Ojeda is a Mexican American living in Los Angeles, CA. In a small act of rebellion, she forms a relationship with Chester Nakayama, a Japanese American living on Terminal Island. She met Nakayama while attending Los Angeles Community College as a nursing student, and is now rebelling against her family's longtime plan for her to become a nun. Their romance is forbidden both in the eyes of their own families and in that of the law. Despite this, her character is extremely passionate and believes that nobody will care that she is with a Japanese American.
She becomes pregnant by Nakayama and makes the choice join to his family in a Japanese internment camp, even though she finds herself ostracized. She turns out to be carrying twins, Enrique and Hikaru, who are stillborn. ("The Weak Are Meat") However, she later has another child by Chester, Henry Nakayama II, who survives. ("Into the Afterlife")
She and Chester Nakayama shared a passionate night together, which resulted in her pregnancy. Knowing the scandal that would result from him fathering a child with a Mexican-American woman, Nakayama visits Masayo Furuya, who provides him with two herbal mixtures which if taken by Ojeda will result in an abortion. He suggested that she explain away as food poisoning, after which she would go to nursing school as planned, while he heads off to see the country. Later, however, Chester had a change of heart following a conversation with Yuko Tanabe. He paid her a visit tonight, asking if she had taken the herbs. When she admitted that she hadn't, he told her not to, suggesting that they run off together and start their own life together. She, however, was dubious, pointing out that they had little money and nobody who could help them with this. She told him to sleep on it and he would see better in the morning. He asked if she was still planning to take the herbs, but she wasn't sure what she wanted to do. ("A Sparrow in a Swallow’s Nest")
By February 27, 1942, Chester claims to Walt Yoshida that he's moved on from her. However, when visiting the office of his photography professor, Professor Henkoff, he runs into her. He asks how she's been and she shows him that she's still pregnant. They find an empty room, where she tells him that the whole situation is her mess that she needs to take care of. She recalls how her mother died in childbirth, and says that she wants to live up to her sacrifice, showing Chester a necklace with an eye inside that represents that her mother is always watching over her. She tells him that despite being deeply Catholic, her family took the news with neither mercy nor grace. She says that she's on her own now, but she's working at St. Jerome Orphanage, where she plans for the baby to stay until she can find it a better home. Chester doesn't like it, but she points out that she at least has a plan, while he doesn't.
While working at the orphanage, Luz is shocked as soldiers come and round up the Japanese children there, telling her that anyone with even a drop of Japanese blood must come with them. Meanwhile, Chester and his family are sent to the Hidden Gate Farms, but as Chester realizes what is happening, he tells his mother of his romance and conception with Luz. He then escapes and finds Luz at the orphanage. They both have realized that once the child is born, it would be taken away. Chester tells her that they need to get out of state, but she says that it's not the time for a romantic gesture. He tells her that it isn't one, and that he has a plan.
They visit the home of Professor Henkoff, who has agreed to shelter them. While entering, however, they are spotted by an old woman across the street. Chester tells him that they need to find someplace where he can get work and that Luz can get medical care. Henkoff suggests New Mexico, and says that he'll make some calls. Chester offers to sleep on the floor while Luz sleeps on the bed, but then there's a knocking on the door. It's the FBI, come to take Chester back. They tell them that it's only Japanese they're concerned about, so Luz can stay. They take Chester out, but Luz races after, telling them that if they want Japanese, they should take her too, as she's carrying his child.
The two arrive at Hidden Gate Farms, where everyone is being housed temporarily in horse stables. His mother, Asako, welcomes her, saying that she wishes she had a proper home to welcome her to. Later, the group boards a bus for the internment camp Colinas de Oro War Relocation Center. ("All the Demons Are Still in Hell")
Luz has a hard time of things at the internment camp, as none of the other women there really accept her presence, calling her names like "whore." She has nobody she knows to support her other than Chester and his family. She describes it as like being at Catholic school all over again. She's been wearing Chester's shirts because she has nothing else. He tells her that they can get something else when they go home. She wonders just when that will be.
Chester's father, Henry, is released from the prison camp where he was being held and sent to live with them. His feet are badly swollen from frostbite, but when Chester introduces him to Luz, who brought a tub of hot water for him, he smacks it away. He thinks she may be a spy for the Americans, having become paranoid from his experience at the prison. Later, he searches for her at the women's barracks, only to learn that she's at the infirmary. She had a fall, but claims to be fine. Nevertheless, Chester demands that the doctor there, Dr. Kitamura, examine her. The doctor says that the baby has a strong heartbeat and there is no bleeding. Afterwards, he and Luz discuss the matter. He asks her to explain what happened and she says that she slipped and fell in the wind and rain. Chester isn't so sure, likely thinking other strange winds recently, such as the one that blew over Masayo Furuya's casket.
