Oral History of Erik Esquivel, interviewed by Christian Merida, 5 April 2021

210405-000 Esquivel Eric.jpg

Title

Oral History of Erik Esquivel, interviewed by Christian Merida, 5 April 2021

Description

Eric Esquivel was born in 1975 in Danville, Pennsylvania. His father was from Colombia, and his mother was from New Jersey. In the mid-eighties, his family moved to Hilton Head, South Carolina. He remembers how as a child he noticed the exuberant landscape and the racial diversity in his school. He grew up as a mainstream American child who was aware of his Latino roots because his family traveled frequently to Colombia. Esquivel attended Hampden-Sydney College and majored in Spanish. After college, he taught Spanish in Hilton Head and then, moved to Austin, Texas to work with Dell. In 1998, Esquivel and his two siblings created La Isla Magazine, which was launched in November 1999. Esquivel reflects on Hilton Head's demographics and the key role the Latino community has played in the region’s economy. He remembers the origin of the Lowcountry Immigrant Coalition, and states it was formed in response to a Beaufort County's attempt to implement the Legal Employment ordinance, which encouraged citizens to report to the authorities people they suspected were undocumented. The business community, dependent on the immigrant labor, rallied against it. Over the years, the coalition has kept working on many issues, among them, supporting DACA recipients, advocating against the “show me your papers” laws, providing counseling to immigrants and offering citizenship seminars. Finally, Esquivel reflects on the effects of President Trump’s race rhetoric in the local community relationships and immigrants’ fears.

Publisher

The Citadel Archives and Museum

Date

Rights

Materials in The Citadel Archives & Museum Digital Collections are intended for educational and research use. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright. For more information contact The Citadel Archives & Museum, The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, 29409.

Format

application/pdf

Language

English

Type

Text

Identifier

https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/1685

Coverage

Beaufort (S. C.)

Interviewer

Christian Merida

Interviewee

Erik Esquivel

Location

Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina via Zoom

Duration

60 minutes

Collection

Citation

The Charleston Oral History Program at the Citadel, “Oral History of Erik Esquivel, interviewed by Christian Merida, 5 April 2021,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed January 22, 2022, https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/1685.