Mona Escapes – The Dream City Podcast, Episode 1

‘Maleta’ (‘Suitcase’) by Monica “Mona” Lunot-Kuker

When you hear about domestic workers who are abused by their employers, it’s easy to assume that the workers don’t know their rights. But that wasn’t the case with Monica Lunot-Kuker. Mona, as she is called, had been involved in the labor movement in the Philippines before she came to suburban New Jersey to work for a family in their home.

Mona immigrated to the U.S. because the factory where she worked in the Philippines was involved in such a long strike that she had to find another way to support her mother and herself. But her first job in the U.S. turned out to be a nightmare, with her employer treating her like an indentured servant.

Eventually Mona escaped from that job, riding to freedom in the back of a Dunkin’ Donuts delivery truck, and went on to make a happier life for herself in New York.

Fi2W’s Rosalind Tordesillas brings us Mona’s story in the first episode of our Dream City podcast series.

Click here to see more of Mona’s artwork on her website.

Fi2W is supported by the David and Katherine Moore Family Foundation, the Ralph E. Odgen Foundation, and the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation. 

AboutRosalind Tordesillas
Rosalind Tordesillas trained and worked as a social scientist and now explores people's experiences through audio storytelling. She produces and edits podcasts on immigrant life for Feet in 2 Worlds. She also contributes to the Community Oral History Project at the New York Public Library. She has graduate degrees from the New School and NYU in Social Psychology.