Evelyn Camacho AKA Evelyn Guizelle Miranda Giron identifies as an immigrant, Guatemalan of Mayan descent, Latina, lesbian, formerly unhoused, co-mother/co-parent, disabled, caring and passionate woman who continues to thrive and survive in resilient ways the negative effects of racism, sexism, classism, ableism, homophobia, capitalism, colonialism, and a multitude of other “isms,” as well as most recently being faced with her family possibly being split apart due to our society’s hostile immigration climate.
She was born and raised in a very humble household in Guatemala by two different sets of very loving parents who taught her to live in community: if one has resources, then all have resources, and everyone contributes to doing what needs to get done in order for all to thrive. For a short time, she was also raised by her biological mother, who taught her very individualistic and capitalistic ways. When she lived with her Tiamadre Angie and Papa Willie she was the middle child and the only daughter of 7 children. When she lived with Mama Chocha and Papa Luis she was the youngest of six daughters and 2 sons. Later, when she lived with her biological mother, she was the oldest of 3 daughters and a son.
Evelyn’s biological mother, adoptive father and half siblings moved to Vancouver, Canada, when she was 10 years old. A year later, they moved to the United States. Evelyn has resided in the Bay Area for the past 35 years, and has made Oakland her home.
She was the first in her immediate family to graduate from high school, and then went on to attend UC Berkeley on a full scholarship for her undergraduate work in Mathematics and Psychology. Evelyn received a B.A in Humanities with an emphasis in Psychology, and an MA in Clinical Psychology from New College of California. The positive influence of her two sets of parents in her formative years has led her to volunteer with organizations that feed the houseless in her neighborhood, as well as open the doors to her home to friends, friends of friends, and a young migrant transgender woman released on a bond from the Cibola detention center who needed a safe place to live temporarily.
Evelyn has a career spanning 29 years in the mental health field as a peer counselor, marriage and family therapist, and mental health resource specialist. She has a long history of working for nonprofit organizations in the Bay Area and the Peninsula that provide mental health services to houseless families, single parents and their children, battered women and their children, children at risk of being removed from their home by Child Protective Services, and youth at risk of being homeless due to lack of/strain in the relationship with their caretakers. She also provides services to adults who are struggling to manage severe mental health symptoms while also dealing with substance use/abuse/dependence and employment, housing, educational, medical, cultural, legal, financial and/or immigration challenges in this hostile, capitalist, xenophobic society. Throughout the years, Evelyn’s childhood interest in various languages (Spanish, English, Russian, Italian and French) has helped her better communicate and support clients who do not speak English or for whom English is a second language, with her closest contact being the Latinx population.