MEChA Facts and Questions:
1. What does MEChA
is a acronym for Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan.* (The Chicano
Movement of Aztlan)
2. How was MEChA
Prior to 1969, there were
various Mexican Student organizations such as the Mexican American Student
Conference (MASC), United Mexican American Students (UMAS), and Mexican
American Youth Organization (MAYO), throughout the Southwest (Aztlan). In March 1969,
students, teachers, and community activists met at the University of California
at Santa Barbara and drafted El Plan De Santa Barbara, a Chicano Plan for
Higher Education. At this meeting, it was agreed upon that all participating
student organizations from here on shall be known as MEChA.
3. What is the difference between the terms Chicano and
The term ÂHispanicÂ was
promoted during the Nixon Administration to label Spanish-speaking people
in the U.S. without regard for their cultural roots or identities.
Simply put, Hispanic means a person is from Spain or the Iberian Peninsula.
However, the term Chicano originates from the Mexica/Azteca people.
Since the 1960's, the term Chicano has become a political and cultural
means of choosing our own identity and future. Simply put, Chicano
means that we are the descendants of the original civilizations of this
land (i.e. Mexica, Inca, Maya, Toltec) with our own history, language, and culture.
4. Is ÂChicanoÂ meant exclusively for people of Mexican
No, the term Chicano is
inclusive to all Raza living in Aztlan. MEChAÂs
issues include: U.S. immigration, Central American & South American
political struggles, socio economic & political issues of Native Americans,
5. Is MEChA
as radical as they say?
Yes. Only if you believe
the right to a higher education is a radical
6. Is MEChA
a political group?
No. Not only do we
provide an opportunity to become politically aware & active.
We offer a broad experience of cultural, historical, social programs, and
7. What can MEChA
do for me?
can assist you in the consciousness raising of our people and the retention
of our culture to help give our on-campus community empowerment through
awareness. On a individual level, MEChA
fosters leadership skills, self and group respect, and more friendships
with Raza students. Most important, MEChA
can help us keep our education in focus and help answer that fateful question,
ÂWhy are we here?Â
8. Does MEChA
only work on-campus?
has a direct link to community groups and we also have a nationwide network
of MEChA's at a Junior
High, Senior High, Community College, and University level.
9. How do you start a MEChA ?
Every M.E.Ch.A. is
different depending on the location of the campus, the demographics, and
the support it receives from the campus and community. Here's a link
with a basic set-up HOW
TO START A M.E.Ch.A. If you need help building one, contact your
*Aztlan: The homeland of the Aztecs, now the Southwestern United States.