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M.E.Ch.A encourages awareness and success within the Latino community

Organization Spotlight

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M.E.Ch.A encourages awareness and success within the Latino community

Briana Osuna, Student Life Reporter

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Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (M.E.Ch.A) is a Latino organization that brings awareness and support to all underrepresented communities.

To get a better understanding of what it means to be part of such a tightly knit group, M.E.Ch.A Co-Chairs Lizbeth Moreno and Selena Arellano gave insight on their organization.

“It’s a movement for the students, by the students. It’s basically [meant] to create awareness of our culture and the things that our ancestors started so that we can be here,” said Moreno.

This organization strives to ensure that those who are apart of underrepresented communities become involved on campus and succeed in life.

“It’s important to get involved because it’s a privilege to even go to college. I think a lot of people forget that there’s some people who don’t have that opportunity, as students that go to college, it’s important that we use that privilege to help others that are not as privileged,” said Moreno.

This past year was quite challenging for M.E.Ch.A and its members due to their students’ graduation. The absence of the more experienced members resulted in a transition of positions. With aid from the organization’s mentors, many of the younger members were able to take on the tasks of their fellow leaders.

“All the older Mechitas left and graduated and we were like ‘Oh no, what are we going to do?’ It was just a whole year of gaining knowledge ourselves and at the end we learned so much, and now we’re able to teach others about everything we’ve learned,” said Arellano.

The transition of taking on new leadership roles did not stop M.E.Ch.A from achieving a highly anticipated goal. With help from other organizations, the [email protected] Center opened this fall,which brought a great deal of pride to M.E.Ch.A.

“A lot of people before us that were in M.E.Ch.A last year were fighting for that center for a long time. So the fact that we finally got it on campus is very important to us,“ said Moreno.

While M.E.Ch.A is an organization that helps keep students involved and on task with their education, it also provides a reason for their members to be on campus for something other than their studies.

“It gives you motivation to go to school because as much as we’re here to get an education, sometimes we don’t want to be here and have to go to class, but I think if you’re involved in something [like M.E.Ch.A] you think, ‘Oh I have to go to school today because there’s a M.E.Ch.A meeting,’” said Arellano.

M.E.Ch.A doesn’t just want to stay within the borders of CSUSM, they want to expand and alert those in the community about their missions.

“One of our biggest missions is to strive for promoting higher education for people of color and our generations to come. We want to raise consciousness, starting from within, so that we go out to everyone else on campus, teach them and eventually go out into communities,” said Arellano.

M.E.Ch.A is a safe and united organization that encourages the spread of cultural awareness and the importance of education.

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