Worried that his presence is endangering everyone by bringing the terror of the spirit Yuko Tanabe, Chester decides to apply to be a translator for the war effort. He is successful, but Luz is shocked when she learns he's shipping out, feeling that he's running away. He assures her that he won't see combat, and that this is his chance to earn a real wage and support her. As he leaves, he hands her a package containing a dress that he found someone to make, telling her that he traded his camera for it.
A shocking loss
After Chester is gone, she asks Asako if there's another doctor in the camp, showing her a bloody towel. She says that she's fine, but she doesn't want to see Dr. Kitamura again. Asako tells her of a midwife in the new barracks. She goes to see the midwife, who turns out to be Yuko Tanabe. ("Gaman")
As Chester and Luz settle into life away from each other, they write each other letters. Chester lies to Luz that he's far from the action of the war, and tells her of his bunkmate, Arthur Ogawa. He informs her that he bought a new camera in Australia, and promises to send her pictures. Luz writes him a letter, telling him that she ought to have written two letters because of her mixed feelings about him. She's proud of him for having gotten a job that so many others didn't, but sometimes thinks she never should have let him leave. She speaks of peeking through a neighbor's house and seeing their big family, and thinking that was what family should be like. She thinks of those at the camp as a big extended Japanese family of 9,000, and someday it'll be her and Chester with their baby on a little acre.
She visits Yuko Tanabe, who asks her if she's sad. She says that she is, because the baby's father is far away. Tanabe tells her that the baby is happy and gives her a gift of a rattle. She gets another letter, this one including a picture of Chester in uniform. She shows it to Henry, saying that a part of him must still think of Chester as a little boy. Henry replies that Chester is his own man now. Asako asks her about the baby and Luz lets her feel her belly. She asks Asako about Chester's birth, but she says that it was so long ago that she doesn't remember it. She tells Luz to not be scared.
She is with Tanabe again, who once again notes that she looks sad. She tells Tanabe that the baby's father hates her no matter what she does. Tanabe tells her that Henry is feeling forgotten. She listens to Luz's belly and says "two." Luz is carrying twins. Later, she tells this to Asako, who looks worried. Luz asks her what's wrong, but she says that it's wonderful. Luz worries that it might be too much of a burden, that they'll need two of everything, but Asako tells her not to worry.
Toshiro Furuya, who has been staying with the family, comments that he heard that twins are bad luck, that his father told him that twins bring death and misfortune. Everyone shushes him, but it's obvious that they're troubled. Luz tells them that nobody is to treat her children like they're cursed and leaves. Later, she finds Henry working on a chair. She reads him a message in Japanese - "Honored Father: Your grandchildren who will soon be born will always honor you. They will always think of you with great respect. And one day... when you are called to heaven, I swear they will keep your memory alive. If a boy is born... his Spanish name will be given in your honor and will be Enrique. Or, if you don't like that, please choose another name that you prefer." Not getting any response, she starts to leave, but he stops her and tells her that Enrique is a good name, that he likes it.
Luz's water breaks, and she is taken to Dr. Kitamura. Kitamura tells his nurse, Nurse Hasegawa, to prepare for a delivery. He admits that while he's delivered children before in medical school, he's never delivered twins. Luz shouts for someone to get her midwife and Asako promises that she'll try and leaves. As Nurse Hasegawa steps to the back for a minute, she is possessed by Tanabe. She returns to Luz, telling her that it's her (her midwife), and she'll be fine. However, both of the babies end up being delivered stillborn. The doctor says that there's nothing he can do. She asks what happened to her babies, and he tells her that he's sorry. She sobs as everything goes silent.
Chester receives a letter from her, telling him that she's going to have twins and that she won over his father. Back at the camp, the family prays over two small statues representing the stillborn children - Hikaru and Enrique, while Luz lays morose in her hospital bed. That evening, it is Obon, the Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirit of the ancestors. As Luz lays in her bed, Yuko Tanabe appears before Dr. Kitamura in a mask. She takes it off to reveal a ghastly form. Taking possession of him, she calls him a murdered and forces him to perform a C-section on himself, killing him. From her bed, Luz hears the screams and his body falling to the floor. ("The Weak Are Meat")
Luz is badly hurt emotionally and physically by the loss of her babies. She visits a pond in the woods within the camp, where she looks so haunted that a group of children playing hide-and-seek mistake her for the yurei that was haunting the camp. She contemplates the water and sees within it the image of her two children wrapped in blankets, only for it to fade like the mirage it is. She stumbles back the camp, looking terrible, and Asako and Henry wrap her in a robe.
