sixteen to live in the Bay Area. She and her family have devoted their lives to the struggle for immigrant rights.

“My name is Kitzia Esteva. I’m undocumented, I’m queer, and unafraid.”

from an interview with The Rumpus:


So, my family actually came to the U.S. before I did. My mom, my two nephews, and my sister came to the U.S. seeking treatment for my older nephew, Chuy, who was diagnosed with leukemia in Mexico.

We did some research much later when we learned about environmental racism through community organizing, and realized that it had to do with the factory we lived near by. Every once in a while there were toxic chemicals that were released into the air, and they said it was accidental. This factory actually belonged to a U.S. company—I don’t remember the name of it, but it was located in Cosoleacaque, Veracruz, where my nephew lived. And we now we know that it was the cause of his leukemia. It was a big deal, especially for my mom, who was doing social justice work in Mexico, and for her to know that it was the U.S. who was responsible for my nephew being poisoned.

Most of us are still undocumented in the country. For me, there are a lot of things to say about the idea of the American dream and what that means. When I first got here, we lived in Oakland in a really small apartment. I was used to a bigger home and more of a safe community in Mexico. I came to a community that was ridden by police brutality and poverty. Our apartment had such small living quarters. Four months after I arrived, my mom lost her job and we landed up at a shelter. So we didn’t have this ideal situation where immigrants come and they find fortune and get rich, and buy a house and get dogs. That’s really a fantasy for most people. For us it was definitely rougher than we had it in Mexico. Yet, the only reason why we had to go through this and move to the U.S. is that we wanted my nephew to get better, and we wouldn’t have been able to get that treatment in Mexico.

I had a conversation about this on the UndocuBus with a few folks there, and specifically people that came to the U.S. when they were younger. I think it’s both a status and an identity. For some of us it’s an identity, because it’s the only identity we’ve known for most of our lives. It becomes an identity when you present it and introduce yourself with it at every point during your struggle because of what you’re fighting with. It becomes an armor of really representing yourself with a fierceness of what it takes to be who we are. On the UndocuBus we’d introduce ourselves as,

“My name is Kitzia Esteva. I’m undocumented, I’m queer, and unafraid.”

To say “undocumented” and “unafraid” and is a part of our identity. The undocumented part might not be our choice, but we’re not afraid of saying it. It’s something that we’re struggling with, but it’s also something that we shouldn’t be struggling with.