Esther J. Cepeda

Commentary from the heart of the American melting pot. Two columns per week.


My column is about the American experience -- how it has evolved during my generation and what it feels, sounds, smells, tastes and looks like through the eyes of the daughter of Latin American immigrants."


"Because my personal story is very much about the way the great American melting pot bubbles and churns, the topics I write about most -- education, health, politics, business, public policy, culture -- reflect the diverse experiences and the issues that result from our country’s rapidly changing demographics."


Esther J. Cepeda is living the American story.



- Columnist at the Lake County Journal

- Reporter and then columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times



Southern Illinois University, Journalism

Medill School of Journalism, Integrated Marketing Communications



Cepeda was born in Chicago to parents who came from Ecuador and Mexico to join family and seek a better life. Having spoken only Spanish until she entered kindergarten, Cepeda absorbed English by watching "Sesame Street" and by reading newspapers, of which there were four or five in her home every day. Her parents, who had been professionals -- a computer engineer and a secretary -- in their native countries but who toiled at blue-collar jobs in Chicago, endowed her with the desire to be inquisitive and enlightened.