Luz later returns to the pond, where she sits, rocking an imaginary baby in her arms. Here, a soldier approaches her, telling her that someone has come to see her. The visitor turns out to be her father, who upon seeing her terrible state comments "dios mio." He tells her that a soldier came to his house with terrible news. Her brother, Dennis, was doing transport work in a convoy in North Africa for the war effort when the worst happened. He died in a battle. He tells Luz that it's time for her to come home, and not stay there at the camp where her children are buried.
He and Luz are brought before a soldier, a final questioning before Luz can be allowed to leave. The soldier asks her what percentage Japanese her husband is, and Bart replies for her that Chester isn't her husband, but he's 100% Japanese. He asks her if she prepares Japanese food for dinner, and Bart replies that she eats whatever they prepare for her there. He asks if she has any Japanese children and Bart begs him to stop. He leaves off, but Luz says "Enrique and Hikaru," explaining that these are the names of the two children that she lost.
On a snowy day, Luz is finally allowed to leave the camp, in a Jeep just outside the gates. Asako promises her that they will let Chester know what happened, and says that he'll want to know where to find her. She replies that she left a letter for him. She turns to Henry, who gives her a little smile. She starts to leave, but Henry rushes to her. The soldiers start to raise their guns, thinking that he might be trying to escape, but he only hugs her. He tells her to be please be safe and well. She nods and hugs her father before they drive away. ("Shatter Like a Pearl")
Following a medical discharge from his translator position, Chester returns to the Colinas De Oro on July 3, 1943 and is shocked to find that she's left. He reads a letter from her, telling him that he had become exactly the man he needed her to be. She could see their life together, but everything changed on the horrible night she lost their children. She can now only see his face in a future that will never be. ("Taizo")
She returns to living together with her father in the family home in California, but remains largely listless. Bart encourages her to break out of her slump by dating Julio, a young man from a good Catholic family who is attending services at their church. He has just recently moved to town and is therefore unaware of her indiscretions with Chester. She does not seem interested in the suggestion and their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of a letter, one of many that has come from Chester, which she places in a box with other unopened letters. He tells her that he's sick of her collecting the letters like paper dolls and takes them away. He then sends them back to Chester at the camp.
Escape to Aguayo
Luz decides to follow her father's advice and go out to dinner with Julio. He does most of the talking and afterwards, they have a conversation in which he tells her that he likes her, and that he thinks it's honorable that she was planning to become a nun before the war. He tells her that he doesn't want to rush her into anything she's not ready for. After he leaves, she approaches a familiar car that she's spotted. It's Henry Nakayama's Packard, with Chester inside. Chester has escaped from the internment camp and come to find her. He takes her to a bluff, where they chat, her telling him that everything about him hurts her, and that the man who loved her is buried with her children. She can imagine herself marrying someone like Julio, who'd never expect her to say or feel anything real with him. Chester tells her to do that if that's really her, but he doesn't think that it is. He says that he just wants her to let him help her, asking her what she would do if she could have a free ride to anywhere.
Luz accepts Chester's offer of a free ride and he drives her to Aguayo, New Mexico. It's the home of her abuela, where she would spend every summer with her brother as a child. She leaves behind a letter for her father before leaving. Luz reunites with her abuela and other relatives. Chester tells her that he's going to keep driving east and see the country, but she encourages him to stay, as there's plenty of work there for him. Meanwhile, Bart discovers the letter, only to be discovered himself by Yuko Tanabe, the yurei of Chester's birth mother, who is desperately trying to find the "perfect world" that she's lost. Not understanding her Japanese muttering, he asks her to leave, but she takes possession of him. She then finds a map and uses his form to draw a route from Pasadena to Aguayo, before killing him. ("My Perfect World")
Marriage and new life
Chester remains in Aguayo, finding excuses to remain well past the time that he was supposed to be leaving. When Luz calls him out on this, he asks what it is that she wants. She first tells him that she doesn't want him to leave, but then admits that she doesn't know what she really wants. Later, she meets him as he sits before a fireplace in her home, examining documents regarding his lost brother, Jirou. The scene becomes intimate and when he suggests that she stay, they kiss passionately.
Things develop and the two become a couple again. They start sleeping together. Though Chester is sure that Luz's abuela is aware of their activities, Luz insists that she knows nothing and they need to keep it that way, unless he has a better idea. He tells her that he does. They get married, in a Catholic ceremony in a barn. Chester wears a tuxedo and Luz a white wedding dress. It's a happy ceremony, filled with joy, but as the ceremony comes to a close, the bones of Doña Maria, a neighbor, creak strangely, a sign of possession by Yuko Tanabe.
That night, Luz and her abuela, Rocio, receive terrible news. Luz's father, Bart, has gone missing. Rocio is sure that some sort of foul play must be involved, as Bart is not one to just run off. Luz agrees and Rocio says that there's only one way to know for sure. They could use their ancient magic - the cuanderismo. Though they ultimately decide against it, Chester is fascinated by the idea, thinking that he could use it to find out if his brother Jirou is still alive.
Luz assists her grandmother in helping Chester to do the ceremony. She watches as Chester travels into the past and meets his brother as a young schoolboy, revealing that he is dead. She is also witness to the shocking moment when Yuko Tanabe takes possession of Chester, claiming Jirou as her son and pulling him into the spirit world. She is shocked when Chester explains what happened - that he and his family thought that they had destroyed Yuko Tanabe's spirit, but they were apparently mistaken. She realizes that Yuko could be responsible for her father's disappearance. Together, they look at photos from their wedding and discover that pictures of Doña Maria show her face being blurred, a sure sign of possession by Yuko Tanabe. When Chester discovers Doña dead, Luz tells him that Yuko isn't there for him, she's there for her. She is once again pregnant by Chester. ("My Sweet Boy")
Chester is determined to protect Luz and keep Yuko from taking the baby. He calls in the help of his adoptive parents, Henry and Asako, and asks them to come to Aguayo. They all meet outside on a mostly cloudy day. Asako greets them both warmly, but Henry tells Luz that she has married a fool, saying that his only consolation is that he didn't share his blood.
Chester's first plan to protect Luz ends in failure. The group barricades themselves inside Rocio's home, and sets up a password that nobody can enter without. Yuko Tanabe, however, learns the password and possesses Father Ysidro, the priest that married Chester and Luz, in order to gain access to the house. The group is forced to knock out Father Ysidro and flee to a bunker on a mountainside in New Mexico. As they do so, Luz begins going into labor.
Luz, Asako and Rocio shelter deep in the bunker, while Chester sets a trap for Yuko and Henry questions Chester about his plans. It is a troubled birth, but it is successful, and Luz has a healthy baby boy. The baby, however, does not cry, or make any noise whatsoever, troubling Luz. He simply seems to stare at her. Rocio at first tells her that it's okay, that some babies come into the world quietly. They all, however, soon realize that something is wrong - that Yuko has possessed the baby. She then takes possession of Rocio instead, snatching the baby and running off. Asako calls after her - revealing a secret - that Yuko was originally supposed to be married to Henry Nakayama instead of Hideo Furuya. She switched things so that they would marry the opposite men. Yuko, in Rocio's body, attacks Asako. She then possesses Luz instead and takes off the baby, exiting the facility. Inside Luz's baby, she hums a lullaby to the baby. ("Come and Get Me")
Luz, possessed by Yuko, wanders along a lonely road and is eventually spotted by a couple traveling through. They stop their car and also introduce their daughter, Esperanza, asking if Luz needs a ride to anywhere. Speaking stiltedly, she tells them to take her to Aguayo. As they drive, Yuko possesses Esperanza and leaves Luz on the road, where she is discovered by Chester. She tells him that the yurei took the baby in the car.
She is taken back to the home of her abuela to rest, but she cannot simply sit still while the others are taking action. She discovers in Asako's possessions a photograph of Yuko taken in preparation for her marriage to Hideo, when she was still pregnant with Chester and Jirou. The photograph gives her an idea and she shows it to Asako.
The two of them take off together and arrive in a clearing in a woods where Yuko has prepared a burial for herself and the baby. Asako is shocked upon arrival to see that Yuko has killed her husband. She attacks, but Chester stops her, telling her that there's no way that they can get rid of Yuko, that she will always find a way. Luz, however, shows Chester the photo and reveals her plan. Chester manages to convince Yuko of the plan, which involves having Luz use the curaranderismo magic to take them both back in time to the moment in the photo, where Yuko will merge will past self. Luz does the magic and the plan works. The two later attend a funeral for Henry, where Chester reveals that the baby is named in his honor as Henry Nakayama II.
As a Mexican American, her character is the only lead on the series that is not of Asian descent.